Instituto Universitario de Biología Molecular

Foreword by the Director

The Institute for Molecular Biology (IUBM) of the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) was created in 1971, being the first university research institute established in our country. The Institute, initially located in the Faculty of Sciences of the UAM, had from its origin a very close relationship with the Department of Molecular Biology of the UAM formed under the leadership of Prof. Federico Mayor Zaragoza. In September 1975, the IUBM-UAM joined the new Center for Molecular Biology, founded under the auspices of Prof. Severo Ochoa as a joint institution of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the UAM. Since then, the IUBM-UAM assembles all the UAM personnel who develops their research at the laboratories of the Center for Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa (CBM) in fields related to molecular biology and biomedicine.

In 2023, the scientific staff of the IUBM-UAM comprised 69 permanent members, including full professors (“catedráticos/as”), associated professors (“profesores/as titulares”), assistant professors (“profesores/as contratados doctor and ayudantes doctor”) and «Ramón y Cajal» and Talento junior researchers, who carry out their teaching in different UAM Departments (Molecular Biology, Biology, Neuroscience, Applied Physical Chemistry and Physics of Condensed Matter). The IUBM-UAM members are distributed according to their research interests among the main Scientific Programs in which the CBM is structured: Genome Dynamics and Function (including Genome decoding and Genome maintenance and instability Research Units), Tissue and Organ Homeostasis (including Cell architecture and organogenesis and Cell-cell communication and inflammation Units), Physiological and Pathological Processes (including Molecular Neuropathology and Metabolic and signaling networks in disease Units) and Interactions with the environment (including Immune system development and function and Microbes in health and welfare Units). 47 staff members of the IUBM-UAM are principal or co-principal investigators in research projects ongoing at the CBM. In addition, 11 postdoctoral fellows and circa 30 PhD students were ascribed to the IUBM-UAM during 2023 as non-permanent members.

During 2023, the scientific personnel of the IUBM-UAM has published 77 research articles and directed 61 ongoing research projects, funded by different national, European and international institutions. The research interests, publications, and funded projects of IUBM PIs are detailed in this Annual Report. It is also worth noting that, in addition to their active involvement in research, the IUBM-UAM members intensively participate in undergraduate and graduate teaching, and also in PhD programs related to their investigation fields. In 2023, 15 doctoral theses directed by members of the IUBM-UAM were presented and many more are ongoing.

In 2023 we held the second meeting of our External Scientific Advisory Board, who made very helpful suggestions and reassuring comments regarding the activities of the IUBM. To encourage young investigators, the IUBM continued supporting in 2023 an Award to the best doctoral thesis presented at the CBM during this period, as well as awards for the best Oral Communication and the best Poster presented at the X Workshop of Students & Posdocs organized by these students at the CBM.

It is worth mentioning that in 2023 took place the entry into force of the new Agreement and Internal Regime Regulations of the CBM, that hopefully will continue to guarantee a close collaboration between UAM and CSIC in our center. During this year the CBM has started to implement different initiatives in the context of the accreditation as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence for the period 2023-2027. This is both a great opportunity and a challenge for the CBM and the IUBM-UAM to foster and consolidate first-level synergic research lines and scientific infrastructures and to recruit talented young investigators to secure faculty renovation in the next years.

Federico Mayor

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Director IUBM-UAM