Active Research Projects


BIOCELLPHE provides frontier scientific and technological advancements to generate a breakthrough technology realizing the identification of proteins as diagnostic biomarkers at single-cell level with unmatched sensitivity, multiplexing capabilities and portability. BIOCELLPHE proposes the generation of engineered bacteria able to recognize and bind to specific protein targets on the surface of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) responsible for cancer metastasis, thereby triggering the production of chemical signals that can be detected simultaneously, and with extremely high sensitivity by surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS).

Our role in this project is to develop artificial intelligence algorithms capable of analyzing SERS spectra to identify patterns in the data that provide information for the detection and identification of Raman reporters on the surface of CTCs.

EU contribution
Overall budget: € 3.577.312,50
Funded Under: H2020-EU.1.2.1.
Date: April 2021 – March 2025

Additional information:

cancer digital twins

The Digital Twins Study, led by the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), explores the transition from precision medicine to High-Definition Medicine. This study collects a vast amount of information from participating patients such as: clinical data for each patient, molecular data from the patient’s tumor and information about habits, lifestyle, and environmental risks.

Utilizing wearable electronic devices, real-time monitoring of data such as physical activity, heart rate, emotions, blood pressure, or oxygen saturation will be conducted. This extensive dataset will be integrated through Artificial Intelligence to establish predictive models.

With the insights gained from this study, future expectations include the ability to create Predictive Models of patients (“Digital Twins”) to predict the course of their disease, personalize the assessment of treatment effectiveness and evaluate the optimal approach to treating each patient.

LIA group budget: € 132.000€
Date: January 2023 – January 2026

Additional information:


Deciphering bacterial infections with artificial intelligence tools and biocircuit engineering.

World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. The GOAL of this project PID2022-142815NB-I00 is to fight against AMR developing new antibiotics and new strategies to stop the appearance of antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics. For achieving that Goal, we will pursue the following objectives during this

  • Objective 1: Reverse engineer bacterial infections. Better understanding
    of how bacteria infect us.
  • Objective 2: Reverse engineer bacteria consortia and antibiotic resistance
    spread. Better understanding of how multicell bacteria consortia behaves
    and how plasmids and antibiotic resistance are transmitted between
    bacterial cells.
  • Objective 3: Forward engineering smart living antibiotics. Design biocircuits
    to engineer/reprogram bacteria to make them smart living drugs.
  • LIA group budget: € 177.500€
    Date: September 2023 – September 2026


    Placing the T3SS effector-network paradigm within a systems level understanding of in vivo infection.

    The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, focuses on gut mucosal surfaces, emphasizing their susceptibility to infections and the global health concern posed y diarrheal diseases. The overarching goals include exploring the “effector network” paradigm, investigating age and host genetic background influences on the expansive effector network, constructing computational models to predict infection outcomes, and studying signal transduction from effector injection into intestinal epithelial cells to immune responses.

    LIA group budget: € 64.452,5€
    Date: February 2022 – May 2027

    Past Research Projects


    PLASWIRES (PLASmids-as-WIRES), “Engineering Multicellular Biocircuits: Programming Cell-Cell Communication Using PLASmids as WIRES” is a synthetic biology FET-Proactive European research project (Future and Emerging Technology) coordinated by LIA-UPM in which we have designed and engineered a programmable antibiotic.

    PLASWIRES’ main goal: To show how to program a parallel distributed living computer using conjugative plasmids as wires between cellular processors.

    Additional information:


    InGEMICS (Ingeniería Microbiana, Salud y Calidad de Vida) is a Madrid interdisciplinary research project that integrates omics technologies with data analysis and mathematical modelling tools to confront some of the current most relevant challenges in Biomedicine and particularly those ligated to the comprehension and manipulation of microbial systems and their interactions.

    Additional information:



    We are also partners in the project on synthetic biology called EVOPROG: “General-Purpose Programmable Evolution Machine on a Chip.  Start: October, 2013. Duration of the project: 36 months. 

    Additional information:


    Spanish Project TIN2016-81079-R titled: “Ingeniería de biocircuitos programables para computación analógica, multicelular y espacial.”

    Our current 3-years research project from the Spanish Plan Estatal de I+D+i have begun in January 2017.




    Spanish research project “Ecuaciones en diferencias y aproximación constructiva: teoría y aplicaciones”, Ref. MTM2014-54053-P. Duration of the project: 36 mothns. Start: January, 2015.


    Bacterial Computing with Engineered Populations (BACTOCOM): LIA Group has participated also in the European Synthetic Biology project called BACTOCOM.


    Modelling of biological processes using P Systems and designing new biomolecular computing devices: Proyecto TIN2009-14421. Funded by MICINN. Dates: Jan. 2010 – Dec. 2012. PI: Alfonso Rodríguez-Patón.