Laura Orellana

Assistant professor

About me

I am a computational and structural biophysicist with a medical background and passionate about physics and mathematical modelling. My aim is to understand life mechanisms and human diseases at the atomic scale: how protein structure, motions and biological function is shaped by evolution and perturbed in human disease.


Research description


My group develops theoretical methods and algorithms to predict conformational changes in proteins, and apply them to the in-depth integrative study of mutations, with the aim to generate new mechanistic hypothesis and test them in vitro and in vivo.

For more information check the KI website of our team: 


A complete publication list may be found at Google scholar and ResearchGate.



2010–2014: PhD in Physics summa cum laude, Faculty of Physics, University of Barcelona 

Thesis: “Protein Dynamics and Function studied by coarse-grained and atomistic theoretical   approaches”

2008–2011: Clinical training (M.D. degree, 2nd cycle, up to 345 out of 500 ECTS), Hospital Clínic de Barcelona & Hospital Universitari Sagrat Cor

2008 –2010: MSc in Biophysics, Faculty of Physics, University of Barcelona

2006 – 2007: MSc in Structure & Function of Proteins, Barcelona Autonomous University

2003–2005: BSc in Biochemistry with Extraordinary Prize & minor in Physics, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona

1999–2003: Medicine (M.D. degree, 1st cycle), Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona 


Academic appointments

Nov. 2020: Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Medical Sciences,  Karolinska Institute

2019-2020: Researcher (Forskare) in Structural Biology, Stockholm University

2014-2018:  Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Biophysics & Cryo-EM,  Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) & Stockholm University (Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab)

2008-2014: Graduate Student in Protein Biophysics & Molecular Modelling, Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona & Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Academic honours, awards and prizes

2022: Karolinska Institute Interdisciplinary Incubator (KIRI) Grant

2021: Sagens Foundation Award

2021: Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Research Council) Starting Grant in Medicine

2021: Petrus och Augusta Hedlunds Foundation Grant

2021: Cancerfonden (Swedish Cancer Foundation) Junior Investigator Award

2020: Jeanssons Foundation Young Leaders Starting Grant

2020: Karolinska Institute Research Foundation Special Grant 

2019: Karolinska Institute Tenure-track Faculty Position with start-up grant Award (KI Allocation of faculty funded career positions 2019)

2019: O.E. och Edla Johanssons Research Grant

2016-2018: Sven och Lily Lawski Foundation Fellow

2014-2016: KTH Physics Department Fellowship

Academic Honors

2006: Extraordinary Prize for Academic Excellence in Biochemistry, University of Barcelona

Other Awards

Biophysical Society Travel Award, New Orleans, US (2016)

EMBO Biomolecular Simulation Bursary Award, Institute Pasteur, Paris, France (2012)

IUBMB-FEBS Young Scientist Program Fellow Award, Seville, Spain (2012)

EMBRACE-Rigaku-EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute) Bursary Award, Cambridge, UK (2009)