Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Structure-functional characterization of human host defence ribonucleases and drug design against antimicrobial resistance.

    Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
    1989 …2023

    Research activity per year

    If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

    Personal profile

    Research interests

    I am leading since 2009 the research group on “Human host defense RNases” at the Dpt. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Following 5 years of postdoctoral studies (1 at the National Institutes of Health and 4 at the University of Bath), I was awarded in 2002 with a Ramon y Cajal senior researcher contract and I am currently working as a Full Professor at the UAB. I have been awarded 10 public research Grants as Principal Investigator and have published more than 90 papers in international peer-review journals. My main research interest focuses on the mechanism of action of human host defense RNases, as lead proteins for the design of novel therapies.

    Since my PhD I have contributed to the understanding of the mechanism of action of host ribonucleases: first identification of a substrate binding site, pioneer in the development of novel high yield expression systems for recombinant RNases’ production, first 3D crystal structures and screening methodologies for the elucidation of their antimicrobial mechanism of action.

    I was first to propose RNases as antimicrobial proteins and contributed to more than 50% of publications using the term antimicrobial RNases. My group was also first in the identification of antimicrobial peptides derived from RNases. Recently we have established in our laboratory all the methodology to analyse the RNases action on small RNA and have reported the selectivity of human RNase2 on tRNAs and the protein involvement in the host antiviral activity against single stranded RNA viruses.

    During the past 20 years I have leaded several topic issues on the structural functional properties of RNases and written several reviews to introduce new concepts in that field. Based on the structure-function knowledge of host RNases I am currently working on the design of alternative antimicrobial agents to fight bacterial resistance and have being awarded 3 transfer of technology projects.

    During my career thanks to stages abroad and collaborative works, I contributed to introduce to our laboratory at the UAB: molecular biology techniques for production of recombinant RNases, X-ray crystallography and cellular infection models.

    I am also actively involved as an associate editor of two first quartile journals and act as a regular reviewer of research articles and participate in national and international evaluation agencies.

    Research work has been carried out in parallel with teaching, students supervising and managing tasks. I have been coordinator of the Master program and the PhD doctoral studies on Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicines, and I am currently in charge of a Master course on Structural Biology and a 4th Grade course in Advanced Structural Analysis Methodologies in the UAB Grade of Biochemistry.

    Indicators of scientific production:

    H index=43; hi10: 73; 4530 citations (Google Scholar).

    93 indexed references (Web of Science): 17% as first author and 51% as corresponding author; 90% as corresponding during the last 10 years. Average citations/year, last 5 years: 288. WoS Researcher ID: B-9038-2012.

    2 Patents.


    Supervision of 13 PhD Thesis: 10 defended and 3 ongoing; supervision of 4 external PhD works; 17 master works and 1 Final Grade Work per year; and supervision of 5 Postdoctoral researchers.

    Author of 33 structures deposited at the Protein Data Bank and 2 Transcriptomic data.




    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action

    Education/Academic qualification

    Ph. D., Doctor en Ciencias Biológicas, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

    Award Date: 1 Feb 1994

    Masters, Máster en Bioquímica Clínica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

    Award Date: 15 Jul 1988

    Degree, Licenciada en Ciencias Biológicas, Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

    Award Date: 1 Jul 1986

    External positions

    Investigador "Ramón y Cajal", Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

    1 Feb 20039 Dec 2004

    Ajudant d'Universitat (Y1), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

    15 Sept 200031 Jan 2003

    Ajudant de Facultat (Y2), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

    15 Sept 199814 Sept 2000

    Investigador Postdoctoral, Dpt. Biochemistry, University of Bath, UK

    1 Jul 199831 Dec 2000

    Research Officer, University of Bath

    1 Jul 199831 Dec 2001

    Ajudant d'Escola Universitària (Y3), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

    4 Apr 199514 Sept 1998

    Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health, USA (NHI)

    1 Jan 199531 Dec 1995

    Professor Associat, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

    15 Sept 199214 Sept 1995

    Ajudant d'Escola Universitària (Y3), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

    1 Oct 199015 Feb 1992


    Dive into the research topics where Ester Boix Borras is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
    • 1 Similar Profiles

    Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

    Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or