Aitor Hierro

Ikerbasque Research Professor
+34 946 01 8003

Membrane Trafficking Laboratory

Biofisika Institute (CSIC-UPV/EHU)
Science Park of the UPV/EHU
Barrio Sarriena s/n. 48940 Leioa, Bizkaia (Spain)

Short bio

Aitor Hierro obtained his Bachelor and Doctorate degrees in Biochemistry at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). As a PhD student, he examined the regulatory effects of phosphorylation of a nuclear chaperone and its interaction with histones. Between 2002 and 2007, he conducted his postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, USA) under the supervision of Prof. James H. Hurley. During this period, his research was focused on the multivesicular-body sorting pathway. In 2008, Dr. Hierro joined CIC bioGUNE and began his independent research work on structural aspects of endosomal trafficking regulation and its role in physiological malfunction and disease. His research focuses on protein interactions regulating the higher levels of functionality. This research concentrates on the subtle interactions that regulate the transport of components between cell compartments and the role of miss-deliveries in the genesis of various diseases. One of the most important challenges in the trafficking field is deciphering the fidelity code by which cargo proteins are selectively recognized and delivered. Dr Hierro's laboratory has been focusing on the mechanisms and specific interactions during selective recruitment of cargo molecules from endosomes; He also investigates how the trafficking routes in this compartment are exploited by toxins and pathogens.

Dr. Hierro's lab uses a multidisciplinary approach including X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, small angle X-ray scattering, biochemical reconstitution, ITC and SPR to uncover these higher order mechanisms in intracellular trafficking. The group fosters trans-disciplinary collaboration among world-class experts in computational simulations and cell biology for testing the mechanisms of the proposed structural models.