Skip to main content
Sergi  Garcia-Manyes

Professor Sergi Garcia-Manyes

Professor of Biophysics

  • Mechanics of Life Leverhulme DSP & BiPAS CDT Director
  • Professor of Physics and Structural Biology
  • Head of Group

Research interests

  • Biomedical and life sciences
  • Physics

Biography

Prof. Sergi Garcia-Maynes' profile at the Thomas Young Centre

Biography

Prof. Sergi Garcia-Manyes graduated in Chemistry (BSc) from the University of Barcelona in 2000 with Honors. He got his MSc in Analytical Chemistry in 2001 and obtained his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the same University in 2005 under the supervision of Prof. Fausto Sanz. His PhD work focused on the study of the nanomechanical properties of well-defined surfaces using SPM techniques, mainly AFM. These studies gained insight into the basic elastic and plastic deformation properties of a wide variety of substrates, spanning from ionic crystals to HOPG and lipid bilayers, at the nanoscale. During his PhD studies, he undertook short research visits to the Materials Science Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (California) in the group of Prof. Miquel Salmeron and to the Biology Department of Columbia University (New York), in the group of Prof. Julio Fernandez.

Shortly after completing his PhD, Sergi joined the group of Prof. Julio Fernandez at Columbia University, firstly as a postdoctoral researcher and then as a research associate. From 2005 until 2012 he used the newly developed single molecule force-clamp technique to study the conformational dynamics of single proteins during their individual folding pathways and to elucidate the effect of a mechanical force on the outcome of a chemical reaction, at the single bond level.  His research has been published in several papers in the leading journals of the field.

In 2012 Sergi established his laboratory at King’s College London, where he is a tenured Professor in Biophysics in the Department of Physics and a group leader in Structural Biology in the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics.  His multidisciplinary research group is composed of a mixture of talented PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, the aim of which is to understand how mechanical force affects the mechanical stability of cellular membranes and also to elucidate how individual proteins equilibrate under the effect of a calibrated mechanical force. Sergi was recipient of the 2012 award of the Spanish Biophysical Society. He is currently funded by the European Union through three grants from the Marie Curie Action, by the BBSRC research council, by the Royal Society, by the British Heart Foundation and by Fight for Sight. He is recipient of the prestigious EPSRC Early Career Fellowship. 

Research

The main focus of Sergi's research is to understand the molecular mechanisms that confer mechanical stability to well-defined systems, which is a major challenge in modern physics, chemistry and biology.

For example, while cell mechanics are known to play a decisive role in determining cell shape and also in endo- and exocytosis, the chemical origin of the membrane mechanical resistance remains largely unknown. Using force-spectroscopy AFM, the team can decipher the molecular determinants that provide lipid bilayers with unexpectedly high mechanical stabilities.

Most importantly, Sergi's team investigate the molecular mechanisms by which proteins equilibrate under the effect of a constant stretching force. We use the newly developed single molecule force-clamp spectroscopy technique to elucidate, with exquisite sub-Ǻngström sensitivity, the dynamics of proteins as they unfold, collapse and refold in response to a mechanical force. Sergi is most interested in examining the conformational dynamics of a single refolding protein during its individual folding trajectory from highly extended states.

Finally, they use a force-clamp assay to examine, at the single bond level, how force affects the chemical mechanisms of disulfide bond reduction in proteins exposed to mechanical forces. Within a multidisciplinary approach, they conduct a series of innovative experiments to directly probe the effect of force on the function of an individual folding polypeptide and also the mechanisms by which mechanical forces modulate chemical reactions. The force spectroscopy data is providing a new view that will help guide the development of theories on the dynamics of folding and ab-initio studies of a chemical reaction placed under a stretching force, of common occurrence in nature.

http://garcia-manyeslab.org/

    Research

    ARTICLE Microscope
    Biological Physics & Soft Matter

    The Biological Physics and Soft Matter group aims to use bespoke technology and analytical methods borrowed from the Physical Sciences to address important fundamental questions in Biology.

    LCN image-01
    London Centre for Nanotechnology

    The London Centre for Nanotechnology is a UK-based multidisciplinary enterprise operating at the forefront of science and technology. Its purpose is to solve global problems in information processing, healthcare, energy and the environment through the application of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

    OILRIG
    Lipids and Membranes Research Interest Group

    A Lipids and Membranes Research Interest Group

    cancer cell banner
    Cancer Biology

    Cancer Biology

    Cells
    King’s MechanoBiology Centre (KMBC)

    The King’s MechanoBiology Centre gives a common platform for researchers across different disciplines with complementary interests in mechanobiology

    Crick
    The Francis Crick Institute

    King’s is delighted to be a founding academic partner alongside UCL and Imperial College in the Francis Crick Institute, joining the multidisciplinary research expertise from all the Partners together to deliver world-leading biomedical research.

    News

    King's research shows 'softer' proteins enter the cell nucleus faster

    How soft or rigid proteins are determines how quickly they enter the cell nucleus, according to new research from King’s College London and the Francis Crick...

    Optogenetic experiment

    Fundamental research into proteins in the cell membrane receives BBSRC Pioneer Award

    The first-of-its-kind exploratory study will examine how force impacts assembly for critical proteins in the body.

    Thumbnail 780x440

    New technique to studying the movements of proteins could reveal insight into age-related diseases

    Physicists captured new data on the hidden complexity of protein folding

    protein-folding

    King's awarded multi-disciplinary Mechanobiology doctoral training scheme by Leverhulme Trust

    The Mechanics of Life Doctoral Scholarship Programme will draw on King’s research expertise in mechanobiology

    ARTICLE DNA

    King's Centre for the Physical Science of Life celebrates its launch

    The new centre ushers in a new era for physical science

    Paula Booth at the Centre fro Physical Science of Life launch

    Nanostrand newsletter available for download

    Nanostrand is the newsletter for the Photonics & Nanotechnology Group and the Biological Physics and Soft Matter Group in the Department of Physics.

    Photonics & Nanotechnology Group

    Researchers awarded £3.5m to study how certain cells use and resist force

    Researchers have long understood that biochemical signals affect cells, and recently it has been recognised that mechanical forces regulate a wide variety of...

    An airway bronchoconstricting

    Royal Society Wolfson Fellowships awarded to academic staff in Departments of Physics and Mathematics

    Two Royal Society Wolfson Fellowships have been awarded to academic staff in the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences.

    Graphs and equations in blue

    Events

    10AprForce Talk - Cheon - Web Thumbnail

    Force Talk: Professor Jinwoo Cheon - Designer nanomachines for mechano-neuroscience and beyond

    A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Jinwoo Cheon

    Please note: this event has passed.

    08MayForce Talk - Prevedel - Web Thumbnail

    Force Talk: Dr Robert Prevedel - Visualizing mechanical properties in biology using Brillouin microscopy

    A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Dr Robert Prevedel

    Please note: this event has passed.

    22MayForce Talk - Liu - Web Thumbnail

    Force Talk: Professor Zheng Liu - Deciphering the temporal code of mechanotransduction in living cells at the single-molecule level

    A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Zheng Liu

    Please note: this event has passed.

    24AprForce Talk - Baker - Web Thumbnail

    Force Talk: Professor Aaron Baker - Biophysical rejuvenation of stem cells for enhancing vascular regeneration

    A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Aaron Baker

    Please note: this event has passed.

    05JunForce Talk - Sugioka - Web Thumbnail

    Force Talk: Dr Kenji Sugioka - Mechanical regulation of cytokinesis during embryogenesis

    A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Dr Kenji Sugioka

    20FebPSoL Inaugural Symposium

    Centre for the Physical Science of Life Inaugural Symposium

    Please join us in-person for the Centre for the Physical Science of Life Inaugural Symposium at King’s College London.

    Please note: this event has passed.

    28FebForce Talk - Chaudhuri - Web Thumbnail

    Force Talk: Professor Ovijit Chaudhuri - Cell migration and morphogenesis in viscoelastic matrices

    A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Ovijit Chaudhuri

    Please note: this event has passed.

    27MarForce Talk - Engler - Web Thumbnail

    Force Talk: Professor Adam J Engler - Understanding and exploiting cancer mechanobiology

    A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Adam J Engler

    Please note: this event has passed.

    17JanForce Talk - Salaita - Web Thumbnail

    Force Talk: Professor Khalid Salaita - DNA probes light the way for receptor mechanobiology

    A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Khalid Salaita

    Please note: this event has passed.

    31JanForce Talk - Gardel - Web Thumbnail

    Force Talk: Professor Margaret Gardel - Control of cell shape and proliferation in model epithelial tissue

    A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Margaret Gardel

    Please note: this event has passed.

      Research

      ARTICLE Microscope
      Biological Physics & Soft Matter

      The Biological Physics and Soft Matter group aims to use bespoke technology and analytical methods borrowed from the Physical Sciences to address important fundamental questions in Biology.

      LCN image-01
      London Centre for Nanotechnology

      The London Centre for Nanotechnology is a UK-based multidisciplinary enterprise operating at the forefront of science and technology. Its purpose is to solve global problems in information processing, healthcare, energy and the environment through the application of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

      OILRIG
      Lipids and Membranes Research Interest Group

      A Lipids and Membranes Research Interest Group

      cancer cell banner
      Cancer Biology

      Cancer Biology

      Cells
      King’s MechanoBiology Centre (KMBC)

      The King’s MechanoBiology Centre gives a common platform for researchers across different disciplines with complementary interests in mechanobiology

      Crick
      The Francis Crick Institute

      King’s is delighted to be a founding academic partner alongside UCL and Imperial College in the Francis Crick Institute, joining the multidisciplinary research expertise from all the Partners together to deliver world-leading biomedical research.

      News

      King's research shows 'softer' proteins enter the cell nucleus faster

      How soft or rigid proteins are determines how quickly they enter the cell nucleus, according to new research from King’s College London and the Francis Crick...

      Optogenetic experiment

      Fundamental research into proteins in the cell membrane receives BBSRC Pioneer Award

      The first-of-its-kind exploratory study will examine how force impacts assembly for critical proteins in the body.

      Thumbnail 780x440

      New technique to studying the movements of proteins could reveal insight into age-related diseases

      Physicists captured new data on the hidden complexity of protein folding

      protein-folding

      King's awarded multi-disciplinary Mechanobiology doctoral training scheme by Leverhulme Trust

      The Mechanics of Life Doctoral Scholarship Programme will draw on King’s research expertise in mechanobiology

      ARTICLE DNA

      King's Centre for the Physical Science of Life celebrates its launch

      The new centre ushers in a new era for physical science

      Paula Booth at the Centre fro Physical Science of Life launch

      Nanostrand newsletter available for download

      Nanostrand is the newsletter for the Photonics & Nanotechnology Group and the Biological Physics and Soft Matter Group in the Department of Physics.

      Photonics & Nanotechnology Group

      Researchers awarded £3.5m to study how certain cells use and resist force

      Researchers have long understood that biochemical signals affect cells, and recently it has been recognised that mechanical forces regulate a wide variety of...

      An airway bronchoconstricting

      Royal Society Wolfson Fellowships awarded to academic staff in Departments of Physics and Mathematics

      Two Royal Society Wolfson Fellowships have been awarded to academic staff in the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences.

      Graphs and equations in blue

      Events

      10AprForce Talk - Cheon - Web Thumbnail

      Force Talk: Professor Jinwoo Cheon - Designer nanomachines for mechano-neuroscience and beyond

      A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Jinwoo Cheon

      Please note: this event has passed.

      08MayForce Talk - Prevedel - Web Thumbnail

      Force Talk: Dr Robert Prevedel - Visualizing mechanical properties in biology using Brillouin microscopy

      A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Dr Robert Prevedel

      Please note: this event has passed.

      22MayForce Talk - Liu - Web Thumbnail

      Force Talk: Professor Zheng Liu - Deciphering the temporal code of mechanotransduction in living cells at the single-molecule level

      A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Zheng Liu

      Please note: this event has passed.

      24AprForce Talk - Baker - Web Thumbnail

      Force Talk: Professor Aaron Baker - Biophysical rejuvenation of stem cells for enhancing vascular regeneration

      A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Aaron Baker

      Please note: this event has passed.

      05JunForce Talk - Sugioka - Web Thumbnail

      Force Talk: Dr Kenji Sugioka - Mechanical regulation of cytokinesis during embryogenesis

      A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Dr Kenji Sugioka

      20FebPSoL Inaugural Symposium

      Centre for the Physical Science of Life Inaugural Symposium

      Please join us in-person for the Centre for the Physical Science of Life Inaugural Symposium at King’s College London.

      Please note: this event has passed.

      28FebForce Talk - Chaudhuri - Web Thumbnail

      Force Talk: Professor Ovijit Chaudhuri - Cell migration and morphogenesis in viscoelastic matrices

      A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Ovijit Chaudhuri

      Please note: this event has passed.

      27MarForce Talk - Engler - Web Thumbnail

      Force Talk: Professor Adam J Engler - Understanding and exploiting cancer mechanobiology

      A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Adam J Engler

      Please note: this event has passed.

      17JanForce Talk - Salaita - Web Thumbnail

      Force Talk: Professor Khalid Salaita - DNA probes light the way for receptor mechanobiology

      A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Khalid Salaita

      Please note: this event has passed.

      31JanForce Talk - Gardel - Web Thumbnail

      Force Talk: Professor Margaret Gardel - Control of cell shape and proliferation in model epithelial tissue

      A public seminar as part of the Force Talk series exploring mechanobiology, given by Professor Margaret Gardel

      Please note: this event has passed.