Understanding biocatalysts…..Did nature think of it first?

Marina Corbella Morató

I’m Marina, a postdoctoral researcher at Uppsala University. When I was 5 I claimed I wanted to be “a scientist inventor” so, I graduated in chemistry at the UAB and then I did my MSc in organic chemistry. There I realised that computers can help to rationalise many of the experiments done in the lab.

When I finished, I started my PhD at the University of Barcelona, trying to understand, computationally, how biological proteins can convert light into energy with almost 0% lost and what we could learn from nature for the design of solar cells. After this I moved to Uppsala University, again to understand and try to mimic how nature undergoes some physicochemical processes so efficiently.

My Soapbox Science talk

I’m studying how proteins called biocatalysts function interact and specially how we can modify them to use them for other purposes.

Biocatalysts are crucial because they speed up biological reactions from non-possible to the most efficient way. Since they are biological entities are one of the greenest alternatives to many chemical processes. They amazingly fit like puzzle pieces with each other modifying their function.

However, there is no microscope enough big to allow us to see at this level so I use computer models, kind of like balls connected by springs, to understand how they move and connect the multiple pieces.

Twitter: @CorbellaMorato

Photo Marina Corbella
Last modified: 2022-05-24