Prof. Pere Clapés

Prof. Pere Clapés

Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia IQAC-CSIC

Training Manager. First supervisor of DC3.

  • Chemistry graduation (1985) and PhD (1988) at University of Barcelona.
  • Post-doc Center for Chemical and Chemical Engineering, Lund (Sweden) (1989-90).
  • Independent scientific career as Research associate (1993).
  • Full professor (2010) and head of the Biotransformation and Bioactive Molecules group at Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia IQAC-CSIC.
  • Published > 190 scientific papers, patents and book chapters in the field of biocatalysis.


Research focus on:

  • Enzymes as catalysts in organic synthesis, particularly in asymmetric C-C bond formation.
  • Mid/long term scientific goal is to provide a groundbreaking biocatalyst platform to perform biocatalytically new-to-nature C–X bond formation reactions for a wide variety of molecules in a selective way.


Key expertise

The research of our group is focused on elucidate novel stereoselective biocatalysts based on known and artificial metallolyases for new-to-nature stereoselective C–X (X = C, N, O, S) bond formation. Metagenomic prospecting and directed evolution is used to identify hits, followed by focused mutagenesis to fine tune their activity and selectivity. The new evolved biocatalysts are screened toward diverse new-to-nature transformations using key enabling high-throughput screening (HTS) tools. Our final goal is to provide a groundbreaking biocatalyst platform to perform new-to-nature C–X bond formation reactions for a wide variety of molecules, expanding the portfolio of available biocatalytic reactions and opening new biosynthetic routes inaccessible by conventional biocatalysis.

Research facilities include organic/biocatalysis labs full equipped. Omics (metabolomics, lipidomics and proteomics) and MS-imaging; high field NMR; electron paramagnetic resonance; infrared and UV-visible spectroscopy; SAXS/WAXS; microanalysis; thermal analysis and calorimetry; analytical instrumentation: HPLC; GC, UPLC-MS (exact mass). GMO authorized lab: molecular biology and microbiology labs fully equipped including lab scale cultivation facilities. Several central big research facilities are available within the University of Barcelona, UB Scientific Park and at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (ALBA 3rd generation Synchrotron Light, Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).–1345667278676.html


Hosting Institution

IQAC-CSIC carries out research of excellence in chemical sciences to address and solve problems of socio-economic relevance, mainly those related to human health, the sustainability of chemical processes and products, and the needs for novel materials for different applications. The research developed at IQAC is organized around two main nodes: Biological chemistry and surfactants and nanotechnology, and it is facilitated by a number of key enabling technologies (i.e. theoretical and computational chemistry; statistical modeling; chemical synthesis; biological assays; physical chemistry techniques; biotechnology; formulation science and technology). By the objectives pursued, many of the investigations performed by the research groups lie at the intersection between nodes. The biological chemistry node carries out fundamental and applied chemical research involving the development of cutting-edge chemical methods among them biocatalysis and the application of innovative chemical approaches to investigate biological processes. Biocatalysts for the obtaining of molecules of interest in different fields, their modification by means of genetic engineering assisted by computational design and the creation of a toolbox of enzymes with a la carte activities and selectivity, in one of the relevant research lines in IQAC.




Relevant Publications

1. Marín-Valls, R.; Hernández, K.; Bolte, M.; Parella, T.; Joglar, J.; Bujons, J.; Clapés, P., Biocatalytic Construction of Quaternary Centers by Aldol Addition of 3,3-Disubstituted 2-Oxoacid Derivatives to Aldehydes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142 (46), 19754-19762.

2. Hernández, K.; Joglar, J.; Bujons, J.; Parella, T.; Clapés, P., Nucleophile Promiscuity of Engineered Class II Pyruvate Aldolase YfaU from E. Coli. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57 (14), 3583-3587.

3. Szekrenyi, A.; Garrabou, X.; Parella, T.; Joglar, J.; Bujons, J.; Clapés, P., Asymmetric assembly of aldose carbohydrates from formaldehyde and glycolaldehyde by tandem biocatalytic aldol reactions. Nat. Chem. 2015, 7 (9), 724-729.