Dr. Clara Garcia Astrain

Research Staff


Dr. Clara Garcia Astrain
Research Staff

Centro Joxe Mari Korta
Avenida de Tolosa, 72
20018 Donostia-San Sebastián

email: clara.garciaastrain@polymat.eu


Dr. Clara García-Astrain received her BSc in Chemistry (2009) from the University of Navarra and her MSc in Renewable Materials Engineering (2012) from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). She undertook her PhD at the Engineering School of Gipuzkoa (UPV/EHU) and performed a research stay at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Germany), obtaining her doctorate in 2015. Her thesis work focused on the development of click cross-linked hydrogels and nanocomposites for biomedical applications. After finishing her PhD, she continued as a postdoctoral researcher at the UPV/EHU and completed a short stay at the Institute of Polymer Science and Technology (ICTP-CSIC). In 2016, she moved to the Institute of Chemistry and Processes for Energy, Environment and Health (ICPEES) from the University of Strasbourg (France), to work at the group of Prof. Luc Avérous. There, she focused on the valorization of biopolymers for the design of innovative materials. Later, she moved back to the Basque Country to work at BCMaterials with Prof. Senentxu Lanceros on the development of smart materials for biomedical applications. In 2018, she joined CICbiomaGUNE as a Juan de la Cierva postdoctoral fellow to work in the lab of Prof. Luis M. Liz-Marzán on the design of polymer nanocomposites to create scaffolds for 3D sensing and imaging applications. In 2024, she joined POLYMAT as an Ikerbasque Fellow.

Honors and awards

2023 Ikerbasque Fellowship (2023 Call, Start June 2024)
2020 Juan de la Cierva Incorporación Fellwoship (2019 Call, Started January 2021)
2017 Juan de la Cierva Formación Fellowship (2016 Call, Started October 2018)
2015 Best PhD award 2015 from the Specialized Group of Polymers (GEP) of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (RSEQ)
2011 PhD Scholarship from the University of the Basque Country


The main research line of Dr. Clara García-Astrain is focused on the development of tailored functional hydrogels for biosensing applications. In the last years she has acquired significant experience in the development of polymer-based plasmonic scaffolds for biosensing and bioimaging applications in complex 3D cell models. She is interested in the development of functional polymers as sensing materials, with a special interest in modelling bacterial infections and cancer using more realistic 3D models.

Responsive Polymers for Therapeutics