Semidán Robaina-Estévez

My main area of research is molecular systems biology, specifically the computational study of metabolic networks — which represent all know (bio)chemical reactions taking place in cells. In September 2017, I completed a Ph.D. in Systems Biology in the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, followed by a brief postdoc in the Bioinformatics department of the University fo Potsdam. I’m interested in unraveling how metabolic networks operate. Particularly, I’m interested in analyzing to what extent their topology and other fundamental constraints, such as chemical thermodynamics, determine their behavior. To this end, I combine computational models of metabolic networks and mathematical optimization tools with high-throughput data sets — quantifying the metabolic state of a cell under given experimental conditions.

I’m fascinated by how conserved metabolism is: all species share an important fraction of their metabolic network. I’m also interested in dissecting which part of this structural persistence can be attributed to history — because we all share a common ancestor — an d which part is a result of fundamental constraints and optimization. The latter could point to properties of metabolic networks which transcend life on Earth, and thus could be truly universal.

I like to keep an open mind when it comes to research areas: I think that exploring different research areas is always enriching! I’m also an advocate of open science and open software — particularly when used to do science. I believe that this is the only way to do fair, transparent science which is accessible to anyone.

Learn more at :

Contact Semidán at