We are interested in studying double strand DNA break repair, Chromosome organisation and replication at the single molecule level using Atomic Force MicroscopyMagnetic and Optical Tweezers combined with Fluorescence, and standard biochemical techniques.

Welcome to the Moreno-Herrero Lab

The main interest of my group is to answer key questions in DNA-break repair, replication and Chromosome organisation using novel approaches based on single-molecule techniques. To do this, we develop our own instrumentation based on Atomic Force Microscopy imaging, single-molecule manipulation techniques such as Magnetic Tweezers combined with fluorescence, and establish strategic collaborations with research groups specialized on different biological systems. We are also interested in studying the mechanical properties of nucleic acids and their role in protein interaction. We investigate this from an experimental perspective using our single-molecule tools but also by all-atom molecular dynamics simulations.

We work at the National Center of Biotechnology (CNB), a research center part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The CNB is the largest CSIC institute with over 600 people working in a multidisciplinary environment that combines the latest technology in molecular biology, and structural and functional biology.

Check out our Openings section for opportunities to join the group to do the Master project, PhD or Postdoctoral research.



Research lines

Mechanical Properties of nucleic acids Mechanical Properties
High-resolution AFM imaging of nucleic acids Mechanical Properties
DNA Homologous recombination DNA Repair
DNA non-homologous end joining DNA Repair
SMC proteins DNA Organization
Type III partition systems DNA Organization
ParABS partition systems DNA Organization
Rolling Circle Replication of plasmids DNA Replication
Replication initiation proteins DNA Replication
Magnetic Tweezers Techniques
Combined MT-TIRF Techniques
BioLab Techniques
Atomic Force Microscopy Techniques
20200615-173301 Scan 3_GREEN
Confocal Optical Tweezers (C-Trap™ from Lumicks) Techniques
MD simulations of Nucleic Acids Mechanical Properties


3rd Workshop on Advanced Nanobioscience

Fernando Moreno-Herrero, together with Ana G. del Arco, organized “The 3rd Workshop on Advanced Nanobioscience”, which took place in Madrid, at the National Center of Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC) on 26th May 2023. Every year, the Macromolecular Structures Department hosts a one-day workshop focusing on current topics of relevance. For this occasion, several exciting topics were planned for discussion: mass photometry, nanopore biophysics, Optical and Magnetic Tweezers, Atomic Force Microscopy, and other fluorescence-based methods.

SBE “Manuel Rico” – Bruker Prize awarded to Fernando Moreno-Herrero

Fernando Moreno-Herrero has been awarded with the “Manuel Rico” – Bruker Prize of The Spanish Biophysical Society 2023 in recognition of his pioneering work in the development of molecular biophysics using Atomic Force Microscopy and Magnetic Tweezers in Spain. The jury highlights his pioneering biophysical studies on the molecular machinery involved in DNA repair, organization, and replication. This year's award has been jointly granted to Fernando Moreno-Herrero and Teresa Giráldez Fernández, professor at the University of La Laguna.

APLF and long non-coding RNA NIHCOLE promote stable DNA synapsis in non-homologous end joining

Here, we show that Ku70-Ku80 and APLF establish a minimal complex sufficient to support DNA synapsis. APLF and long non-coding RNA NIHCOLE promote stable DNA synapsis in non-homologous end joining. Additionally, we show how APLF promotes synapsis of DNA ends for several minutes under pN forces and lncRNA NIHCOLE stabilises these synapsis via a small and structured domain relevant in DNA repair by NHEJ.