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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  • Usón Finkenzeller, Isabel

    Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC - IBMB)

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    Usón Finkenzeller, Isabel

    Research Professor at
    Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC - IBMB)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    Macromolecular crystallography provides conclusive structural info. down to atomic detail and has been inextricable from major advances in the life sciences. Nevertheless, this structural model cannot be directly calculated from the experimental data, as we cannot measure the phases of the diffracted X-ray beams. Our group develops methods to exploit the stereochemical knowledge present in small, accurate units such as secondary structure fragments and their association into local folds. Their use to solve the central phase problem of crystallography is implemented in our software ARCIMBOLDO. This has required devising our own particular toolbox for fragments. We are extending this detailed view to map interpretation within the program SHELXE (Sheldrick) and general structure interpretation within our program BORGES_MATRIX. Also, we are extending our work into electron diffraction. As illustrated in paintings by G. Arcimboldo, the information content derived from a correct combination of fragments goes beyond their simple addition.

    Key words

    Crystallography, phasing, refinement, computational methods, problem structures
  • Valcárcel Juárez, Juan

    Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG)

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    Valcárcel Juárez, Juan

    Research Professor at
    Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    The genome provides the instructions to build and maintain the function of a living organism. Strangely, in complex organisms these instructions are not written as continuous messages, but rather as smaller pieces interrupted by meaningless text. This arrangement has the advantage that the pieces can be combined in different ways to generate alternative instructions. We study the molecular machinery that puts messages together and how the production of alternative messages is regulated.

    Key words

    RNA processing, gene regulation

    ORCID

    : 0000-0001-5398-3571

    RESEARCHER ID

    : O-9814-2014

  • Valencia Herrera, Alfonso

    Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS)

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    Valencia Herrera, Alfonso

    Research Professor at
    Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    *Personalized Medicine Initiative: Organize resources for the analysis of large scale genomics and phenotypic data and its translation to clinic.*NLP/text mining: Analyzing large biomedical corpora to detect bioentities relations and specific conditions, e.g. disease specific genes affected in particular contexts.*New approaches to predict protein structures and interactions: exploration of the sequence and structure spaces combined with simulations highly improve prediction methods, useful in applications such as drug design.*Network Biology: Investigation of AI approaches for the analysis of biological networks, ontology constructions and diseases comorbidity.*Evaluation of research and social projects: Analyzing large data sets to assess the impact of specific projects, monitoring, and planning. *Building a sustainable bioinformatic infrastructure: In collaboration with the INB and the EBI, systematically catalog, interoperate and benchmark methods and data resources.

    Key words

    Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Precision Medicine, Genomics, Text Mining, Cognitive Computing

    ORCID

    : https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8937-6789

    RESEARCHER ID

    : I-3127-2015

  • Valenzuela, Sergio O.

    Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2)

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    Valenzuela, Sergio O.

    Research Professor at
    Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2)
    Engineering Sciences
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    Research interests

    In recent years, electronic devices have been scaled down to nanoscale sizes where quantum effects begin to interfere with their functioning. Materials and devices in such scales often present unexpected and counterintuitive physical properties. Prof. Valenzuela's Group focus is the development of novel devices, which are designed to gain insight of specific physical properties of the system components, relevant both for fundamental reasons and applications at the nanoscale. The current research interests of the group span Spintronics, Spin Caloritronics, and quantum transport in particular in graphene and topological insulators. For more information see: http://nanodevices.icn2.cat.

    Key words

    Spintronics, magnetism, quantum computing.
  • van den Bergh, Jeroen

    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

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    van den Bergh, Jeroen

    Research Professor at
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
    Social & Behavioural Sciences
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    Research interests

    I work on the interface of economics, environmental/climate science and innovation studies. Work in recent years focuses on the design of effective climate policy (notably carbon pricing) and carbon/energy rebound, particularly under bounded rationality. Research involves application of methods and insights of behavioural and evolutionary economics. Past studies covered integrated environmental-economic modelling, contributions to the growth-versus-environment debate, economic policy analysis of dematerialization and recycling, and spatial/international aspects of environmental policy.

    Key words

    Environmental and resource economics | Energy and climate economics | Environmental science and ecological economics | Evolutionary economics and innovation studies | Spatial (regional, transport and urban) economics.

    ORCID

    : 0000-0003-3415-3083

    RESEARCHER ID

    : C-7103-2008

  • van Hulst, Niek F.

    Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO)

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    van Hulst, Niek F.

    Research Professor at
    Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO)
    Engineering Sciences
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    Research interests

    My current interest is to control light interaction at the nanometer scale. To this end, my group specializes on optical antennas, with nanoscale hot spots, and on coherent control schemes to command light on the "femto-nano" scale. We study individual molecules, quantum dots and single proteins, in strong interaction with nanoantenna-cavities and sub-10-fs pulses; controlling excitation-emission rates, direction, spectra, polarization, single photon character. We focus particularly on long-lived coherences in single light-harvesting antenna complexes at native conditions, to unravel the remarkably high efficiency of energy conversion in such natural molecular antennas. At ICFO I aim to stimulate young researchers, towards well-rooted skilled scientists and assertive critical thinkers, ready to shape their future and sustain the world. To recharge, I like to touch ground in the Massis del Garraf or to stroll around the coast, inspired by the ancient Mediterranean waters.

    Key words

    NanoPhotonics, Single Molecules, Optical Antennas, Molecular Photonics, Quantum Coherence, Coherent Control, Energy Transfer

    ORCID

    : 0000-0003-4630-1776

    RESEARCHER ID

    : J-2121-2012