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Sílvia Osuna

Sílvia Osuna

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 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). 

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

– Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos G.; Li, Aitao; D’Amore, Lorenzo; Hoebenreich, Sabrina; Sanchis, Joaquin; Lubrano, Paul; Ferla, Matteo P.; Garcia-Borras, Marc; Osuna, Silvia; Reetz, Manfred T. 2021, ‘Pervasive cooperative mutational effects on multiple catalytic enzyme traits emerge via long-range conformational dynamics’, Nature Communications, 12, 1, 1621.

– Maria-Solano, M.A.; Kinateder, T.; Iglesias-Fernández, J.; Sterner, R.; Osuna, S. In Silico Identification and Experimental Validation of Distal Activity-Enhancing Mutations in Tryptophan SynthaseACS Catal. 202111, 13733-13743.

– Bell, E.L.; Finnigan, W.; France, S.P.; Green, A.P.; Hayes, M.A.; Hepworth, L.J.; Lovelock, S.L.; Niikura, H.; Osuna, S.; Romero, E., Ryan, K. S.; Turner, N. J.; Flitsch, S. et al. BiocatalysisNat. Rev. Methods Primers 20211, 46.

– Wessel, Julia; Petrillo, Giovanna; Estevez-Gay, Miquel; Bosch, Sandra; Seeger, Margarita; Dijkman, Willem P.; Iglesias-Fernandez, Javier; Hidalgo, Aurelio; Uson, Isabel; Osuna, Silvia; Schallmey, Anett 2021, ‘Insights into the molecular determinants of thermal stability in halohydrin dehalogenase HheD2’, Febs Journal, 288, 15, 4683-4701.

Selected research activities

This 2021, Dr. Osuna has published 6 publications: 1 ACS Catalysis, 1 Nature Prime Review Methods, 1 Nature Communications, 1 FEBS Journal, 1 J. Med. Chem., and 1 J. Chem. Inf. Model. She has been invited to give talks at the following conferences: FEBS workshop, (Oulu, FI, October 2021), ACS meeting (Atlanta, USA, August 2021), IUPAC (Canada, August 2021), and Biotrans (Graz, AU, July 2021). She has also been invited to give talks at the following institutions: TU Brawnschweig (Germany), and Xiamen University (China). She has been elected as new advisory member of the journal EuroJOC, and new member of the Access Committee of PRACE.

Two of her PhD students have defended their thesis: Dr. Lorenzo d’Amore (Dec. 2021), and Dr. Miguel A. Maria-Solano (Feb. 2021).

ICREA Memoir 2021