Structural and Computational BiologyStructural Bioinformatics and Network Biology

"For every complex problem there's an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong". H.L. Mencken.

Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology

Patrick Aloy

Group Leader

ICREA Research Professor

+34 93 40 39690

Modern molecular and cell biology no longer focus only on single macromolecules but now look into pathways, complexes or even entire organisms. The many genome-sequencing projects have provided a near complete list of the components present in an organism, and post-genomic projects have aimed to catalogue the relationships between them.

The emerging field of systems biology is now centered mainly on unravelling these relationships. For example, an understanding of metabolic and signalling pathways or gene-regulatory networks relies on detailed knowledge of protein–metabolite, protein–protein and protein–nucleic-acid interactions. However, a full understanding of how molecules interact can be attained only from three-dimensional (3D) structures, as these provide crucial atomic details about binding. These details allow a more rational design of experiments to disrupt an interaction and therefore to perturb any system in which the interaction is involved.

Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology Group Webpage

Our main scientific interests lie in the field of structural bioinformatics, in particular, the use of high-resolution 3D structures to reveal the molecular bases of how macromolecular complexes and cell networks operate. Structural information for interacting cellular components willimprove our understanding of the whole-cell framework at atomic level, thereby contributing to biological systems modelling.

Duran-Frigola M, Rossell D and Aloy P.
Nat Commun, 5 5676 (2014)
Mosca R, Pache RA and Aloy P.
Mol Cell Proteomics, 11 (7), M111.01496 (2012)
Soler-López M, Zanzoni A, Lluís R, Stelzl U and Aloy P.
Genome Res, 21 (3), 364-76 (2011)
Stein A and Aloy P.
Plos Comput Biol, 6 (5), e1000789 (2010)
Sardon T, Pache RA, Stein A, Molina H, Vernos I and Aloy P.
Embo Rep, 11 (12), 977-84 (2010)

Group news & mentions

1 Dec 2014

Current data bases hold information on thousands of molecules—including drugs, natural substances, and chemical agents found in the environment— that are associated with diseases, either because th

21 Sep 2014

To mark World Alzheimer's Day on 21 September, the newspaper ARA publishes an article about research trends into Alzheimer's disease.

19 Sep 2014

The Spanish Society of Neurology estimates that 600,000 people are affected by Alzheimer’s disease in this country.

Upcoming events

30 Jan

Speaker: Dr. David Torrents, ICREA Research Professor. Joint BSC-CRG-IRB Research Program in Computational Biology Barcelona Supercomputing Centre


02 Feb

Biomedical professionals require skills to communicate effectively, both when writing and when presenting their research orally. However, many do not receive specific training for this purpose.

English is the language used by the international scientific community. Although Spanish biomedical professionals channel great efforts into learning English, they often lack the specialized knowledge of the language required to communicate their science clearly.

This training seminar aims to help students to improve their scientific English. The course introduces some basic concepts underlying the oral and written communication of science and gives participants the opportunity to put theory into practice in a relaxed open discussion and feedback session. Finally, it introduces tools and tips for the student once the course has finished.

04 Feb

Speaker: Marie Bijlmakers, King's College London, UK



This group receives financial support from the following sources:

  • European Commission
  • ICREA (Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats)(Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies)