Fernando Moreno-Herrero

Biosketch

Dr. Moreno-Herrero (Oviedo, Spain), graduated in Physics by the University of Oviedo in 1998. Intrigued by the physical mechanisms of proteins and their interactions with nucleic acids, Fernando moved to Madrid to undertake a D. Phil. in Biophysics using the Atomic Force Microscope under the supervision of Prof. A. M. Baró. During his D. Phil., Fernando enjoyed three research internships for a total of eight months at the University of California at Berkeley under the supervision of Prof. C. Bustamante. Fernando´s PhD work (Cum laude, 1998-2003) was also awarded the Ph.D. Extraordinary Prize by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. On September 2003, Dr. Moreno-Herrero moved to The Netherlands to carry on postdoctoral research in single molecule biophysics at the Delft University of Technology under the supervision of Prof. C. Dekker. During his postdoctoral period with Prof. Dekker, Fernando focused his research on liquid AFM imaging and Magnetic Tweezers to study DNA-repair proteins interactions and the mechanical properties of nucleic acids. In December 2006, the PI started his own independent research line supported by the Spanish Ramón y Cajal program at the Fundació Privada Institut Catalá de Nanotecnologia (ICN) in Bellaterra, Barcelona. In september 2009, the PI secured a permanent position (Científico Titular) at the National Centre of Biotechnology, Madrid (CNB) ─a research institute of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)─ and since May 2017 he is Investigador Científico CSIC. Fernando leads the group of Single-Molecule Biophysics of DNA-repair Nanomachines at the CNB. Current research combines development of novel fast AFM technologies and Magnetic Tweezers combined with fluorescence with the aim to characterize and monitor at the single-molecule level the real-time dynamics of DNA-protein interactions involved in DNA organisation, replication and repair.

Fernando has participated in 17 Research Projects, being the Principal Investigator in 9 of them, including an ERC Starting Grant 2007, an ERC Proof of Concept Grant 2014, and an ERC Consolidator Grant 2015. He has been also PI of three projects from MINECO. FMH has more than 65 scientific publications, which accumulates over 2000 citations (WOS) and his h-index is 22. He has delivered multiple invited talks (some of them plenary) in national and international scientific conferences and has presented the work of his group at many Research Institutes or Scientific groups. The impact of his research was recognized in 2012 by the Izasa-Werfen Prize of the Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, in 2014 by the “Perez-Paya” Prize of the Spanish Biophysical Society, and more recently in 2015 by the “Miguel Catalán” Prize of the Autonomous Community of Madrid for researchers under 40.

Postdoctoral Research

PhD Tesis

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Non-intrusive AFM imaging methods in buffer

Pic 1Pic 2One of the main advantages of the AFM is the ability for imaging in buffers soft materials like biological samples. Despite this, imaging biomolecules in buffer is not simple and care must be taken in sample preparation and imaging conditions. One must adsorb molecules in such a way that the interaction with the supporting surface is weak enough to allow biomolecular interactions but also strong enough to be able to image them. We studied in detail different techniques for AFM imaging in buffer like Tapping, Jumping and Contact modes and evaluate the different sources of damage on soft biological materials

Researchers

UAM: Pedro J. de Pablo, Jaime Colchero, Julio Gomez, Arturo M. Baro;
NANOTEC: Rafael Fernandez

Publications

F. Moreno-Herrero et al. Physical Review E 69, 031915 (2004).

Jumping Mode Scanning Force Microscopy: a tool for precise force control and high-resolution imaging in liquids

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F. Moreno-Herrero et al. Ultramicroscopy 96, 167-174 (2003).

DNA height in Scanning Force Microscopy

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F. Moreno-Herrero et al. Applied Surface Science 210, 22-26, (2003).

Jumping Mode Scanning Force Microscopy: a suitable technique for imaging DNA in liquids

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F. Moreno-Herrero et al. Applied Physics Letters 81, 2620 (2002).

Scanning Force Microscopy Jumping and Tapping modes in liquids

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F. Moreno-Herrero et al. Surface Science 453, 152-158 (2000).

The role of shear forces in scanning force microscopy: a comparison between jumping mode and tapping mode

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Electrical propeties of DNA

Pic 1Molecular devices are the final horizon in the miniaturization of electronic technology. The electrical transport properties of molecules are expected to differ dramatically from those of macroscopic conductors, and finding ways to measure these properties at such a small scale is an important challenge of the emerging nanoscience. In particular, DNA is a well-known molecule that appears as a promising molecular-wire candidate. We studied two direct procedures to measure electrical currents through DNA molecules adsorbed on mica and found a lower limit for the resistivity is 10^6 Ohm x cm in agreement with first principle calculations.

Researchers

UAM: Pedro J. de Pablo, Cristina Gómez, Jaime Colchero, Adriana Gil, Mar Alvarez, Julio Gómez, José M. Soler, Arturo M. Baró
ICMB: Pablo Ordejón
UNIOVI: Pilar Herrero
NANOTEC: Rafael Fernández, Ignacio Horcas

Publications

F. Moreno-Herrero et al. Nanotechnology 14 (2), 128-133, (2003).

Topographic characterization and electrostatic response of M-DNA studied by Atomic Force Microscopy

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C.Gómez-Navarro*, F. Moreno-Herrero* et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 99 (13), 8484-8487 (2002).

Contactless experiments on individual DNA molecules show no evidence for molecular wire behavior

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*Shared first authorship

C.Gómez-Navarro et al. Nanotechnology 13, 1-4 (2002).

Scanning force microscopy three-dimensional modes applied to the study of the dielectric response of adsorbed DNA molecules

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P.J.de Pablo et al. Physical Review. Letters 85 (23), 4992-4995 (2000).

Absence of dc-conductivity in lambda DNA

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Structural characterization of the Paired Helical Filaments

Pic 1Paired helical filaments (PHF) is an aberrant structure present in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease patients which has been correlated with their degree of dementia. Several groups have indicated that the microtubule associated protein tau is the major component of PHF. Knowledge of the three-dimensional structure of the proteins implicated in neurodegenerative disorders is essential for understanding why and how endogenous proteins may adopt a nonnative folding. We studied the structure of the PHFs using AFM in air and buffer. Then, we compared our experimental results with structural models. From this we conclude that the PHF structure is compatible with two coupled ribbons with an overall height of 20 nm and a width of 10 nm.

Researchers

UAM: Jaime Colchero, Julio Gómez, Arturo M. Baró
CBM-UAM: José J. Lucas, Miguel Díaz, Felix Hernández, Esteban Montejo, Mar Pérez, Jesús Avila
Fac. Med. -UAM: Pilar Gómez, María A. Morán,
Hospital Prynceps d´Espanya: Isidro Ferrer
CNB-UAM: José M. Valpuesta

Publications

M. Diaz-Hernandez et al. Journal of Neoroscience 24(42), 9361-9371 (2004).

The stable component of Huntington’s disease inclusions consist of amyloid-like huntingtin filaments that can be purified and that are susceptible to revert in vivo

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F. Moreno-Herrero et al. European Polymer Journal 40(5), 927-932 (2004).

Jumping mode atomic force microscopy obtains reproducible images of Alzheimer paired helical filaments in liquids

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F. Moreno-Herrero et al. Biophysical Journal 86, 517-525 (2004).

Characterization by atomic force microscopy of Alzheimer paired helical filaments under physiological conditions

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F. Moreno-Herrero et al. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 3, 443-451 (2001).

Characterization by atomic force microscopy of tau polymers assembled in Alzheimer´s disease

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DNA-protein interactions

Pic 1Regulation of gene expression is fundamental in biological systems. A systematic search for protein binding sites in gene promoters has been done in recent years. Biochemical techniques are easy and reliable when analysing protein interactions with short pieces of DNA, but are difficult and tedious when long pieces of DNA have to be analysed. We studied the possibilities of AFM for identification of regulatory sequences. We used different transcription factors involved in the phosphate metabolism and glucose repression signalling of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Researchers

UAM: Jaime Colchero, Arturo M. Baró
UNIOVI: Tamara de la Cera, Romina S. Chaves, Pilar Herrero, Fernando Moreno

Publications

T.de la Cera et al. Journal of Molecular Biology 319, 703-714 (2002).

Mediator factor Med8p interacts with the hexokinase 2: Implication in the glucose signalling pathway of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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F. Moreno-Herrero et al. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 280, 151-157 (2001).

Imaging and mapping protein-binding sites on DNA regulatory regions with atomic force microscopy

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F. Moreno-Herrero et al. FEBS Letters 459, 427-432 (1999).

Analisis by atomic force microscopy of Med8 binding to cis-acting regulatory elements of the SUC2 and HXK2 genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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Fernando’s CV