Olalla graduated in Chemistry from the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela in 2004 (with honors). In 2005 she received the FPU fellowship granted by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science for PhD students. During her PhD, she worked on the design and synthesis of new specific binders and fluorescent probes for DNA recognition under the supervision of Prof. José Luis Mascareñas and Prof. Eugenio Vázquez.

In the course of her predoctoral studies, she made two stays as visiting PhD student: one at Harvard University, in the group of Prof. Gregory L. Verdine in 2006 and another at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, in the group of Prof. Oliver Seitz in 2008. In 2010 she defended her PhD dissertation, obtaining Summa cum laude and joined the group of Professor Oliver Seitz as postdoctoral researcher.

In 2011 she received the Marie Curie postdoctoral research fellowship for exploring the possibilities of using RNA template-directed reactions to synthesize cytotoxic peptides in the context of cancer therapy.

In summer 2014 she was appointed to a newly established tenure-track Assistant Professorship (W1) at Philipps-Universität Marburg, where she was entrusted with the mission of managing the new division of Chemical Biology together with Prof. Eric Meggers. In April 2020 Olalla successfully passed her tenured evaluation, and consequently, she was promoted to Associate Professor of Chemical Biology (W2) in January 2021. In 2022 Olalla was offered a Full Professorship for Organic Chemistry for Protein Research at Paris Lodron University Salzburg, which was declined for a Full Professorship at Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany). Since 2023 Olalla is officially Full Professor of Chemical Biology (W3).

During her whole career path Olalla has published papers in high-impact journals as well as received national and international awards, including the VII Lilly Research Awards (2009), European Young Chemist Award (2012), Fulbright-Cottrell Award (2016), SPP1926 Young Research Award (2017), MarBiNa Research Award (2018), Best European Young Researcher in Chemical Biology (2020) Ars Lengindi Fakultätenpreis (2021) and EFMC Prize for a Young Chemical Biologist in Academia (2022)

Portrait of Olalla from NCCR Chemical Biology

Member of the ChemBio Steering Committees:
EFMC Chemical Biology Initiative
DECHEMA GDCh Chemical Biology
EuChemS Chemistry in Life Science

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