Professor Juan Mareque-Rivas

Professor Juan Mareque-Rivas
Telephone: (01792) 513195
Room: Staff Office - 438
Third Floor
Grove Building
Singleton Campus

My research is focused on how to design, synthesise, characterise, assemble, fabricate, operate and develop functional molecular systems (drug delivery vehicles, sensors, motors, actuators, and other molecule-based devices and machines) for different applications.

I did my PhD in supramolecular chemistry at the University of Missouri-St Louis under the supervision of Lee Brammer and postdoctoral research in bioinorganic/bioorganic chemistry at MIT in the laboratory of Steve Lippard. I held posts at the EastCHEM School of Chemistry (Lecturer and Senior Lecturer) of the University of Edinburgh, the School of Engineering (Reader) of the University of Aberdeen, and The Centre for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials (CIC biomaGUNE) where I continue to be Ikerbasque Research Professor and Group Leader of the Theranostic Nanomedicine Laboratory.

I have an interest in integrating chemical, biological and electronic functions; on how to mix molecular building blocks on a single platform; how to retain/enhance function in moving from solution to a surface and from bulk to the nanoscale; surface functionalization of nano- and microparticles and for devices; understanding and resolving the interference between building blocks; molecules, materials and systems that display stimuli-responsiveness.

My lab seeks the development and screening of novel types of organised nano/microscale architectures that are spontaneously self-assembled from multiple components and which when combined together exert special (therapeutic, diagnostic, molecular recognition, sensing or catalytic) functions. An important current focus in the lab is the design, development and study of molecules and nanoparticle constructs for immunomodulation and cancer immunotherapy.  


  1. Traini, G., Ruiz-de-Angulo, A., Blanco-Canosa, J., Zamacola Bascarán, K., Molinaro, A., Silipo, A., Escors, D., Mareque-Rivas, J. Cancer Immunotherapy of TLR4 Agonist-Antigen Constructs Enhanced with Pathogen-Mimicking Magnetite Nanoparticles and Checkpoint Blockade of PD-L1 Small 1803993
  2. Bocanegra Gondan, A., Ruiz-de-Angulo, A., Zabaleta, A., Gómez Blanco, N., Cobaleda-Siles, B., García-Granda, M., Padro, D., Llop, J., Arnaiz, B., Gato, M., Escors, D., Mareque-Rivas, J. Effective cancer immunotherapy in mice by polyIC-imiquimod complexes and engineered magnetic nanoparticles Biomaterials 170 95 115
  3. Castro, S., Ruggiero, E., Ruiz-de-Angulo, A., Rezabal, E., Mareque-Rivas, J., Lopez, X., López-Gallego, F., Salassa, L. Riboflavin as a bioorthogonal photocatalyst for the activation of a PtIV prodrug Chemical Science 8 6 4619 4625
  4. Ruiz-de-Angulo, A., Zabaleta, A., Gómez-Vallejo, V., Llop, J., Mareque-Rivas, J. Microdosed Lipid-Coated67Ga-Magnetite Enhances Antigen-Specific Immunity by Image Tracked Delivery of Antigen and CpG to Lymph Nodes ACS Nano 10 1 1602 1618
  5. Hernández-Gil, J., Cobaleda-Siles, M., Zabaleta, A., Salassa, L., Calvo, J., Mareque-Rivas, J. An Iron Oxide Nanocarrier Loaded with a Pt(IV) Prodrug and Immunostimulatory dsRNA for Combining Complementary Cancer Killing Effects Advanced Healthcare Materials 4 7 1034 1042

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  • CH-127 Chemical Practice

    This module will introduce students to the three broad employment areas for chemistry: research, teaching or industrial positions. The lecture portion will cover fundamental aspects of being a professional chemist including safety, report writing, project management, and teaching skills. Students will then spend 60 hours with research faculty, on an industrial field trip or serving as a teacher's aide. Assessment will be by coursework and a written report.

  • CH-340 Advanced Topics in Inorganic and Materials Chemistry

    This module will provide a fuller and more comprehensive understanding of inorganic chemistry built upon the principles introduced in Years 1 and 2. It will illustrate how various classes of inorganic compounds and materials, including coordination compounds and coordination polymers, cluster compounds, organometallic compounds, nanomaterials and colloidal inorganic nanoparticles, porous materials and supramolecular systems are prepared and characterised. The student will gain an understanding of inorganic materials properties and of the principles and experimental techniques that underpin their synthesis. The module will illustrate specific applications of inorganic materials and nanomaterials and will show the importance and use of inorganic chemistry, nanomaterials and metal-containing units in biology and medicine.

  • CH-346 Medicinal Chemistry Project

    3rd year projects are the opportunity to bring all you've learnt during your degree together and apply that knowledge to solve a problem. In Swansea these projects can be embedded in active research groups across the colleges of science, engineering or medicine, allowing you to build a network and experience in your chosen specialism within the chemical sciences. These projects are your opportunity to demonstrate to employers that you have a full understanding of your course and are able to direct your own studies, manage an independent research project and effectively communicate your findings. This selection suggests an interest in a project embedded within a research group in engineering, focusing on materials chemistry or chemical engineering

  • CH-349 Integrated Topics in Chemistry

    This module gives students the opportunity to explore options within Chemistry, giving opportunity to apply prior learning to advanced research topics and allowing students to pursue more specialised topics related to their research interests and aligned with the research areas represented within the Department. Study areas available will include advanced spectroscopic techniques, the application of instrumentation in chemistry, as well as more advanced synthetic pathways and a return to more integrated study of the traditional branches of organic/inorganic/physical chemistry. Classes will be supported with workshops which will help students gain a thorough understanding of the integrated nature of Chemistry at an advanced level. Where possible, topics will be taught using relevant examples from primary literature, encouraging students to evaluate and appraise a range of primary literature sources and locate appropriate new sources. The module is designed to be flexible to allow the content to vary with the research areas represented within the Department.


  • Development of nanoparticle systems for cancer treatment (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr David Williams
  • Chemical and nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems for cancer immunotherapy (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Mariolino Carta
  • Design, functionalisation, fabrication and characterisation of Microneedles-based devices for cancer immunotherapy (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Owen Guy
  • Polymers of Intrinsic Microporosity for Heterogeneous Catalysis (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Mariolino Carta
  • The Generation of Solar Fuels in Unconventional Reaction Media (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Moritz Kuehnel