evodynamics lab

Evolutionary dynamics of antibiotic resISTANCE

What drives the evolution of antibiotic resistance? How does resistance spread in bacterial populations? Can we predict the evolution of antibiotic resistance?  We are tackling these and other questions in the Evolutionary Dynamics of Antibiotic Resistance Lab, located at the Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research (Ramón y Cajal University Hospital) in Madrid. 


Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections are arguably one of the major threats to human health. Our laboratory seeks to understand the ecological and evolutionary processes that drive the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistant clones. Ultimately, this will allow us to develop new therapeutic approaches to tackle the evolution of antimicrobial resistance. We work on the following three highly inter-related topics (among others).

New strategies to counteract the evolution of antimicrobial resistance.

Resistance to virtually all antibiotics has been reported soon after their introduction to clinical use, suggesting that the apparition of resistance will eventually outpace humankind’s ability to develop new antimicrobial compounds. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new intervention strategies to counteract the evolution of antibiotic resistance. In the lab, we take advantage of recent molecular biology advances to develop new approaches to overcome antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations.

What drives the ecological and evolutionary success of high-risk bacterial clones?

One of the main drivers of the antimicrobial resistance crisis is the emergence and global dissemination of epidemiologically successful drug-resistant clones. These high-risk clones have acquired certain adaptive traits that increase their pathogenicity and survival skills, including the acquisition of antibiotic resistance. We take advantage of cutting-edge genetic technologies to understand the ecological and evolutionary bases of high-risk clone epidemiological success. We believe that this mechanistic understanding will feed essential information for predicting (and avoiding) future expansions of antimicrobial resistant high-risk clones and provide a conceptual framework to better manage infections.

The role of mobile genetic elements in bacterial evolution.​

Mobile genetic elements play a crucial role in bacterial ecology and evolution because they mobilize key traits by horizontal gene transfer. However, the evolutionary impact of mobile genetic elements goes above and beyond being mere gene delivery platforms. Recent evidence suggests that mobile genetic elements evolve differently than chromosomes. Using experimental approaches combined with mathematical simulations and bioinformatic analyses, we try to decipher and understand the rules governing mobile genetic element evolution.


Jerónimo Rodríguez-Beltrán

Group Leader

Jeronimo Rodríguez beltrán

My work focuses on understanding how bacteria evolve to resist antibiotics, outpacing human efforts to counter bacterial infections. During my PhD, I studied the genetic responses that bacteria elicit when treated with antibiotics, and specifically how these responses can promote bacterial survival and evolution. During my postdoc, I studied a complementary aspect of bacterial evolution; plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance. In 2021, I started the Evodynamics lab thanks to a Miguel Servet Fellowship. In my spare time, l like mountain biking and brewing my own beer.

Paula Ramiro Martínez

PhD Student

Paula Ramiro Martínez

I graduated in Biology at the Rey Juan Carlos University (Madrid, Spain) and have an MSc in Biotechnology. During my internship in clinical microbiology, I fell in love with this field and, above all, became quite interested in antibiotic resistance. Now, I am delighted to be part of the Evodynamics lab and to work on understanding bacterial evolution and its relation with antibiotic resistance. When I'm not in the lab, I love spending time with friends and family, watching series and movies, and reading.

Laura Jaraba Soto


Laura Jaraba

As a person with a profound curiosity for science, I am thrilled to work at the Evodynamics lab and learn new things daily. I am a hard-working, orderly person who tries to help as much as possible. In addition, I like animals and enjoy taking care of my cockatiels, playing video games or cooking sweets.



Cristina herencias rodríguez

Postdoc motivated by the problems that threaten our society, such as climate change and antimicrobial resistance. During my PhD, I focused on the implementation of sustainable processes for the separation of intracellular bioproducts with a metabolic perspective. In 2022, I obtained a Sara Borrell postdoctoral fellowship to develop new therapeutic approaches to tackle the current world health crisis of antibiotic resistance. I love practicing martial arts and traveling.


PhD Student

Laura Álvaro

I have studied a degree in Biology at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and then I worked in the University of León as a research assistant. I was involved in the molecular characterization of antibiotic-resistant bacteria present in food. During this job I became interested in antibiotic resistance and research. I am currently studying a master’s degree in Microbiology and Parasitology at the UCM. Recently I joined the lab to complete my Master’s Thesis. In my spare time, I love going to concerts and hiking.




I'm a Biology student at the Complutense University of Madrid. Evodynamics Lab is the starting line of my research career, which I've longed to start since I decided to focus on biotechnology during my degree studies. I'm currently doing an internship and my final degree project in the lab. I'm always down to work in new fields that prove a challenge and satisfy my curiosity, such as understanding the evolution of antibiotic resistance. In my free time, I love playing rugby, spending time in nature, and traveling as much as I can!



Ada Muñoz

I'm a biologist, graduated at Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). I'm currently doing a master's degree in Biotechnology and I'm thrilled to be part of the evodynamics lab for my Master’s Thesis to keep exploring the antibiotic resistance world. During my free time, I love swimming, traveling and spending time with my friends, family, and bird.

Lab Amigos

Meet our friends and collaborators!

PBE lab

Álvaro San Millán

PBE lab

EcoEvoBiome Lab

Teresa Coque

EcoEvoBiome Lab

MacLean Lab

Craig R. MacLean

MacLean Lab


Alfonso Santos López


MBA lab

Jose A. Escudero

MBA lab

Peña-Miller Lab

Rafael Peña Miller

Peña-Miller Lab

Nature Reviews Microbiology (2021)

Jerónimo Rodríguez-Beltrán, Javier DelaFuente, Ricardo León-Sampedro, R Craig MacLean, Álvaro San Millán.


ELIFE (2021)

Cristina Herencias, Jerónimo Rodríguez-Beltrán , Ricardo León-Sampedro, Aida Alonso-del Valle, Jana Palkovičová, Rafael Cantón, Álvaro San Millán


Jerónimo Rodríguez-Beltrán, Vidar Sørum, Macarena Toll-Riera, Carmen de la Vega, Rafael Peña-Miller, Álvaro San Millán




Jeronimo Rodriguez-Beltran, J Carlos R Hernandez-Beltran, Javier DelaFuente, Jose A Escudero, Ayari Fuentes-Hernandez, R Craig MacLean, Rafael Peña-Miller, Alvaro San Millan





Interested in working with us? We are always looking for motivated students and postdocs.

Please reach out to discuss opportunities!


Servicio de microbiología

Edificio de consultas externas, planta 0.

Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal

Crtra. Colmenar km 9.1 · 28034 ·  Madrid

Follow Jero on twitter!

Regulatory-fine tuning of mcr-1 increases bacterial fitness and stabilizes antibiotic resistance in agricultural settings.
This is one of the most important papers from my lab on evolutionary biology of #AMR , and massive congrats to @E_colicious and co

Must-Read Paper 👀 |
🧐 What is the impact of the multicopy nature of plasmids on their evolution? How does influence it?
🤔 Does genetic dominance make a real contribution to plasmid evolution?

These and other questions are addressed in:

Very proud of my PhD student @Kenyum_b for her first paper being out in @STOTEN_journal

Environmental stress increases the invasion success of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in river microbial communities


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