Scientific sessions, CRG Group Leader Seminars
Félix María Goñi
Unidad de Biofísica (UPV/EHU, CSIC), University of the Basque Country. Bilbao, Spain (Severo Ochoa Visiting Scientist)
Lipids constitute a rather neglected field of study nowadays, particularly at the cellular level. This is in contrast to the widely recognized role of membranes, an essentially lipidic structure, in many cell processes, or to the well known role of triglycerides or cholesterol in important pathological events. For the last two decades the author has focused his research on the biophysics of sphingolipids, particularly ceramides and sphingosine. These simple molecules happen to exhibit potent and unexpected membrane properties, e.g.inducing membrane permeabilization, or causing transmembrane (flip-flop) lipid motion. In turn, these could be related to cellular processes like apoptosis, or pathological conditions such as Niemann-Pick type C disease.
Born in San Sebastian, Spain in 1951. MD (Universidad de Navarra), 1975. Post-doctoral work in London (Royal Free Hospital, Professor D.
Chapman). Lecturer in Biochemistry (1978), then Professor (1984) at the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao. Research interests:
Membrane biophysics, lipids, lipid-protein interactions. One of the founders of the Spanish Biophysical Society (1985). Director-General of Research at the Basque Government (1995-1999). Has received a number of medals and awards and is currently a Severo Ochoa Visiting Scientist at the CRG.