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Department of Pharmacology



Maria Marti Solano, PhD - Group Leader

Royal Society University Research Fellow


E-Mail: mm2402 [at]
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 3 34014



Receptor Signalling, GPCRs, Systems pharmacology, Computational Structural Biology, Personalised Medicine


Investigator biography

Maria obtained her PhD in Biomedicine at the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona (Spain) under the joint supervision of Dr Manuel Pastor and Dr Jana Selent, in which she applied advanced computational structural biology techniques to study biased agonism in G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) implicated in antipsychotic treatment. She later joined the group of Professor Peter Kolb at the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department of the Philipps University Marburg (Germany), where she employed chemoinformatics and virtual screening methods to search for conformation-specific receptor modulators.

In 2018, she joined Dr Madan Babu’s lab in the Structural Studies Division of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (UK). There, she worked in a systems pharmacology project addressing signalling variability arising from tissue-specific receptor isoform expression, with the support of two highly competitive postdoctoral fellowships from the Federation of Biochemical Societies (Long-Term Fellowship) and the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship).

Dr Marti Solano became a Royal Society University Research Fellow and a group leader at the Department of Pharmacology in October 2022. Her research group is interested in applying state-of-the-art computational biology methods to decipher how changes in molecular structure and pathway architecture determine receptor signalling outputs. This can not only boost our understanding of receptor pathway physiology and its influence on cell function, but also suggest new advanced models for the study of GPCRs in health and disease, guide the selection of pathway-specific GPCR drugs with improved efficacy and safety profiles, and ensure that we use the therapeutics that are currently in the clinic in a more personalised manner.


Key publications


  • Marti-Solano M*, Crilly SE, Malinverni D, Munk C, Harris M, Pearce A, et al. Combinatorial GPCR isoform expression impacts signalling and drug responses. Nature 587(7835):650-656 (2020). *co-corresponding author.
  • Yu X, Nagai J, Marti-Solano M, Soto JS, Coppola G, Babu MM, et al. Context-Specific Striatal Astrocyte Molecular Responses Are Phenotypically Exploitable. Neuron 108(6):1146-1162.e10 (2020).
  • Rodríguez-Espigares I, Torrens-Fontanals M, Tiemann JKS, Aranda-García D, Ramírez-Anguita JM, Stepniewski TM, Worp N, Varela-Rial A, Morales-Pastor A, Medel-Lacruz B, Pándy-Szekeres G, Mayol E, Giorgino T, Carlsson J, Deupi X, Filipek S, Filizola M, Gómez-Tamayo JC, Gonzalez A, Gutiérrez-de-Terán H, Jiménez-Rosés M, Jespers W, Kapla J, Khelashvili G, Kolb P, Latek D, Marti-Solano M, Matricon P, Matsoukas MT, Miszta P, Olivella M, Perez-Benito L, Provasi D, Ríos S, Torrecillas IR, Sallander J, Sztyler A, Vasile S, Weinstein H, Zachariae U, Hildebrand PW, de Fabritiis G, Sanz F, Gloriam, DE, Cordomi A, Guixà-González R, Selent J. GPCRmd uncovers the dynamics of the 3D-GPCRome. Nat Methods 17(8):777-787 (2020).
  • Martí-Solano M, Schmidt D, Kolb P, Selent J. Drugging specific conformational states of GPCRs: challenges and opportunities for computational chemistry. Drug Discov Today 21(4): 625-31 (2016).