Miquel Duran-Frigola

Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer

I am a Computational Biologist with a background in Chemistry. My research has been focused on data-driven Drug Discovery. My current interest is to bring my knowledge closer to the clinics, especially in neglected areas. I spend most of my free time on fiction writing.


Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Ersilia Open Source Initiative

UK, Jul 2020 – Present. EOSI: Development of an open-source drug discovery platform to foster the impact of artificial intelligence in global health.

Research Associate at IRB Barcelona

Spain, Jan 2018 – Jun 2020. Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology Laboratory: Invention of a computational drug discovery platform. Supervision of PhD and MSc students.

Visiting Fellow at CIDRZ

Zambia, Jul 2019 – Dec 2019. Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, Central Laboratory: Harmonization and large-scale analysis of clinical and laboratory data.

Post-Doctoral Researcher at IRB Barcelona

Spain, Feb 2016 – Dec 2017. Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology Laboratory: Development of a drug discovery protocol for the omics characterization of chemical libraries.

PhD Student at IRB Barcelona

Spain, Sept 2011 – Jan 2016: Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology Laboratory. Network biology approaches to pharmacology and drug side effects.

Visiting Researcher at Manhiça Health Research Center

Mozambique, Sep 2015 – Dec 2015. CISM and ISGlobal: Machine learning methods to determine causes of death in developing countries.

Visiting Researcher at Tel Aviv University

Israel, Apr 2014 – Jul 2014. Eytan Ruppin’s Laboratory: Genome-scale metabolic modeling of cancer.

Researcher for Development at Central American University

El Salvador, Feb 2010 – Sep 2010. Chemical Engineering Department: Water analysis and improvement of environmental factors in war refugee communities.

Researcher at IQS School of Engineering

Spain, Feb 2009 – Jan 2010. Photochemistry Laboratory: Synthesis and photophysical characterization of porphyrin derivatives.

Visiting student at MIT

USA, Jul 2009 – Sep 2009. Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Division: Photodynamic treatment against atherosclerosis.

Visiting student at Superior Council of Scientific Research

Spain, Jun 2008 – Sep 2008. Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Group: Gas-phase reactivity using quantum chemistry.


PhD in Biomedicine

Sep 2011 – Jan 2016. Pompeu Fabra University: Cum Laude, Extraordinary Award UPF.

MSc in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences

Oct 2010 – Jun 2012. Pompeu Fabra University: First in class. Project obtained with Honours.

BSc in Organic Chemistry

Sep 2003 – Jun 2009. IQS School of Engineering: First in class. Extended to obtain the IQS Chemical Engineer title.

Scholarships and Grants

  • La Caixa BioMedTec Grant. To foster development of the Chemical Checker
  • EADA MAP Program. For a spin-off proposal
  • Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. Selected Young Researcher attendee
  • EMBO Short-term fellowship. Stay at Tel Aviv University
  • FEBS Short-term fellowship. Stay at Tel Aviv University
  • Spanish FPU fellowship. 4-year PhD funding
  • Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation. Selected candidate UNESCO – Ramon Llull University
  • Seed Fund MIT – Spain and Cambra de Comerç de Barcelona Grant. Selected candidate
  • Collaboration Grant AGAUR. Introduction to research at IQS School of Engineering
  • JAE-Intro. Introduction to research at Superior Council of Scientific Research
  • Francesc Castelló fellowship to academic excellence. Full tuition of my BSc in Chemistry
  • Caixa Manresa fellowship to access University. In recognition of high-school graduate studies

Honors and Awards

  • Extraordinary Award for my PhD. Pompeu Fabra University
  • Best Poster Presentation. 2nd IRB Barcelona PhD Student Symposium
  • Extraordinary Award Proves d’Accés a la Universitat. Exam to access University
  • Proves Cangur Award. National Mathematics competition
  • Fem Matemàtiques Award. National Mathematics competition
  • 2nd Award Good Practices in University Cooperation for Development. Team recognition


1 First (co-) author. c Corresponding author. Sorted by date of publication\

  • Bertoni, Duran-Frigola1,c et al. Bioactivity descriptors for uncharacterized compounds. BioRXiV, 2020
  • Duran-Frigola1,c et al. Bioactivity profile similarities to expand the repertoire of COVID-19 drugs. J Chem Inf Mod, 2020
  • Mateo et al. Personalized cancer therapy prioritization based on driver alteration co-occurrence patterns. Genome Med, 2020
  • Duran-Frigola1,c et al. Extending the small molecule similarity principle to all levels of biology. Nat Biotechnol, 2020
  • Luck et al. A reference map of the human binary protein interactome. Nature, 2020
  • Moncunill et al. Antigen-stimulated PBMC transcriptional protective signatures for malaria immunization. Science Transl Med, 2020
  • Duran-Frigola1,c et al. Formatting biological big data for modern machine learning in drug discovery. WIREs Comput Mol Sci, 2019
  • Fernandez-Torras, Duran-Frigolac, Aloy. Encircling the regions of the pharmacogenomics landscape that determine drug response. Genome Med, 2019
  • Persi, Duran-Frigola1 et al. Systems analysis of intracellular pH vulnerabilities for cancer therapy. Nat Commun, 2018
  • Mateo et al. Exploring the OncoGenomic landscape of cancer. Genome Med, 2018
  • Juan-Blanco, Duran-Frigola, Aloy. Rationalizing drug response in cancer cell lines. J Mol Biol, 2018
  • Duran-Frigola1,c, Mateo, Aloy. Drug repositioning beyond the low-hanging fruits. Curr Opinion Syst Biol, 2018
  • Duran-Frigola1 et al. Detecting similar binding pockets to enable systems polypharmacology. Plos Comput Biol, 2017
  • Mateo et al. A PanorOmic view of personal cancer genomes. Nucl Acid Res, 2017
  • Sfriso, Duran-Frigola1 et al. Residues coevolution guides the systematic identification of alternative functional conformations in proteins. Structure, 2016
  • Yang et al. Widespread expansion of protein interaction capabilities by alternative splicing. Cell, 2015
  • Jung et al. Isolation of human colon stem cells using surface expression of PTK7. Stem Cell Rep, 2015
  • Oberhardt et al. Systems-wide prediction of enzyme promiscuity reveals a new underground alternative route for pyridoxal 5’-phosphate production in E. coli. Plos Comput Biol, 2015
  • Jaeger, Duran-Frigola1, Aloy. Drug sensitivity in cancer cell lines is not tissue-specific. Mol Cancer, 2015
  • Arroyo et al. Systematic Identification of Molecular Links between Core and Candidate Genes in Breast Cancer. J Mol Biol, 2015
  • Duran-Frigola1, Rossell, Aloy. A chemo-centric view of human health and disease. Nat Commun, 2014
  • Juan-Blanco, Duran-Frigola, Aloy. IntSide: a web server for the chemical and biological examination of drug side effects. Bioinformatics, 2014
  • Arroyo, et al. Charting molecular links between driver and susceptibility genes in colorectal cancer. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 2014
  • Rosas et al. Modifications of microvascular EC surface modulate phototoxicity of a porphycene anti-ICAM-1 immunoconjugate. Langmuir, 2013
  • Duran-Frigola1, Mosca, Aloy. Structural systems pharmacology: the role of 3D structures in next-generation drug development. Chem Biol, 2013
  • Duran-Frigola1, Aloy. Analysis of chemical and biological features yields mechanistic insights into drug side effects. Chem Biol, 2013
  • Duran-Frigola1, Aloy. Recycling side effects into clinical markers for drug repositioning. Genome Med, 2012
  • Duran-Frigola1, et al. Dual fluorescence in 9-amino-2,7,12,17-tetraphenylporphycene. Phys Chem Chem Phys, 2011

Selected Congresses and Seminars

  • Illuminating the Druggable Genome. Heidelberg, Feb 2020
  • IeDEA conference. Johannesburg, Oct 2019
  • Systems Biology: Networks, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. USA, 2019, 2015 and 2013
  • CSH Workshop. Vienna, Oct 2016
  • Resources and Techniques in Computational Drug Discovery. Tangier, May 2016
  • Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. Lindau, June-July 2015 / Selected attendee
  • IV IMPPC Annual Conference. Barcelona, Apr 2015
  • Bayesian Methods in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. Barcelona, Dec 2012
  • Chemical Biology. Heidelberg, Sept 2012
  • ICREA Conference on Network Medicine. Barcelona, Nov 2011



  • Languages: English (full proficiency), French (basic), Portuguese (basic), Spanish, Catalan
  • Programming: Python, R, Matlab, Bash, SQL, TensorFlow\
  • Teaching: Supervision of 5 undergraduate students, 4 MSc students and 1 PhD thesis
  • Fields of research: Network analysis, structural bioinformatics, machine (deep) learning, chemoinformatics, biostatistics, constraint-based modelling, drug discovery

Short term visits

  • Ben Raphael Laboratory. Princeton University, Mar - Apr 2017
  • ChEMBL Laboratory. EBI-Hinxton, UK, Dec 2016

Online certified courses

  • Google Cloud Fundamentals. Completed May 2020
  • AWS Fundamentals. Completed Apr 2020
  • MalariaX: Defeating Malaria from Genes to the Globe. Issued by Harvard, completed Jan 2019


  • Medical informatics consultancy for CIDRZ
  • Computational drug discovery consultancy for several pharma and biotech companies, including Janssen, Almirall, Anaxomics, Omnia and Nostrum BioDiscovery
  • Capacity building consultancy for University of Bern


  • Editorial board: Frontiers in Drug Discovery
  • Reviewer: European Journal of Pharmacology, Bioinformatics, PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS One, MDPI Molecules, Scientific Data, BMC Bioinformatics, Scientific Reports


  • Catalan Society of Biology
  • Catalan Society of Chemistry

Fiction writing


  • Més o menys jo (Bridge, 2nd Ed., Catalan and Spanish). Crítica Serra d’Or Award. Nov 2014
  • Can Prat (Short story in Risc, Rata, Anthology of Contemporary Writers, Catalan and Spanish). Mar 2017
  • La concavitat de l’horitzó, Cinc indicis… (Short stories in 24 contes al dia, Godall, Catalan). Apr 2018


Bachelor's in Humanities

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Since Sept 2020

Master's in Creative Writing

Barcelona School of Management, Pompeu Fabra University. Oct 2016 – Sep 2017

Creative Writing School

Ateneu Barcelonès Literature School. Narrative, novel, playwriting, African novels. Jan 2011 – Jun 2013

Honors and Awards

  • Can Serrat Writer’s Grant 2019. Writer in residence in Can Serrat International Art Residence
  • Montserrat Roig Fellowship 2018. Writer in residence in Joan Miró Foundation
  • Talent Scholarship 2017. Tuition Master’s in Creative Writing
  • 2nd Prize Joaquim Ruyra 2014. To my fiction book
  • Crítica Serra d’Or Award 2015. Prestigious recognition to my fiction book

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