Prof. Marcelo Calderón


Prof. Marcelo Calderón

Faculty of Chemistry,
University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU,
Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 3, 20018.
Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain

Tel:+34 943 01 8182


Marcelo Calderón started his professional career in Argentina where he obtained a Bachelor (Licenciatura) degree in Chemistry in 2003 and a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Sciences in 2007, from the National University of Córdoba. He worked on the synthesis of dendritic amphiphilic polymers for his doctoral thesis, under the supervision of Prof. Miriam Strumia. During the course of the doctoral thesis, he had the opportunity to visit several national and international research groups, which motivated him to move to Germany to perform a postdoctoral research project at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2007. There he pursued the synthesis of polymer-drug conjugates for the passive targeted delivery of drugs, genes, and imaging probes, under the supervision of Prof. Rainer Haag. After successful completion of a 3-years postdoctoral tenure he started to perform activities as independent researcher as Junior Group Leader in 2010, within the frame of the Freie Universität Berlin Focus Area NanoScale, and as Assistant Professor, from 2013 to 2018. In 2019 he joined Polymat as an Ikerbasque Research Professor.

Honors and awards

Marcelo completed his bachelor and doctoral studies with fellowships from the YPF Foundation and the Research Council of Argentina (CONICET), respectively. He was the recipient of the Arthur K. Doolittle Award in 2010 (American Chemical Society, Polymer Materials: Science and Engineering Division), the Cesar Milstein Fellowship in 2011 (Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Argentina), the NanoMatFutur Grant for Young Scientists from the German Ministry of Science in 2012 (BMBF), an Ikerbasque Research Professorship in 2018, and was highlighted as 'Emerging Investigator' by the Royal Society of Chemistry journals Chemical Communications (2015) and Journal of Material Chemistry B (2017).


The materials that are currently used in the clinics are strongly restricted regarding their disease targeting capabilities and 'on-demand' therapeutic function. Taking this into consideration, over the last years the group has focused the activities toward the development of polymer based nanomaterials that are able to sense environmental triggers and respond to them at the site of action as novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches. The research activities aim at understanding the physico-chemical parameters that should be controlled in order to develop novel efficient materials suitable for nanomedicine.
The group has established chemical methodologies for the development of environmentally responsive nanogels and polymer-drug/dye conjugates. Several local, national, and international collaborations were established in order to study the potential of the developed smart architectures in different biological models. The materials synthesized by the group were successfully used for imaging, controlled drug delivery, tumor ablation by hyperthermia, capture and quantification of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), and topical drug delivery.
More information can be found in:

Responsive Polymers for Therapeutics