Molecular Infection Biology



Daniel López

Group Leader


Research summary

Our laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of bacterial infections. We work at subcellular level studying the structural and biological role of the so-called bacterial lipid rafts and the role that these subcellular platforms play in the regulation of signaling in pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus. We also work at multicellular level, exploring how microbial communities evolve during an infection process. Our goal is to develop new strategies and antimicrobial therapies to eliminate infection diseases.



Mietrach N, Damián-Aparicio D, Mielich-Süß B, López D, and Geibel S. Substrate interaction with the EssC coupling protein of the Type VIIb secretion system. J Bacteriol 2020; 202 (7): e00646-19.

Alcorlo M, Dik D, De Benedetti S, Mahasenan K, Lee M, et al. Structural basis of denuded glycan recognition by SPOR domains in bacterial cell division. Nat Commun 2019; 10: 5567.

García-Betancur JC and Lopez D. Cell Heterogeneity in staphylococcal communities. J Mol Biol 2019; 23: 4699.

García-Fernández E, Koch G, Wagner RM, Fekete A, Stengel ST, Schneider J, Mielich-Süss B, Geibel S, Markert SM, Stigloher C, Lopez D. Membrane Microdomain Disassembly Inhibits MRSA Antibiotic Resistance. Cell. 2017 Nov 30;171(6):1354-1367.e20

García-Betancur JC, Goñi-Moreno A, Horger T, Schott M, Sharan M, Eikmeier J, Wohlmuth B, Zernecke A, Ohlsen K, Kuttler C, Lopez D. Cell differentiation defines acute and chronic infection cell types in Staphylococcus aureus. Elife. 2017 Sep 12;6. pii: e28023.


A number of bacterial cell processes are confined in platforms termed functional membrane microdomains, some of whose organizational and functional features resemble those of lipid rafts of eukaryotic cells. How bacteria organize these intricate platforms and their biological significance remains an important question. My laboratory is a key laboratory in the field of functional membrane microdomain bacterial compartmentalization and its role during infections, using MRSA (Methicillin-resistance Staphylococcus aureus) as model organisms. Our research is supported by competitive funding, such as ERC-StG-2013 or H2020 RIA Biotech-03-2016. We aim to identify the structure and molecular mechanisms that leads to bacterial membrane compartmentalization and their role during staphylococcal infections that are resistance to antibiotic treatments. To do this, we work in the interface of molecular and cellular biology with other scientific disciplines, such as structural, infection, synthetic and systems biology. This interactive and multidisciplinary environment provides to my laboratory a means to open new areas to study new mechanisms of bacterial infections and to discover new antimicrobial strategies to fight antibiotic resistance and multi-drug resistance pathogens, with special emphasis on those associated with hospital infections.



López group 2024


Daniel López Principal investigator
María López Bravo Postdoctoral Senior scientist
Julia García Fernández Postdoctoral scientist
Marta Ukleja Postdoctoral scientist
Elena Pajares Martínez Postdoctoral scientist
Esmeralda Clara Solar Venero Postdoctoral scientist
Martín Sastre Predoctoral scientist
Samuel García Predoctoral scientist
Héctor Olmeda López Predoctoral scientist
Tamara Alonso Blanco Predoctoral scientist
David Torrens González Predoctoral scientist
Natalia Seco Alberca Predoctoral scientist
Irene Piedad de Andres Segovia Master Student
Ana Marina Cabrerizo Alonso Technician

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