Sílvia Osuna Oliveras

Sílvia Osuna Oliveras

Universitat de Girona

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Sílvia Osuna received her PhD in 2010 from the University of Girona (UdG) at the Institut de Química Computacional (IQC). In 2010, she moved to the group of Prof. Houk at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Since then, Sílvia has worked in computational design of enzymes of medical and pharmaceutical interest. Sílvia has more than 100 research publications, and been recently awarded the 2023 Premio Nacional de Investigación - María Teresa Toral award, 2023 Societat Catalana de Química - talent jove award, 2021 EuChemS lecture award, the Catalan National Research Award – Young Talent 2019 from Fundació Catalana de Recerca i Innovació (FCRi), among others. Her group is currently funded by the European Research Council project - Consolidator Grant (ERC-2022-CoG-101088032), ERC- Proof of Concept (ERC-2022-POC-101112805), two I+D Spanish MINECO project (PID2021-129034NB-I00, PDC2022-133950-I00), and Human Frontier Science Program Grant.

Research interests

Sílvia’s research lies at the interface between computational chemistry and biology. Her research focuses on the study of biochemical processes mainly related to enzyme catalysis. Her lab is developing new computational tools for predicting which amino acid changes are required to the enzyme structure for allowing novel function, enhancing a promiscuous side reaction, or expanding its substrate scope. Her goal is to enable the routine computational design of proficient enzymes to boost their use in industry for the synthesis of pharmaceutically relevant targets. She also applies the developed methodologies to the study of the recognition and assembly process of biomolecules with carbon-based materials.   

Selected publications

- Busch M R, Drexler L, et al. 2023, 'Retracing the Rapid Evolution of an Herbicide-Degrading Enzyme by Protein Engineering'ACS Catalysis, 13, 15558-15571.

- Palone A, Casadevall G, Ruiz-Barragan S, et al. 2023, 'C-H Bonds as Functional Groups: Simultaneous Generation of Multiple Stereocenters by Enantioselective Hydroxylation at Unactivated Tertiary C-H Bonds', Journal Of The American Chemical Society, 145, 29, 15742 - 15753.

- Schneider A, Curado C, Lystbaek TB, Osuna S & Hauer B 2023, 'Harnessing the Structure and Dynamics of the Squalene-Hopene Cyclase for (-)-Ambroxide Production', Angewandte Chemie-international Edition, 62(22):e202301607.

- Casadevall G, Duran C & Osuna S 2023, 'AlphaFold2 and Deep Learning for Elucidating Enzyme Conformational Flexibility and Its Application for Design', Jacs Au, 3, 6, 1554-1562.