The PBE lab is based in the Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal (IRYCIS), Madrid. If you are interested in working with us, get in touch.

PBELAB team People



Álvaro San Millán Group Leader

I earned my PhD in 2010 from the Complutense University of Madrid and moved to Oxford to work as a postdoc in Craig MacLean’s lab. In 2016 I came back to Spain to start my own lab in the Ramon y Cajal Hospital with a Miguel Servet Fellowship. I am a veterinarian fascinated by the microbial world in general and by plasmids in particular. I am also a big fan of dogs, TV, football (soccer) and people with a sense of humour.







I am broadly interested in understanding the mechanisms that fuel bacterial evolution and their implications for antimicrobial resistance. In particular, I have been working on determining recombination and mutation rates in different populations of E. coli. Now, as a postdoc in the PBE lab, I am thrilled to explore the evolution of plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance. When I am not in the lab, l like mountain biking and brewing my own beer (though not necessarily at the same time)







PhD student

I have been interested in biology since I was a kid. I graduated in Microbiology at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) and after working in a food-microbiology laboratory I decided to study a MSc in Biotechnology in Madrid. During my master studies I worked with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the CNB and now I am enthusiastic to work in Álvaro’s lab with plasmid-mediated evolution. I consider myself a fan of gastronomy, the sea (especially sharks), music and a history freak.





Lab technician 

I have just finished my studies on “Anatomical pathology and cytology” at Francisco Vitoria University, Madrid. Although I am not very experienced in microbiology, I have recently discovered the huge potential of this field. I am therefore looking forward to go in depth, as a part of PBE lab. I consider myself a hard working person, as well as exigent and vital. Feline lover in general (and cats in particular), I enjoy cinema and gastronomy, and I never say “no” to a good wine. I am also curious by nature, always willing to discover new places and cultures.




Aida Alonso

PhD student

I am a microbiology enthusiast. I graduated in Biology at the Universidad de Alcalá (Madrid, Spain) and I also have an MSc in Microbiology, Public Health and Infectious Diseases. My path in science started with the study of the pathological effects of amyloid proteinopathy in E. coli, at the CIB (Madrid, Spain). Then, I fell in love with this microorganism and its plasmids. Now, I am very excited to be part of the PBE lab. In my free time, I like cooking, brewing my own beer, watching classic films and listening to rock music. But, most of all, I love spending time with my dogs.





Ricardo León


As a microbiologist, I am interested in the role of mobile genetic elements in genome evolution and ecological adaptation. A few years ago and due to my growing interest in bioinformatics, I specialized with an MSc in computational biology. And now, as a postdoc in Alvaro’s lab, I want to center my activity on the bioinformatic analysis of genomes focusing on plasmid dynamics, their evolution, and horizontal transfer. Further, I also enjoy spending time with friends hiking in nature, exploring the city, and indoors playing board games.







Since I graduated in Biochemistry at the Complutense de Madrid (UCM), I have been interested in metabolism and how microorganisms orquestrated the metabolic network to complete their growth cycle. Specially, during my PhD I was focused in the study of the metabolism of predatory bacteria, which have been proposed as promising alternatives to antibiotics. I joined the PBE lab to work as a postdoc and study the dynamic interation prey/predator from an evolutionary point of view, as well as to understand the metabolism behind the evolution of plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance in bacteria. I love doing sports, cooking and exploring new food to try.




Laura Toribio

Master’s student

As a biologist and enthusiast of the microbial world, I feel drawn to investigate the mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens become resistant to antibiotics. After studying the transcriptional regulation of a conjugative plasmid during my master’s thesis —work that got me into bioinformatics— I decided to further specialize in bioinformatic analysis through a second master’s degree. Now, I am thrilled to be part of the PBE lab team and continue working at understanding the evolution of plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance through molecular and omic approaches. In my free time you can find me binge-watching TV series, playing guitar and spoiling my pet bunny. I also love hiking and exploring nature.




Jon Sicilia

Master’s student

I studied Biology at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. As soon as I realized about the potential of Bioinformatics and Computational biology, I decided to specialize in this field. Nowadays I’m doing my Master’s thesis at the PBElab, corresponding to the MSc in Bioinformatics applied to Personalized Medicine and Health (ISCIII/CNIO). Our aim is to test the role of small plasmids in bacterial evolution with a bioinformatic approach; since this is not my background, I’m learning a lot about bacteria. Music is my passion, and I also love ethology (as a dog trainer), animals, reading comic books, and playing videogames.





Craig MacLean
Web: MacLean Lab

Macarena Toll-Riera
Web: UZH – Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies

Rafael Peña-Miller

Pau Carazo
Web: Behaviour and Evolution lab

Jose Antonio Escudero
Web: Molecular Basis of Adaptation

Karl Heilbron
Web: ReseachGate Profile