Iban Ubarretxena employs high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), in combination with functional experiments, to uncover the structure and mechanism of action of macromolecular protein complexes involved in human disease. Thanks to a Basque Government predoctoral fellowship he obtained his PhD in Biochemistry in 1998 at the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands), where he focussed on the structure and function of outer membrane phospholipase A. For his first postdoc (1999-2002) he was awarded a Basque Government postdoctoral fellowship to work at Yale University (USA) in the laboratory of Don Engelman on transmembrane protein-protein interactions and cell membrane structure. For his second postdoc (2002-2004) he worked as an EMBO postdoctoral fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (UK) on membrane protein structure determination by cryo-EM in the laboratory of Chris Tate and Richard Henderson. For his first faculty appointment as group leader (2004-2007) he joined City University of New York (USA) and in 2006 he obtained a CAREER award from the US National Science Foundation. In 2007 he moved his laboratory to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, also in New York City. In 2018 he returned to the Basque Country thanks to an Ikerbasque Research Professor position, and was appointed Director of Instituto Biofisika.