Juan is a 23-year-old chemist from Barcelona, Spain. He did his undergraduate at the IQS university in Barcelona, and decided to continue his postgraduate studies abroad thanks to a scholarship provided by La Caixa. He finished his MRes in Chemical Biology at Imperial College London in October 2015, and is currently continuing his research at the same institution to pursue his PhD. His research involves using Molecular Dynamics, a powerful simulation technique that enables him to follow the time-dependent behaviour of cardiac Troponin at the atomic level.
He will be joining the laboratory of Dr. Zoe Cournia at the Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens, to develop an algorithm that is able to re-rank the results from Virtual Screening calculations. The objective is to find drugs that are able to inhibit with specificity the action of a particular protein, whilst leaving other proteins of the same family untouched. To find this highly selective drug, the algorithm will need to select compounds that score high for a desired protein and low for all the other homologue proteins. He hopes this project will allow him to spend two months increasing his knowledge in the processing and analysis of large complex data sets.
Besides his academic work, Juan has participated multiple times in the Reaching Further program, delivering the activity ‘A Structural View of Biology’. The main objective was to inspire the next generation of scientists, encouraging them to study STEM subjects in university. He is also a strong supporter of open software and enjoys uploading his side-projects to GitHub.
When he goes back home, Juan likes to spend time with his family and pets. Shameless plug: his cockatoo became a temporary internet star after a video of her rocking some funky moves to Daft Punk went viral back in 2013. He also enjoys reading all sorts of books and is kind of addicted to Neflix’s catalog.