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:

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    Supek, Fran
    Research Professor at
    Institut de Recerca Biomèdica (IRB Barcelona)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    My interests focus on computational approaches for elucidating mutational processes that generate genetic diversity within populations and across species, with the goal of understanding mechanisms of mutagenesis and DNA repair. I am also interested in developing statistical frameworks for detecting genomic signatures of negative or positive selection, which are often challenging to distinguish from the background DNA sequence variability that results from accumulated mutations. Such novel methodologies provide opportunities to gain insight into evolution of genomes, by revealing details of the interplay between mutation and selection. The biological questions I addressed include learning about evolution of gene function and regulation, in particular related to mechanisms underlying stress resistance and disease. In addition, I am interested in distributions of genetic variants in the human germline and soma, which can reveal how DNA repair is organized along eukaryotic chromosomes.

    Key words

    computational biology, genomics, mutagenesis, cancer genomes, selection, gene function, phenomics, biostatistics, machine learning

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-7811-6711

    RESEARCHER ID

    : B-2359-2012
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    Supèr, Hans
    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    I started my scientific journey by studying the ontogenetic and evolutionary development of the cerebral cortex to get a grasp of the immense complexity of the cortex. To learn about the functional organization of the neocortex, I continued my research studying system neurophysiology in awake, behaving monkeys and neural circuit dynamics using computer simulations. In 2011 we discovered a novel eye movement in cognitive processing.  We termed it Cognitive Vergence. The use of Cognitive Vergence has been patented world-wide, and I founded the start-up company (Braingaze) in 2013. End 2017 I started the centre ACAP at the UB where graduate and master students can carry out clinical work using Cognitive Vergence. Currently my research investigates 1) the neural mechanism of dynamic neural interactions, 2) the function of Cognitive Vergence in visual cognition, 3) clinical applications of Cognitive Vergence in early diagnosis of mental pathology being ADHD, Alzheimer, ASD, Dyslexia, 4) interactive eye tracking games to train cogntive behavior. Methods we use are computational spiking networks, eye tracking, machine learning, and psychophysics.

    Key words

    Cognition, Cortical Circuitry, Computational Modeling, Figure-ground Perception, System Neurophysiology, Visual Cortex

    ORCID

    : 0000-0001-9328-0096

    RESEARCHER ID

    : L-3324-2014
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    Surrey, Thomas
    Research Professor at
    Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    Living cells are internally highly organized, yet also very dynamic. How is dynamic order generated? The cytoskeleton plays a critical role in this process by forming an active filament network that provides a mechanically stable coordinate system for the internal organization of cells. The Surrey lab studies the properties of the microtubule cytoskeleton with a particular interest in its ability to organize itself into different networks in different cell types or at different times of a cell's life cycle. The Surrey lab has pioneered several biochemical in vitro reconstitution approaches in which minimal cytoskeletal subsystems can be generated from purified components. Observing the behaviour of these reconstituted systems by advanced fluorescence microscopy provides insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying cytoskeleton dynamics and function. Our goal is to uncover the design principles governing active biological network organization which is essential for cell function.

    Key words

    Cytoskeleton, intracellular architecture, self-organization, microtubules, motor proteins, in vitro reconstitution, molecular mechanism, dynamic systems, fluorescence microscopy, quantitative imaging

    ORCID

    : 0000-0001-9082-1870
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    Swart, Marcel
    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Girona (UdG)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics
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    Research interests

    He works in the field of theoretical (bio)inorganic and supramolecular chemistry, and works on transition-metal complexes, metalloproteins, enzymes, and DNA. The development of computational tools for these studies is an important ingredient, to which he has contributed largely both with his own software (QUILD, DRF90) as in contributions in general purpose software (ADF, NWCHEM). One of the main areas where these tools are applied is in the field of transition-metal chemistry, the spin states involved, and the effect this has on reactivity, selectivity, chemical bonding and spectroscopy. For this he developed spin-state consistent density functional (SSB-D, S12g).  His research on the development of theoretical chemistry tools was awarded the Young Scientist Excellence Award 2005, the 2012 MGMS Silver Jubilee Prize, and a special award by the Serbian Chemical Society in honor of their 120 anniversary for his continuous support for advancing chemical sciences in Serbia.

    Key words

    Density Functional Theory, polarizable force fields, bioinorganic and organic chemistry, multi-level (QM/MM or QM/QM) approaches, molecular simulations.

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-8174-8488

    RESEARCHER ID

    : A-5083-2008
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    Tarancón Rubio, Albert
    Research Professor at
    Institut de Recerca en Energia de Catalunya (IREC)
    Engineering Sciences
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    Research interests

    The research work carried out by Albert is in advanced materials for energy applications. In particular, he has been developing innovative concepts for improving the performance of different solid state energy devices such as Solid Oxide Fuel and Electrolysis Cells (SOFC/SOEC), ThermoElectric Generators (TEGs) or Li-ion batteries for energy storage and portable power applications. In the last years, Albert has been specifically developing new concepts for the unexplored field of Nanoionics. Nanoionics is called to drive a new revolution similarly to Nanoelectronics, underlining the relevance of size effects and interfaces on mass transfer, transport and storage. Albert's group is pioneer in implementing interface-dominated nanomaterials in real devices for radically new applications. In this direction, he was recently awarded with an ERC CoG to implement disruptive Nanoionics concepts in Si-integrated micro-SOFC technology and a FET Proactive project on new micro energy technologies. 

    Key words

    Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, High Temperature Electrolysis, Nanoionics, Micropower sources, Power-to-Gas ,Micro fuel cells

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-1933-2406

    RESEARCHER ID

    : AAJ-6513-2020
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    Tikhonov, Sergey
    Research Professor at
    Centre de Recerca Matemàtica (CRM)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics
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    Research interests

    My main research areas are Fourier Analysis and Approximation Theory. Particularly, I study the relationship between "smoothness" of a function and the possibility to approximate or to represent this function by a sum of "simple" functions. The case when "simple" functions have wave structure is of special interest.

    Key words

    Harmonic Analysis, ApproximationTheory