The ICREAs

ICREA research professors form a vibrant community of scientists and researchers in all areas of knowledge that contribute to the advancement of humankind by exploring, interpreting and questioning. Have a look and learn about their amazing discoveries and findings here:

Search

  • Ballester Balaguer, Pablo

    Institut Català d'Investigació Química (ICIQ)

    CLOSE

    Ballester Balaguer, Pablo

    Research Professor at
    Institut Català d'Investigació Química (ICIQ)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

    view profile

    Research interests

    My scientific background lies in the areas of organic chemistry (making molecules) and supramolecular chemistry (study how molecules fit together). My research is mainly focused in the design, synthesis, study and characterization of functional molecular aggregates. I consider myself a mixture between a molecular architect and a molecular engineer. We study matter but we also produce matter and new materials. We work in trying to understand molecular self-assembly processes (non-covalnet synthesis) as a methodology to construct large and functional supramolecular assemblies, i.e., molecular machines. A second area of interest resides in the design and application of molecular containers. These are molecular or supramolecular structures with an internal cavity sufficiently large to include or encapsulate other molecules. Unfortunately, although we construct monumental and even artistic structures they are not visible to the naked eye due to their reduced nanometer size.

    Key words

    Supramolecular Chemistry, Molecular Recognition, Physical Organic Chemistry

    ORCID

    : 0000-0001-8377-6610

    RESEARCHER ID

    : B-6436-2011

  • Barril Alonso, Xavier

    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

    CLOSE

    Barril Alonso, Xavier

    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

    view profile

    Research interests

    We are interested in discovering bioactive molecules (chemical probes) as a means to validate new points of pharmacological intervention. We aim to expand the so-called druggable genome by targeting so-far unexploited sites that elicit a biological response through non-standard mechanisms of action, such as conformational trapping, stabilisation of protein-protein complexes or allosterism. To achieve this objective we employ a multi-disciplinary and question-driven approach that combines computational, biophysical and biological techniques. We are particularly strong in computer-aided drug design and we develop new computational approaches that enable us to tackle such novel and difficult targets with confidence.

    Key words

    Computer-aided drug design; Structure-based drug discovery; Validation of new therapeutic targets

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-0281-1347

    RESEARCHER ID

    : K-9607-2014

  • Bartumeus, Frederic

    Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CSIC - CEAB)

    CLOSE

    Bartumeus, Frederic

    Research Professor at
    Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CSIC - CEAB)
    Life & Medical Sciences

    view profile

    Research interests

    My research is focused in the emerging field of movement ecology, which aims to reveal the complex forces that drive movement and dispersal patterns of animals (including humans). Improved tracking technology (GPS, bio-loggers, smart-phones) demands an integrative view, with new computational tools and modeling frameworks to understand unprecedented levels of detail from a constantly growing number of species. I am contributing to this scientific revolution based on a broad, highly collaborative and interdisciplinary research program, founded solidly on statistical physics and quantitative ecology. A central question in my research is how animals use information and their motor properties to optimize search strategies. The mechanistic linkage between behavioral processes and movement patterns is also key to understanding globalised problems such as the perpetuation of social inequality among humans or the spread of vector-borne infectious diseases.

    Key words

    Movement Ecology, Modelling, Search behaviour, Foraging, Migration, Conservation Biology, Invasion Ecology, Human mobility

    ORCID

    : 0000-0001-6908-3797

    RESEARCHER ID

    : D-1911-2010

  • Bassat, Quique

    Institut de Salut Global Barcelona (ISGlobal)

    CLOSE

    Bassat, Quique

    Research Professor at
    Institut de Salut Global Barcelona (ISGlobal)
    Life & Medical Sciences

    view profile

    Research interests

    As a paediatrician, my research is based on the premise that there is no greater public health intervention than that which can reduce child mortality, particularly in poor contexts. To do these, I have worked in low and middle-income countries to understand and prevent malaria, yaws and other infectious diseases that most impact child survival. I have investigated in Mozambique, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Brazil and now Bhutan, the epidemiology, aetiology and clinical characteristics of malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, neonatal sepsis, Yaws and other infectious diseases significantly affecting child's health. I’m interested in biomarkers of host response as diagnostic and prognostic tools to help triage children and better target antibiotics. For malaria and yaws, my research is contributing to develop and test the new paradigm of disease eradication, by assessing the impact of drugs to specifically interrupt their transmission. More recently, my research has focused on improving the poor existing data on the causes of child mortality. An important contribution has been the validation of a radically innovative minimally invasive autopsy (MIA) sampling protocol.

    Key words

    Child mortality, Cause of death, Paediatric infections, Pneumonia, Malaria, Eradication, Yaws

    ORCID

    : http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0875-7596

    RESEARCHER ID

    : https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Quique_Bassat

  • Batlle Gómez, Eduard

    Institut de Recerca Biomèdica (IRB Barcelona)

    CLOSE

    Batlle Gómez, Eduard

    Research Professor at
    Institut de Recerca Biomèdica (IRB Barcelona)
    Life & Medical Sciences

    view profile

    Research interests

    The inner layer of the intestinal tube, the intestinal epithelium, is in a constant process of renewal. Hundreds of millions of terminally differentiated intestinal cells are replaced by new cells every day during the life of an adult organism. This tremendous regenerative power is ultimately sustained by a small population of intestinal stem cells. It is believed that alterations in the functioning of intestinal stem cells account for the pathophysiology of various bowel disorders. Our laboratory studies the connection between the biology of Intestinal Stem Cells and Colon Cancer. We are also interested in the process of metastasis, the cause of death of most colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Neither conventional chemotherapy nor current targeted therapies offer significant benefits once the disease has spread to distant organs.  Furthermore, current CRC staging based on histopathology and imaging has a limited ability to predict the evolution of the disease. We have recently discovered that vast majority of genes that distinguish poor prognosis CRC subtypes are expressed by stromal cells rather than by epithelial tumor cells. It appears that metastasis relies on a tumor cell non-autonomous program driven by TGF-beta in the tumor microenvironment. 

    Key words

    Colorectal cancer, intestinal stem cells, TGF-beta signaling, tumor microenvironment, metastasis
  • Battaglia, Giuseppe

    Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya (IBEC)

    CLOSE

    Battaglia, Giuseppe

    Research Professor at
    Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya (IBEC)
    Engineering Sciences

    view profile

    Research interests

    <p><span>I have put together a truly interdisciplinary collection of research activities where we address biological challenges (often associated with a specific clinical need) using a constructionist approach. I have christened this approach <strong>Molecular Bionics </strong>and I mimic biological complexity in the form of design principles to produce functional units from simple building blocks and their interactions.&nbsp; This can be summarised into four overlapping areas:</span></p>

    <p><u><strong>Molecular Engineering</strong></u></p>

    <p><span>We are engaged in several activities involving the synthesis and characterisation of novel hierarchal materials whose properties are the result of the holistic combination of its components. &nbsp;We combine synthetic and supramolecular chemistry to control self-assembly processes to form dynamic soft materials whose molecular, supramolecular and mesoscale structures are tuned and fit for the final application . &nbsp;</span></p>

    <p><u><strong>Physical Biology</strong></u></p>

    <p><span>We have developed and established new methodologies to study living systems and how synthetic materials interact with them combining holistically physical and life sciences. We have an active microscopy program where we both develop new imaging probes as well as novel ways to push the limit of both electron and optical microscopy.&nbsp;</span></p>

    <p><u><strong>Synthetic Biology</strong></u></p>

    <p><span>We engineer study models that can help to shed light on biological organisation and complexity by fine-tuning the different building blocks. We apply these to investigate biological organisation and complexity creating synthetic surrogates that act as models as well as to engineer novel sophisticated ways to interact with living organisms</span></p>

    <p><u><strong>Nanomedicine</strong></u></p>

    <p><span>We take inspiration from viruses, trafficking vesicles and exosomes to apply molecular engineering to create nanoscopic carriers that can navigate the human body with the final aim to improve drug delivery and/or create new diagnostic tools. We often focus this to specific clinical needs and we have an active program of research in Oncology, Neurology and Infection.</span></p>

    Key words

    Nanomedicine, drug delivery, polymersomes, block copolymer, biomaterials, physical biology, endocytosis, targeting, active matter, polymer synthesis

    ORCID

    : orcid.org/0000-0003-3349-6770

    RESEARCHER ID

    : I-2142-2013