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 80 research publications, and been recently awarded the Catalan National Research Award – Young Talent 2019 from Fundació Catalana de Recerca i Innovació (FCRi), and Young Investigator Award by Lilly and Royal Spanish Society of Chemistry RSEQ (2019). Her group is funded by the European Research Council project - Starting Grant (ERC-2015- STG-679001), the I+D MINECO project (PGC2018-102192-B-I00), and Human Frontier Science Program Grant (RGP0054/2020).
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.
- Calvó-Tusell C, Maria-Solano MA, Osuna S & Feixas F 2022, 'Time Evolution of the Millisecond Allosteric Activation of Imidazole Glycerol Phosphate Synthase', Journal Of The American Chemical Society, 144, 16, 7146 - 7159.
- Casadevall G, Duran C, Estévez-Gay M & Osuna S 2022, 'Estimating conformational heterogeneity of tryptophan synthase with a template-based Alphafold2 approach', Protein Science, 31, 10, e4426.
Selected research activities
Tech transfer activities:
-This 2022 I have established a collaboration agreement with the French company SEQENS (Total: 38.399,44€, period: 01/03/2022-01/03/2023), and I recently signed a NDA agreement with BASF.
-We have participated in the "Collider on campus" training with a project entitled GREENZYME.
-MINECO I+D Research project: “Conformationally-driven computational enzyme design for enhanced stand-alone or in complex activity”, (COCOZYME, PID2021-129034NB-I00), PI: Dr. Osuna. Total: 157,300€ (+ 1 FPI fellowship associated). Period: 2022-2025
-MINECO I+D Proof of Concept project: “Computational evolution of new (bio)catalysts”, (EVOCAT, PDC2022-133950-I00), PI: Dr. Osuna. Total: 143,750€. Period: 2023-2024
-My proposal ERC-2022-CoG named FASTEN was retained for phase two (interview on Nov. 16th 2022).
Awards and recognition:
- EuChemS Lecture award
- Marcial Moreno award by the Catalan division of the Real Sociedad Española de Química (RSEQ)