Since autumn 2015, the Biocrystallography Group led by Prof Andrea Mattevi at the University of Pavia has hosted two researchers in the ROBOX – H2020 project, J Rubén Gómez Castellanos and Quoc-Thai Nguyen.

Rubén joined Pavia from Mexico City, where he was a project manager in clinical research for Servier Laboratories. He is a graduate of La Salle University in Mexico City where he completed a degree in Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry (2005). He completed his graduate studies with an MSc in Drug Discovery at The School of Pharmacy, University of London (2006) with a project in medicinal chemistry in the group of Prof David Thurston. After a brief spell back in Mexico working for Eli Lilly and Company, Rubén returned to the UK to pursue a DPhil in Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford (2013) in the group of Prof Chris Schofield in the biosynthesis of the carbapenem antibiotic thienamycin.

Within ROBOX, Rubén has collaborated with the University of Groningen in the elucidation of the crystal structure of two Baeyer-Villiger Monooxygenases by X-ray crystallography. In this capacity he has had access to synchrotron radiation facilities across Europe, including The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, and the Swiss Light Source at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland.

Andrea Mattevi J Ruben Gomez Castellanos and Quoc Thai Nguyen

Prof Andrea Mattevi, J Rubén Gómez Castellanos and Quoc-Thai Nguyen

Thai joined the University of Pavia in November 2014 after becoming a joint PhD student with the group of Prof Marco Fraaije at the University of Groningen, where he started a PhD in on 2013. Previously, Thai completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam, and an MSc in Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Groningen; he holds a Lectureship in Biochemistry and Toxicology at Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

Within ROBOX, Thai has collaborated with the University of Groningen in describing Eugenol Oxidase, a novel alcohol oxidase capable of catalysing the dehydrogenation of various phenolic ketones and the selective oxidation of a racemic secondary alcohol, with possible implications in the food and fragrances industry.

Prof Andrea Mattevi is Professor of Molecular Biology in the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, where he co-ordinates the protein crystallography group, and from 2007 he has been the dean of the Doctoral School of Biotechnology in Pavia. In addition, he is a board member of the Italian Association of Cancer Research and recently elected Chair of the 2017 Gordon Conference on Enzymes, Co-enzymes, and Metabolic Pathways. He is a graduate of the University of Pavia (BSc Biology), the University of Groningen (PhD Biophysics) and was an EMBO postdoctoral fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK.