10 international PhD fellowships in the European Doctoral Network BiocatCodeExpander for a training on innovative biotechnological applications of non-canonical amino acids for biocatalysis, synthetic biology, organic chemistry and computational biology.


Rosa Teijeiro Juiz






Hi! I’m Rosa, 25 years old, and I’m from Santiago de Compostela, in the north of Spain. Throughout my life, I’ve been driven by a strong curiosity and passion for science, which led me to study Biotechnology at the Technical University of Madrid and specialize in Computational Biology. After graduating, I was unsure whether to pursue a career in academia or industry, so I worked in research for a year at the Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela while completing my master’s degree in Drug Research and Development at the University of Santiago de Compostela. During this time, I realized my love for research and decided to pursue a PhD. I wanted to work in a project that would allow me to expand my knowledge in Computational Biology while also letting me work hands-on in the lab. Luckily, I was offered this position in the BiocatCodeExpander network, and now I’m living in Berlin, working at the Freie Universität Berlin, on a project I’m passionate about and surrounded by a research group that feels like home. I honestly couldn´t be happier.

 Tell us a bit about your PhD project

Our research aims to study the impact of introducing non-canonical amino acids (NCAA) on the structure and functions of different enzymes relevant to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. This project is divided into two parts: (1) The computational aspect focuses on identifying suitable scaffolds for incorporating the NCAAs, studying the molecular dynamics of these scaffolds, simulating the effect of the NCAAs on the structure and function, and using this information to optimize potential candidates in silico. (2) The experimental part focuses on taking these potential candidates, performing site-directed mutagenesis to obtain the desired mutations, and cloning the target genes into expression vectors. These vectors are then transformed into Escherichia coli cells to express the target mutant protein. Subsequently, we aim to obtain structural information to further optimize these proteins and secondly improve and expand the modelling algorithms.

Tell us about your research interests – what do you expect from the consortium

I am deeply interested in Computational Biology, Artificial Enzymes, and Biocatalysis. Being part of this consortium is an incredible opportunity, as it allows me to interact with numerous PhD students and experienced Principal Investigators who share my research interests. The bi-annual meetings, where we present our research results and exchange ideas, are really helpful. Additionally, the chance to work in different countries during my secondments is something I am truly grateful for. The consortium offers to us PhD students many other opportunities, including engaging workshops and funding to attend various symposiums and conferences. I anticipate completing my thesis with a lot of new knowledge and forging lifelong connections with colleagues for future collaborations.


Besides science, I love reading (especially fantasy books), watching Formula 1, and traveling. People always ask me which countries are at the top of my travel list, but honestly, I can’t pick just one because I want to see the entire world. Living in Berlin now means I get to travel a lot and experience new cultures, but there’s still so much left to explore.

I love hanging out with my friends, going out on weekends, and going to the beach—or the lake, now that I’m in Germany!- But I also really enjoy my alone time, whether that´s staying at home and baking or going to the cinema by myself.

Even with all these interests, science is still a big passion of mine. Beyond Biotechnology and Biochemistry, I’m really into Physics and hope to get a degree in it someday. 

Favorite book, meal, movie and series?

Book: No longer human – Osamu Dazai

Meal: Sunny-Side-Up Eggs with fries and chorizo.

Movie: Lost in translation – Sofia Coppola

Series: One Piece

Favorite city 


at what Harry Potter house do you belong?

Slytherin 🐍

PyMOL or Chimera?



Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Doctoral Supervisor

Dr. Bernhard Loll 

Enrolment in Doctoral degree

Freie Universität Berlin (FUB)


At Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, United States of America) with Prof. Lynn Kamerlin 


  • Identification of suitable scaffolds for non-canonical amino acids (NCAA) incorporation through computational and bioinformatic tools 
  • Structure elucidation of predicted scaffolds containing NCAA as a catalytic residue
  • In silico optimization of positive candidates using computational tools
  • Stabilization of chosen scaffolds


Fields related to the project

(1) Computational biology

(2) Structural biology

(3) Biochemistry

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions / Doctoral Networks

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101072686.