Talking with: Adriàn Romero

Adriàn Romero was graduated in Chemistry at the University of Girona and he performed the PhD in the former Institut de Química Computacional i Catàlisi (IQCC) under the supervision of Prof. Marcel Swart and Prof. Sílvia Osuna in the field of computational studies of enzymatic and biomimetic catalysts. Then, he worked as a postdoctoral investigator in Uppsala University (Sweden). Nowadays, and since January 2021, he is computational researcher in the Sprin Bioscience company (Sweden).

 Do you believe that completing the PhD at IQCC was fundamental in securing the position you currently hold?
Completing my PhD at IQCC was very important in various ways, I gained several scientific skills and experiences such as attending conferences, courses, etc… that have proven very important in both academia and industry. The PhD at IQCC provided me with a good knowledge in the field of computational chemistry. The program offered an in-depth curriculum that provided me the ability to think critically and approach complex problems with scientific rigor. The knowledge and expertise I gained during my doctoral studies helped to build the groundwork for my subsequent career and my current position as a computational chemist at Sprint Bioscience.

• Why did you choose to pursue the MACMoM?
I decided to pursue the MACMoM primarily to expand my knowledge and expertise in the field of general chemistry theoretically and little bit more experimentally as well. This program was a strategic choice to gain more knowledge and skillsI could not get during the chemistry degree. This decision enabled me to pursue a successful career as a computational chemist either in industry or to prepare for a potential PhD, I opted to do the PhD after finishing MACMoM. The master studies provided an opportunity gaining hands-on experience and develop further solid foundation and had open doors to exciting opportunities in research and industry, aligning with my long-term career goals and aspirations.
• Could you provide a brief overview of the central theme in your research?
My research at Sprint Bioscience is focused on the design of novel small molecules from a fragment-based approach within the field of oncology drug development. I use a diverse set of computational tools and data analysis, combining theoretical and experimental data to design new molecules virtually. The primary objective is to create innovative molecules with specific
properties and protein interactions towards a specific target. Using these computational tools, I navigate an expansive molecular landscape, exploring a variety of structures and behaviors with respect to a defined protein target. This comprehensive approach involves extensive modeling, simulations, and data analysis, validating different hypotheses and optimizing molecules in terms of efficiency and desired properties. A distinctive feature of my work as a computational chemist is the transition from theory to reality, as we synthesize and experimentally assess the efficacy of these molecules, providing validation of our hypotheses and from the new data gathered, we create new hypothesis to improve our molecules.
• What were the main reasons to work an international industry?
Working in an international industry offers global exposure, diverse cultural experiences, and enhanced career growth opportunities. It allows a professional development, broad networking, and adaptability. International industries can have a broader societal impact, making them an attractive career choice for those seeking a dynamic and globally oriented work
• Looking back, would you choose to follow the same path?
In retrospect, while I value the path I’ve taken, if I were to make the choice again, I would make a slight adjustment. I would have opted for a more drug development-focused route, which is my current interest now. However, it’s worth to mention that career choices evolve with personal growth and changing interests. So, while I might have chosen differently path in
retrospect, I believe that my journey to pursue my master studies and a PhD at the IQCC has enriched me with valuable skills and experiences (conferences, courses, collaboration with other research groups…) that I don’t know if I would have gotten in other organizations. At that point, my primary focus was understanding more general chemistry theoretically and
experimentally and the master and PhD were able to provide me that knowledge and skills. My advice for such decisions is to follow your current interests, knowing that as your career progresses, new opportunities and passions will always emerge. The key is to acquire the best scientific skills to adapt to your evolving goals and choose the right organization that will allow
you to do that, this reason is why I chose to do the MACMoM and PhD at IQCC.


Girona, Nov. 20, 2022
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