Cesar de la Fuente

Thesis Title

A broad-spectrum anti-biofilm peptide that targets a cellular stress response

Clubs/Programs involved in at UBC

  • Soccer (Metropolitan Football Club)
  • Basketball


  • American Society for Microbiology Travel Grant (2012)
  • University of British Columbia Robert Emmanuel & Mary Day Endowment Award (2012) 
  • Selected as “la Caixa” Fellow, awarded by the King and Queen of Spain (2012) 
  • Gordon Research Conference Travel Award 2014
  • University of British Columbia Travel Grant (2014) 
  • University of British Columbia Robert Emmanuel & Mary Day Endowment Award (2014)

Your Career Journey and Achievements

I am a Presidential Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where I lead the Machine Biology Group. Our goal is to expand nature’s repertoire to build novel synthetic molecular tools and devise therapies that nature has not previously discovered. The Machine Biology Group aims to develop computer-made tools and medicines that will replenish our current antibiotic arsenal. I have been recognized by MIT Technology Review in 2019 as one of the world’s top innovators for “digitizing evolution to make better antibiotics”. I was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Langer Prize (2019) and the ACS Infectious Diseases Young Investigator Award (2020). In addition, I have been named an ACS 2020 Kavli Emerging Leader in Chemistry (2020). Previously, I was named a Boston Latino 30 Under 30 (2016), a Wunderkind by STAT News (2018), a Top 10 Under 40 by GEN (2019), a Top 10 MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35 (Spain) (2016), and I am a recipient of the 2019 Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Young Investigator Award. My scientific discoveries have yielded over 75 peer-reviewed publications and multiple patents.


Grad Year:


UBC Degree/Program:

  • Ph.D./Microbiology & Immunology 
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, UBC, Dept. Microbiology&Immunology, 2015

UBC Supervisor:

  • Ph.D. supervisor: Dr. Robert E.W. Hancock

Other Education:

  • University of Leon, 2009, B.Sc. Biotechnology
  • University of Leon, 2009, M.Sc. Biotechnology
  • MIT, 2015-2019, Postdoctoral Fellow


A Coruna, Galicia, Spain

Job Title & Employer:

Presidential Assistant Professor/University of Pennsylvania

Current Location:

Philadelphia, PA, USA