Published Date

Dr. Héctor Viadiu 


Chemistry of Biomacromolecules

Address:Circuito Exterior s/n, Ciudad Universitaria.District Coyoacán.
ZIP Code 04510

 Mexico City. Mexico

Telephone: +52 (55) 56-22-47-70 ext. 46612
Fax: +52 (55) 56-16-22-17



Hector Viadiu studied Biology at the Faculty of Sciences in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He later studied a Master in Biotechnology from the Institute of Biotechnology also at UNAM studying in-vitro evolution and enzyme kinetics of beta-lactamases. He carried out his doctoral studies at Columbia University studying the specificity of restriction endonucleases by X-ray crystallography. He realized his postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School in several projects learning cryo-electron microscopy. Later on, he started his career as independent investigator at the University of California. He recently rejoined his alma mater UNAM as a Faculty in the Chemistry Institute.



Dr. Viadiu is an expert in protein structure determination by electron microscopy single particle analysis, electron crystallography, and X-ray crystallography. His work has focused mainly on proteins that bind DNA and, in a lesser degree, on membrane proteins.

In particular, he has focused on understanding the structure of proteins involved in cancerous processes. Dr. Viadiu is a leader in the study of the transcription factors of the p53 protein family. His research group has solved the structure of the protein most frequently mutated in cancerous cells, p53, at an unprecedented resolution to explain differences in its ability to trigger differential gene expression. His research group also solved for first time the DNA-binding domain of p73, a p53-related protein. In order to suggest new cancer treatments, his work aims to understand how the p73 protein can replace the function of the mutated p53 protein in cancerous cells. He has defined the differences in the specificity profiles of these two important proteins.


Dr. Viadiu has overseen the work of 4 postdoctoral fellows, 1 Ph.D. Student and 11 M.Sc. Students.

Dr. Viadiu has taught the following graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of California.

01/2014 -­ 04/2014 Electron Microscopy of Macromolecules - GRADUATE COURSE

01/2013 -­ 04/2013 Electron Microscopy of Macromolecules - GRADUATE COURSE

09/2012 -­ 12/2012 Electron Microscopy of Macromolecules - GRADUATE COURSE

09/2012 -­ 12/2012 Structural Biochemistry - UNDERGRADUATE COURSE

09/2011 -­ 12/2011 Structural Biochemistry - UNDERGRADUATE COURSE

01/2011 -­ 04/2011 Introduction to Protein Crystallography - GRADUATE COURSE

09/2010 -­ 12/2010 Structural Biochemistry - UNDERGRADUATE COURSE

09/2009 -­ 12/2009 Structural Biochemistry - UNDERGRADUATE COURSE

09/2009 -­ 12/2009 Macromolecular Recognition - GRADUATE COURSE

09/2008 -­ 12/2008 Structural Biochemistry - UNDERGRADUATE COURSE

01/2008 -­ 04/2008 Structural Biochemistry - UNDERGRADUATE COURSE

01/2008 -­ 04/2008 Introduction to Protein Crystallography - GRADUATE COURSE

Please, contact him by email, regarding the possibility to carry out research work at the postdoctoral, Ph.D., M.Sc., and B.Sc. levels in his laboratory.

2010 NSF Career Award USA, National Science Foundation.
2008 Hellman Award USA, Hellman Foundation.
2001 Damon-­Runyon Fellowship USA, Damon-­Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.
1993 Fulbright-­CONACYT Fellowship, USA.
1992 University of California-­UNAM Fellowship, USA



1. Structural studies on mechanisms to activate mutant p53.Viadiu H, Fronza G, Inga A. Subcell Biochem. 2014;85: 119-32. doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-9211-0_7. Review. PMID: 25201192.


2. Transactivation specificity is conserved among p53 family proteins and depends on a response element sequence code. Ciribilli Y, Monti P, Bisio A, Nguyen HT, Ethayathulla AS, Ramos A, Foggetti G, Menichini P, Menendez D, Resnick MA, Viadiu H, Fronza G, Inga A. Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Oct;41(18):8637-53. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt657. Epub 2013 Jul 26. PMID: 23892287.


3. Crystal structures of the DNA-binding domain tetramer of the p53 tumor suppressor family member p73 bound to different full-site response elements. Ethayathulla AS, Nguyen HT, Viadiu H. J Biol Chem. 2013 Feb 15; 288(7):4744-54. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.408039. Epub 2012 Dec 14. PMID: 23243311.


4. The tetramer of p53 in the absence of DNA forms a relaxed quaternary state. Pham N, Lucumi A, Cheung N, Viadiu H. Biochemistry. 2012 Oct 16;51(41):8053-5. doi: 10.1021/bi301193k. Epub 2012 Oct 2. PMID: 23025236.


5. Structure of p73 DNA-binding domain tetramer modulates p73 transactivation. Ethayathulla AS, Tse PW, Monti P, Nguyen S, Inga A, Fronza G, Viadiu H. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 17;109(16):6066-71. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1115463109. Epub 2012 Apr 2.PMID: 22474346.


6. Projection map of aquaporin-9 at 7 A resolution. Viadiu H, Gonen T, Walz T. J Mol Biol. 2007 Mar 16;367(1):80-8. Epub 2006 Dec 20. PMID: 17239399.


7. Domain structure of separase and its binding to securin as determined by EM. Viadiu H, Stemmann O, Kirschner MW, Walz T. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2005 Jun;12(6):552-3. Epub 2005 May 8. PMID: 15880121.


8. Allosteric effects of Pit-1 DNA sites on long-term repression in cell type specification. Scully KM, Jacobson EM, Jepsen K, Lunyak V, Viadiu H, Carrière C, Rose DW, Hooshmand F, Aggarwal AK, Rosenfeld MG. Science. 2000 Nov 10; 290 (5494):1127-31. PMID: 11073444.


9. Structure of BamHI bound to nonspecific DNA: a model for DNA sliding. Viadiu H, Aggarwal AK. Mol Cell. 2000 May; 5 (5):889-95. PMID: 10882125.


10. The role of metals in catalysis by the restriction endonuclease BamHI. Viadiu H, Aggarwal AK. Nat Struct Biol. 1998 Oct; 5(10):910-6. PMID: 9783752.

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