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Óscar Llorca

Oscar Llorca was born on Jan 10th 1968 in Tudela, a medium-size city in Navarre, in the north of Spain. After 1-year as a student at a High School in St. Louis, Missouri (USA) in 1986-1987, he returned to Navarre for his graduate studies in Biology. Llorca graduated in the University of Navarre in 1992, and then moved to Madrid for his PhD studies. In 1996, Oscar Llorca obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB) in Madrid under the supervision of JL Carrascosa and JM Valpuesta. At the CNB, Llorca performed influential work on the structural characterization of prokaryotic and eukaryotic chaperonins using electron microscopy. This work was published in Nature, Nature Structural Biology and EMBO J, and it is highly cited. He joined the Chester Beatty Laboratories (Institute of Cancer Research, London) in 2000 as a postdoctoral scientist in the section of Cell and Molecular Biology supported by a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship. He characterized DNA repair complexes under the supervision of Keith R. Willison and Alan Ashworth, and in collaboration with the Imperial College. In June 2002, Oscar Llorca became a Group Leader at the Centre for Biological Research (CIB) in Madrid, belonging to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The CIB is a multi-disciplinary research institute with a strong Structural Biology Department. At the CIB, Llorca leaded a fully independent group and he is internationally recognized as a reference in the study of macromolecular complexes using electron microscopy. Oscar Llorca is full Professor from 2009. Llorca has been in the Directing board of the CIB-CSIC. He has been chairman of the panel for Spanish National Research grants in Cell and Molecular Biology. He has been LS1 panel member for ERC Starting Grants in three occasions. His main impact has been made in the applicability of single-particle 3D-electron microscopy to macromolecular complexes involved in DNA repair and RNA degradation. Llorca has also worked in Structural immunology of complement regulation in innate immunity. Llorca has published close to 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Nature, Nature SMB, Nature Comm., Molecular Cell, Genes and Development, EMBO Journal, Cell reports and PNAS USA, and others. In July 2017, Llorca has joined the CNIO to lead the Structural Biology Programme. One important goal will be applying cryo-EM methodologies to the study of molecular mechanisms in cancer pathways, as well as exploring the prospect of cryo-EM advances to help in drug discovery.