Download Curriculum Vitae

Jose Rizo-Rey serves as the Chair of the Molecular Biophysics graduate program. He was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1959. He received a B.Sc. degree in Organic Chemistry in 1981 from the University of Barcelona. During these college studies, he became very interested in quantum field theory and statistical mechanics, which led him to obtain a second B.Sc. degree, this time in theoretical physics, from the same University in 1988. During the 1982-1988 period, he also obtained M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry from the University of Barcelona, working in the laboratories of Ernest Giralt and Enrique Pedroso. He first worked on pioneering methodology to analyze peptides attached to solid supports by gel-phase 13C NMR spectroscopy, and later on the development of polar protecting groups for peptide synthesis. In 1989 he started postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Lila Gierasch at UT Southwestern, working on conformational studies of a variety of peptides by NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics. In the early 1990s he shifted his interest to protein NMR and protein folding. He established his independent research group in 1995 at UT Southwestern. The main focus of his research is the study of the mechanisms of neurotransmitter release and intracellular membrane fusion using structural biology, a variety of biophysical techniques and reconstitution approaches. A bilingual environment in Barcelona, where most people speaks Catalan and Spanish, together with his move to the US, have led to a duality of names: his official name is Jose Rizo-Rey, but he signs all his publications as Josep Rizo. The Rizo lab homepage can be found at



University of Barcelona (1981), Organic Chemistry
Graduate School
University of Barcelona (1982), Organic Chemistry
University of Barcelona (1988), Theoretical Physics
Graduate School
University of Barcelona (1988), Organic Chemistry

Research Interest

  • Mechanisms of intracellular membrane fusion
  • Mechanisms of neurotransmitter release and presynaptic plasticity
  • Mechanisms underlying prostate cancer
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Structural biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

The Janus-faced nature of the C(2)B domain is fundamental for synaptotagmin-1 function.
Xue M, Ma C, Craig TK, Rosenmund C, Rizo J Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 2008 Nov 15 11 1160-8
Munc18-1 binds directly to the neuronal SNARE complex
Dulubova, I., Khvotchev, M., Liu, S., Huryeva, I., Sudhof, T. C. and Rizo, J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2007 104 2697-2702
Structural Basis for a Munc13-1 Homodimer to Munc13-1/RIM Heterodimer Switch.
Lu,J., Machius,M., Dulubova,I., Dai,H., Sudhof,T.C., Tomchick,D.R., and Rizo,J. PLoS. Biol. 2006 4 1159-1172
Three-dimensional structure of an evolutionarily conserved N-terminal domain of syntaxin 1A
I. Fernandez, J. Ubach, X. Zhang, T. C. S|dhof and J. Rizo Cell 1998 18 841-849

Honors & Awards

  • K.P. Professor
    Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China (2008)
  • Molecular Biosciences Lecturer
    Wichita State University (2006)
  • Visiting Lecturer
    Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (2006)
  • Established Investigator Award
    American Heart Association (1998)
  • IV Sant Albert Award for Graduate Research
    School of Chemistry Graduates, Catalan Chemical Association (Spain) (1983)
  • Student Award
    Catalan Society of Physical, Chemical, and Mathematical Sciences (Spain) (1983)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Chemical Association
  • Biophysical Society
  • Sociedad de Biofísica de España