Francisco Javier Vilaplana Domingo
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, HEAD OF D
If you are interested in performing an internship or your master thesis as a part of our team, feel free to contact me directly with your motivation and interests.
Presentation and reserch interests
I am a multidisciplinary scientist with experience in carbohydrate biotechnology, bioanalytical chemistry, and polymer/materials sciences. My current research interests focus on the biotechnological exploitation of carbohydrates from biomass for applications as bio-based materials and improved nutrition.
The area of specialty of my research lays on understanding the complex molecular structure of cell wall and energy-reserve polysaccharides from plants and other eukaryotic organisms (e.g. fungi). We integrate bioanalytical glycomic approaches (involving chemo-enzymatic fractionation, advanced chromatography, mass spectrometry, and statistics/bioinformatics), with supramolecular structural and biomechanical analyses. My ultimate aim is to provide models for the molecular architecture of eukaryotic cell walls. These structural models can be directly related to the biosynthetic pathways of the constituent carbohydrates in cell walls, their remodeling and self-assembly, their biological function, and macroscopic properties (e.g. digestibility, solubility, aggregation, rheological and mechanical properties).
Our fundamental research is directly aligned with the sustainability goals and towards the transition to a bio-based economy, with implications for the deconstruction of biomass carbohydrates, for the design of functional carbohydrate-based materials, and for understanding the nutritional and health implications of carbohydrate-rich foods.