CECAM/Psi-k research conference: BioMolecular Electronics (BIOMOLECTRO)

Location : Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
August 27, 2018 – August 31, 2018

The aim of the conference is to bring together theoreticians and experimentalists working on the electron transport through biomolecules such as proteins, peptides or DNA, as well as through bio-inspired devices and systems like bacterial nanowires or biofilms.  Our goal is to identify the challenges that theoreticians should resolve to quantitatively describe the electron transport in bio-systems.


One of the central topics of our conference is the study of the electron transfer in protein-based junctions. Until recently, most of the experimental and theoretical studies of the electron flow in proteins aimed at understanding biological electron transfer. However, in recent years, the electron transport through proteins incorporated in solid-state junctions has been studied experimentally [1,3], showing that it is surprisingly effective and that their conductance is comparable to that of much shorter alkane-dithiol chains [1-3]. Another key topic is the so-called DNA-based electronics. The great interest in the DNA molecule as a possible component of molecular electronic devices is due to its unique recognition and self-assembling properties. To this aim, the understanding of the electron transport in DNA molecules is a necessary prerequisite [4]. Last but not least, we will discuss bacterial nanowires, which are electrically conductive appendages produced by a number of bacteria and whose purpose is to facilitate long-range extracellular electron transfer. 


In all these fascinating topics, theory and simulations have played very little role so far and there are still many open questions concerning the transport mechanism in these systems. Most of the theoretical input has been restricted to simple phenomenological electron transport models, with essentially no microscopic input. The problem is that many of these systems are rather big to be described by truly ab initio transport or electronic structure methods. Moreover, many of them are rather floppy, thus fluctuations play a crucial role in the way electrons flow. This means that a proper description often requires some kind of combination of electronic structure methods and molecular dynamics simulations. In addition, the description of the electron transport in molecular junctions requires the study of the interaction between the molecules and the metallic electrodes, which effectively makes the systems even bigger. 


Thus, the most important goal of the conference is to bring together worldwide experts from the fields of electronic structure calculations for biological systems, molecular dynamics simulations,  semi-empirical approaches for bio-systems, and electron transport in molecular junctions to discuss how to develop the necessary theoretical tools.  The leading experimentalists in the field will help theoreticians identify the key theory questions that need to be addressed. The dream is to advance transport theory to help experimentalists in designing a new generation of experiments and  to elucidate the electron transport mechanisms in bio-inspired electrical circuits. 


Please submit your abstract for either oral or poster presentation by the 25th of May.

The event will take place at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. It is free of charge (up to 100 participants) thanks to support from CECAM and Psi-K. There are also three travel grants (of 300 € each, subject to tax) for master and PhD students whose research is related to scientific computation and which are generously offered by Catedra UAM-Fujitsu. 

For further details, please contact Linda A. Zotti (linda.zotti(at)uam.es)


[1] N. Amdursky et al., Adv. Mater. 26, 7142 (2014).

[2] I. Ron et al., Accounts Chem. Res. 43, 945 (2010). 

[3] O.E. Ocampo et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137, 8419 (2015).

[4] D. Porath et al. , Top. Curr. Chem. 237, 183 (2004).


Montse López Martínez (TU Wien)




Roman Korol (University of Toronto)
Karen Morenz (University of Toronto)


Spiros S. Skourtis (invited speaker) (Department of Physics, University of Cyprus)


Ioan Baldea (invited speaker) (Universität Heidelberg )
Turkan Bayrak (Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf)
Leo Bonato (De Gruyter Publishing)
Marcus Elstner (invited speaker) (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
Artur Erbe (invited speaker) (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf)
Sybille Gemming (Research Center Rossendorf)
Natacha Gillet (Karlsruhe Instittue of Technology)
Rafael Gutierrez (Dresden University of Technology)
Daniel Holub (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
Dmitry A. Ryndyk (invited speaker) (University of Bremen)
Jingjing Ye (Molecular Biophysics group,Peter Debye Institute for Soft Matter Physics,Universität Leipzig )
Johanna Zessin (Lebniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden)


Gabor Vattay (Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Physics of Complex Systems)


Jerry Alfred Fereiro (Weizmann Institute of Science)
David Cahen (invited speaker) (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Yonatan Dubi (invited speaker) (Ben Gurion University, Israel)
Kavita Garg (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Michael Iv (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology)
Ariel Levine (Technion)
Ron Naaman (invited speaker) (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Uri Peskin (invited speaker) (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology)
Danny Porath (invited speaker) (Hebrew University)
Ayelet Vilan (invited speaker) (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Elinor Zerah-Harush (Ben-Gurion University)
Roman Zhuravel (Institute of Chemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)


Eleonora Alfinito (invited speaker) (Università del Salento)
Matteo Beccaria (Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica Ennio De Giorgi – Unisalento)
Luisa Torsi (invited speaker) (
Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”)


Fabian Pauly (invited speaker) (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology)


Miguel Emiliano Ventura Macias (Centro de Investigación Científica y Estudios Superiores de Ensenada)

The Netherlands

Xinkai Qiu (University of Groningen)
Herre van der Zant (invited speaker) (Delft University of Technology)


Christian Nijhuis (invited speaker) (National University of Singapore)


Nicolas Agrait (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid)
Stefan Bilan (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Elena Díaz García (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Francisco Domínguez-Adame (Departamento de Física de Materiales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Miguel Garcia (Researcher)
Julio Gomez Herrero (Departamento Física de la Materia Condensada and IFIMAC Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
María Teresa González (Fundación IMDEA Nanociencia)
Cesar Gonzalez (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid)
Pau Gorostiza (invited speaker) (University of Barcelona)
Juan Hurtado Gallego (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) )
Rubén López Nebreda (UAM)
Manuel Lopez Ortiz (Instituto de Bioingeniería de Cataluña (IBEC))
Helena Lozano (Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC))
Miriam Moreno-Moreno (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Miguel Angel Niño Orti (IMDEA Nanoscience, Madrid)
María Ortega (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Lucía Palomino Ruiz (Departamento de Química Orgánica, Universidad de Granada)
Guillermo Perez del Pulgar (First emplyee/Researcher)
Sandra Rodriguez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Carlos Romero Muñiz (Universidad Autónoma de MadridMa)
Diego Soler Polo (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Departamento de Física Teórica de la Materia Condensada)
Jorge Trasobares (IMDEA Nanociencia)
Marisela Velez (ICP-CSIC)


José Guilherme Vilhena Albuquerque d’Orey (invited speaker) (University of Basel)


Sahin Uyaver (Turkish-German University)

United Kingdom

Jochen Blumberger (invited speaker) (University College London)
Ismael Diez Perez (invited speaker) ( Kings College London)
Zdenek Futera (University College London)
Xiuyun Jiang (University College London)
Edmund Leary (invited speaker) (University of Liverpool)


David Beratan (invited speaker) (Duke University, Durham)
Qiang Cui (Boston University)
Mohamed Y. El-Naggar (invited speaker) (University of Southern California)
Josh Hihath (invited speaker) (University of California)
Stuart Lindsay (invited speaker) (Arizona State University, USA)
Nikhil Malvankar (Yale University)
Agostino Migliore (invited speaker) (Duke University)
Priyanka Mondal (University Of Delaware)
Vladimiro Mujica (invited speaker) (Arizona State University)
Abraham Nitzan (invited speaker) (University of Pennsylvania)
Sivan Refaely-Abramson (invited speaker) (University of California)
David Waldeck (invited speaker) (University of Pittsburgh)

Monday August 27th 2018 – Day 1


  • 10:15 to 12:15 – Registration
  • 12:30 to 14:00 – Lunch
  • 14:15 to 14:30 – Welcome and Introduction
  • 14:30 to 15:30 – David Cahen
  • 15:30 to 16:30 – Stuart Lindsay
  • 16:30 to 17:10 – Coffee Break
  • 17:10 to 17:50 – E. Alfinito
  • 17:50 to 18:30 – Pau Gorostiza
  • 18:30 to 18:50 – F. Dominguez-Adame
  • 19:00 to 20:00 – Welcome Buffet

Tuesday August 28th 2018 – Day 2


  • 09:00 to 10:00 – M. Elstner
  • 10:00 to 10:20 – R. Gutierrez
  • 10:20 to 10:40 – N. Agrait
  • 10:40 to 11:20 – Coffee Break
  • 11:20 to 12:00 – I. Diez-Perez
  • 12:00 to 12:40 – G. Vilhena
  • 12:40 to 13:00 – X. Qiu
  • 13:00 to 15:00 – Lunch
  • 15:00 to 16:00 – L. Torsi
  • 16:00 to 16:40 – A. Vilan
  • 16:40 to 17:20 – Coffee Break
  • 17:20 to 18:00 – E. Leary
  • 18:00 to 18:40 – S. Refaely Abramson
  • 18:40 to 20:00 – Poster Session

Wednesday August 29th 2018 – Day 3


  • 09:00 to 10:00 – S. Skourtis
  • 10:00 to 10:40 – F. Pauly
  • 10:40 to 11:20 – Coffee Break
  • 11:20 to 12:00 – I. Baldea
  • 12:00 to 12:40 – D. Waldeck
  • 12:40 to 13:00 – J. Gomez Herrero
  • 13:00 to 15:00 – Lunch
  • 15:00 to 16:00 – R. Naaman
  • 16:00 to 16:40 – Coffee Break
  • 16:40 to 17:20 – A. Nitzan
  • 17:20 to 18:00 – A. Migliore
  • 20:00 to 23:00 – Social Dinner

Thursday August 30th 2018 – Day 4


  • 09:00 to 10:00 – J. Blumberger
  • 10:00 to 10:40 – C. Nijhuis
  • 10:40 to 11:20 – Coffee Break
  • 11:20 to 12:00 – V. Mujica
  • 12:00 to 12:40 – M. Y. El-Naggar
  • 12:40 to 13:00 – N. Malvankar
  • 13:00 to 15:00 – Lunch
  • 15:00 to 16:00 – D. Beratan
  • 16:00 to 16:40 – U. Peskin
  • 16:40 to 17:20 – Coffee Break
  • 17:20 to 18:00 – J. Hihath
  • 18:00 to 18:40 – D. Ryndyk

Friday August 31st 2018 – Day 5


  • 09:00 to 10:00 – H. van der Zant
  • 10:00 to 10:40 – D. Porath
  • 10:40 to 11:20 – Coffee Break
  • 11:20 to 11:40 – J. Zessin
  • 11:40 to 12:20 – A. Erbe
  • 12:20 to 13:00 – Y. Dubi
  • 13:00 to 15:00 – Lunch