Saez-Rodriguez Group

Systems Biomedicine

Alberto Valdeolivas Urbelz

After an educational training in Physics and Biophysics, I gained strong technical and analytical skills in Software Development thanks to 5+ years of IT experience in the banking sector. Then, I decided to apply this experience to one of my passions, Biology. So I studied a master’s degree in Bioinformatics, which drove me to Marseille where I conducted my Master Thesis under the supervision of Dr. Anaïs Baudot in the Institut de Mathématiques de Marseille. During my master research stay, I carried out statistical analyses over omics data derived from different prostate cancer cell lines. Subsequently, Dr. Anaïs Baudot and Prof. Pierre Cau gave me the opportunity to undertake a doctoral thesis under their guidance. My PhD project was focused on both the development of mathematical and computational tools grounded on network theory and their application to biological questions. In particular, we aimed at exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying the complex phenotype of some rare human disorders characterized by accelerated aging. In 2019, I joined the Saez-Rodriguez’s group at Heidelberg University as a postdoctoral researcher to work in the integration of omics data and biological networks.

Research Interests

I have always been fascinated by the complexity of biological systems. In a human being, a huge number of cells must communicate and work in a coordinated manner to ensure the proper functioning of our body. Moreover, thousands of different proteins interact among them and with other molecules inside every cell to keep us alive. In this context, I am interested in the different techniques, data and research topics that can help us to understand what is actually happening inside cells under different states. We can nowadays take advantage of the massive amount of biological data supplied by the new high-throughput technologies. These data can be inspected from a Systems Biology perspective, aiming at deciphering how a system operates by analyzing it as a whole, not just as a collection of parts. We should therefore look at multiple interacting components simultaneously, purpose for which network theory seems to be a suitable tool.

Professional Career

2019-Present: Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Heidelberg University, Faculty of Medicine, and Heidelberg University Hospital, BioQuant, Heidelberg, Germany
2016-2019: Teacher assistant and research supervisor for master students in traineeship, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France
2010-2015: Functional Software Analyst and Software Developer in the banking sector, Eagle Informatica and Accenture Coritel, Madrid, Spain


2015-2019: Ph.D. in Bioinformatics, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille Medical Genetics - ProGeLife, Marseille, France (Supervisors: Dr. Anaïs Baudot and Prof.Pierre Cau)
2014-2015: M.Sc. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, CNIO - Spanish National School of Public Health - Healthy Institute Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
2001-2007: B.Sc. in Physics, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.