Scientific consultant at Expert Analytics AS. PhD candidate in biocomputational sciences with a background in physics and chemistry. My areas of interest include teaching, data science, machine learning, object-oriented programming, molecular dynamics-based methods, drug discovery, and nanomaterials. Good knowledge of the programming languages Python, SQL, C, and bash. Spanish native speaker. High proficiency in English and Italian. Basic communication skills in Norwegian.

  • Expert Analytics AS. Oslo, Norway

Mar 2021 - Present

  • Implement mathematical models and data science solutions to innovate and optimize industrial processes

  • Italian Institute of Technology. Genoa, Italy
Research collaborator - PhD fellow

Jan 2018 - Feb 2021

  • Employed atomistic and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations for studying functionalized metallic nanoparticles interacting with biomacromolecules

  • Targeted human and bacterial DNA topoisomerases for the development of novel anticancer and antimicrobial compounds

  • Collaborated with the research groups of Dr. Pier Paolo Pompa, Prof. Fabrizio Mancin, and Prof. Federico Rastrelli in the development of nanoparticle-based technologies

  • Applied statistical methods to analyze hundreds of gigabytes of data

  • Published six articles (plus three submitted and two in preparation) in peer-reviewed journals on innovative research

  • ​Developed skills at proposing research questions, designing experiments, programming, and data analysis

  • Combined critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity to attend specific research questions

  • Hylleraas Centre for Quantum Molecular Sciences - University of Oslo. Oslo, Norway.
Guest researcher

Sep 2018 - Dec 2018 and Sep 2019 - Dec 2019

  • Scientist at the Hylleraas Centre for Quantum Molecular Sciences directed by Prof. Trygve Helgaker

  • Performed coarse-grained and hybrid particle-field molecular dynamics for the study of polymer aggregation

  • Developed skills in Python for data processing and analysis

  • Elaborated a systematic review on the topic of my research project

  • The Hylleraas Centre aims to develop and apply computational methods to understand, interpret, and predict new chemistry, physics, and biology of molecules in complex and extreme environments

  • University of the Andes. Bogotá, Colombia
Part-time professor

​Jan 2017 - Jun 2017

  • Professor of Physical Chemistry Laboratory and General Chemistry Laboratory

  • Graded over 50 assignments per week including lab reports, workshops, quizzes, and exams

  • Encourage student engagement by employing teaching techniques such as open discussions and interactive presentations

  • The University of Los Andes is an autonomous, independent, and innovative institution that fosters pluralism, tolerance, and respect for ideas. It aims for academic excellence while providing rigorous critical and ethical character development

  • University of the Andes. Bogotá, Colombia
Teaching assistant

​Jul 2013 - Dec 2016

  • Bestowed 3-hour weekly lectures to 20+ students as a complement to the main sessions of various courses

  • Grading of exams and workshops as requested by the supervising professor

  • Courses imparted:

* Spectroscopy and Quantum Chemistry
* Computational Chemistry
* Physical Chemistry II
* Physical Chemistry I
* Physical Chemistry Fundamentals
* Analytical Chemistry Fundamentals
* Introduction to the Modern Understanding of Atoms and Molecules
* General Chemistry
* General Physics

  • Italian Institute of Technology. Genoa, Italy
Research internship

​Jan 2016- Apr 2016

  • Engaged in a drug discovery campaign for novel antimicrobial agents

  • Performed molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations

  • Reported weekly to a boss with multimedia presentations updating the results

  • Developed skills in Python for the processing and analysis of data

  • Italian Institute of Technology. Genoa, Italy
PhD in biotechnological, biocomputational, pharmaceutical, and pharmacological sciences

​Nov 2017 - Oct 2020

  • Graduated with honors (cum laude)

  • Thesis title: Multiscale Modeling of Metal Nanoparticles for Biotechnological Applications

  • Thesis supervisor: Marco De Vivo, PhD

  • Earned a research scholarship for carrying out the PhD studies at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)

  • DataCamp
Certified online courses on data science and machine learning

​Aug 2019 - Aug 2020

  • Machine Learning Scientist career track certified online course (93 h)

  • Data Scientist career track certified online course (100 h)

  • Python Programmer career track certified online course (52 h)

  • MIT Professional Education
Certified online courses on leadership and innovation

​May 2020 - June 2020

  • Five-week online course (40 h)

  • Three self-paced modules covering the five technologies that govern digital transformation in organizations, i.e., artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, the internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, and cybersecurity

  • Coordinated collaborative activities with other participants around the world. In detail, three discussion forums, three reflection essays, and two exams

  • The course included two seminars carried by leadership experts from the MIT

  • Performed extracurricular research on how the topics of the course related to institutional organization

  • University of the Andes. Bogotá, Colombia
BSc. Physics

​Jan 2012 - Jul 2017

  • Thesis title: Simulations of a Weakly Self-Interacting Fluid Using Lattice Boltzmann Methods

  • Thesis supervisor: Prof. Jaime Ernesto Forero

  • Member of the Computational Astrophysics research group

  • Member of the Quantum Optics seminar group 

  • University of the Andes. Bogotá, Colombia
BSc. Chemistry

​Aug 2011 - Dec 2016

  • Thesis title: Application of Molecular Mechanics for the Discovery of Novel Microbial IIA Topoisomerases Inhibitors

  • Thesis supervisor: Prof. Gian Pietro Miscione

  • Member of the Computational Bio-Organic Chemistry research group

  • Collaborated on a drug discovery campaign with the Drug Discovery and Development department from the Italian Institute of Technology

  • Leiden University. Leiden, The Netherlands
Modern Physics at All Scales Summer School

​Jun 2016 - Jul 2016

  • Summer program aimed at bachelor students to learn about multiple research branches and applied physics by leading experts

  • Supervised by: Prof. Dirk Bouwmeester

  • The program included scientific talks, hands-on lab tours, and cultural events

  • Uniandinos Alumni Association. Quiero Mentoría ("I Want Mentorship Program")

Aug 2020 - May 2021

  • Mentor of two undergraduate students

  • Meet for 2-hours every month with each of the mentees to help them transition into a working environment or a postgraduate study program

  • Offer guidance to the mentees throughout introspection exercises to determine their motivations and interests

  • American Chemical Society. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation

Dec 2019 - Present

  • Peer reviewer of ca. 2 manuscripts per month and comment on their potential for publication in the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation and occasionally the Journal of Physical Chemistry

  • Receive articles for review regarding computational chemistry methodologies, nanoparticles, and biotechnological sciences

  • University of the Andes. Bogotá, Colombia
Students representative of the chemistry department

​Oct 2013 - Sep 2015

  • Member of the board of directors as the representative to the University's Committee of Student Affairs

  • Weekly assessment of escalated academic and disciplinary student cases

  • Assisted any student with logistic and academic questions about the university's regulations

  • Engaged in collaborative activities to improve the communication channels between university directives and students

  • SOSAndes - Students Offering Support. Bogotá, Colombia
Teacher and fundraiser for poverty alleviation

​Aug 2012 - Jul 2013

  • Imparted lectures on differential calculus, physics, and chemistry

  • Money raised from the lectures imparted would go to the building of houses for homeless people in rural regions of Colombia

  • Recruitment of students in need of academical help


If you are interested in any of my publications but do not have access, do not hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to share any upon request


On the Metal-Aided Catalytic Mechanism for Phosphodiester Bond Cleavage
Performed by Nanozymes

Pecina, A., Rosa-Gastaldo, D., Riccardi, L., Franco-Ulloa, S., Milan, E., Scrimin, P., Mancin, F. & De Vivo, M..

2021. ACS Catal.. Accepted.

(Cover Article)


Association Mechanism of Peptide-Coated Metal Nanoparticles with Model Membranes:
A Coarse-Grained Study

Franco-Ulloa, S., Guarnieri, D., Riccardi, L., Pompa, P. P. & De Vivo, M..

2021. J. Chem. Theory Comput.

(Cover Article)


Arginine magic with Gold Nanoparticles: Selective and Nondisruptive Targeting of Neutral Phospholipid

(Co-first author) Morillas-Becerril, L., Franco-Ulloa, S., Fortunati, I., Marotta, R., Sun. X., Zanoni, G.Tatulli, G., De Vivo, M. & Mancin, F.

2021 Commun. Chem. Accepted.


Novel Complexes with ONNO Tetradentate Coumarin Schiff-Base Donor Ligands: X-ray Structures, DFT Calculations, Molecular Dynamics and Potential Anticarcinogenic Activity

Mestizo, P.D., Narváez, D. M., Pinzón-Ulloa, J. A., Torres Di Bello, D., Franco-Ulloa, S., Macías, M. A., Groot, H., Miscione, G. P., Suescun, L. & Hurtado, J. J.

2021. Biometals. 34: 119-140.



Dispersion State Phase Diagram of Citrate-Coated Metallic Nanoparticles in Saline Solutions

Franco-Ulloa, S., Tatulli, G., Løland-Bore, S., Moglianetti, M., Pompa, P. P., Cascella, M., De Vivo, M.

2020. Nat. Comm. 5422


Novel, Potent, and Druglike Tetrahydroquinazoline Inhibitor That Is Highly Selective for Human Topoisomerase II α over β

Ortega, J. A., Arencibia, J. M., Minniti, E., Byl, J. A. W., Franco-Ulloa, S., Borgogno, M., Genna, V., Summa, M., Bertozzi, S. M., Bertorelli, R., Armirotti, A., Minarini, A., Sissi, C. & De Vivo, M..

2020. J. Med. Chem. 63 (21): 12873-12886


Design, Synthesis, Dynamic Docking, Biochemical Characterization, and In Vivo Pharmacokinetics Studies of Novel Topoisomerase II Poisons with Promising Antiproliferative Activity

Arencibia, J. M., Brindani, N., Franco-Ulloa, S., Nigro, M., Kuriappan, J. A., Ottonello, G., Bertozzi, S. M., Summa, M., Girotto, S., Bertorelli, S., Armirotti, A., De Vivo, M..

2020. J. Med. Chem. 63 (7): 3508-3521


NanoModeler: A Webserver for Molecular Simulations and Engineering of Nanoparticles

 Franco-Ulloa, S., Riccardi, L., Rimembrana, F., Pini, M. & De Vivo, M.​

2019. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 15 (3): 2022-2032

(Cover Article) 


Cu(II) and Zn(II) Complexes with Dinitrobenzoates and Pyrazolyl Ligands: Structural and Thermal Stability Influence of N–H Moiety

Torres, J. F., Macías, M. A., Franco-Ulloa, S., Miscione, G. P., Cobo, J. & Hurtado, J. J. 
2019. Cryst. Growth Des 19 (6): 3348-3357


Novel Bacterial Topoisomerase Inhibitors Exploit Asp83 and the Intrinsic Flexibility of the DNA Gyrase Binding Site

Franco-Ulloa, S., La Sala, J., Miscione, G. P. & De Vivo, M.
2018. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 19 (2): 453


La evolución del diseño de medicamentos y el rol de los métodos computacionales: Jugando a ser Dios (The evolution of drug design and the role of computational methods: Playing to be God)

Franco-Ulloa, S., Ramos-Guzmán, C. A. & Miscione, G. P. 
2016. Hipótesis. 21: 40-49 
  • Full scholarship from Becas Santander to enroll in an online course from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The scholarship covered the enrollment fee of $2,300 of the MIT - Leading Digital Transformation certified course
  • Winner of the research grant HP10CR7KHL from the Italian SuperComputing Resource Allocation-Class C (ISCRA-C). Receiver of 25,000 core hours from the SuperComputing Applications and Innovation (SCAI) center
  • Speaker at the Properties and Functionalities of Nanometer and Sub-Nanometer Sized Quantum Objects Gordon’s Research Conference. 2019. Les Diablerets, Switzerland
  • Poster presentation at the New Perspectives of Nanostructured Devices and High-Resolution Characterization Techniques Gordon’s Research Seminar. 2019. Les Diablerets, Switzerland
  • Poster presentation at the Nucleic acid immunity: from cellular mechanisms to new technologies SIBBM seminar. 2019. Bologna, Italy
  • Speaker at the Challenges in modelling and simulations of nanoparticles in complex environments CECAM workshop. 2019. Genoa, Italy
  • Poster presentation at the Translational and Health Informatics: Implications for Drug Discovery EuroQSAR Symposium. 2018. Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Poster presentation at the Multiscale modelling in electrophysiology: from atoms to organs CECAM workshop. 2018. Lugano, Switzerland
  • Poster presentation at the 1st Protein Structure, Function, and Drug Discovery School. 2017. Bogotá, Colombia
  • Speaker at the 42nd Theoretical Chemists of Latin Expression Congress. 2016. Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Speaker at the 6th National Congress of Theoretical and Computational Chemists. 2016. Bogotá, Colombia
  • Speaker at the 2nd Colombian Congress of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2016. Medellín, Colombia