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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    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
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    Verde, Licia
    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics
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    Research interests

    I am interested in Cosmology, which is the study of the origin, evolution and composition of the universe. One of the recent discoveries in cosmology is that more than 70% of what makes up the universe is not even matter, but something that suggests that some energy is associated with the nothingness of vacuum. This component has been dubbed "dark energy". Dark energy may as well be one of the major problems in physics today and is motivating a host of future and planned experiments. I study the "large-scale distribution of galaxies" and the statistical properties of the heat left over from the big bang to shed light on the universe composition, including the dark energy component, and its history.

    Key words

    Cosmology: large-scale structure of the Universe, interpretation of cosmological data, connection between theory and observations

    ORCID

    : 0000-0003-2601-8770
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    Vernos, Isabelle
    Research Professor at
    Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    Life depends on the ability of cells to divide while maintaining their genomic integrity. Cell division is therefore a critical process and yet involves the full reversible reorganization of the intra-cellular components. We are currently trying to understand the mechanism and regulatory signalling pathways involved in the transient formation of the mitotic spindle, the microtubule based molecular machine that segregates the chromosomes during cell division.

    Key words

    Cell division

    ORCID

    : 0000-0003-1469-9214

    RESEARCHER ID

    : C-1687-2015
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    Verschure, Paul FMJ
    Research Professor at
    Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya (IBEC)
    Engineering Sciences
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    Research interests

    His scientific goal is to generate a unified theory of mind and brain and body. Relying on synthetic methods and delivering science grounded technologies that support and advance the human condition added to the applicationn for developing novel real-world technologies and quality of life-enhancing applications. At Specs-Lab activities are organized along seven dimensions: ·Architectures of mind and brain ·Computational neuroscience ·Robotics ·Neuroinformatics ·Human neurophysiology ·Neurorehabilitation ·Education.

    The unique synergy between basic and applied science realized in Specs has generated new insights into the organization of mind and brain and provided solutions in neurorehabilitation, education, and cultural heritage used by thousands of people.

    Key words

    cognitive science, computational neuroscience, neurophysiology, robotics, artificial intelligence, psychology, virtual reality, mixed reality, neurorehabilitation, mind, brain

    ORCID

    : 0000-0003-3643-9544
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    Vidal i Ferran, Anton
    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics
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    Research interests

    Our past and current objectives encompass the Design of Efficient Enantioselective Catalysts for Transformations of Interest, and the study of their use to prepare products with relevance in the life-science sector and fine chemicals arena. We are working in an area of research in which cutting-edge chemistry combines concepts from supramolecular and physical organic chemistry with traditional approaches from enantioselective catalysis. Crucial aspects of this work include modular design of the catalysts; use of versatile synthetic procedures; incorporation of regulation mechanisms to optimize the geometry of the catalyst’s active-site; and computational study of their catalytic cycles (through collaborations).

    Key words

    Organic chemistry, Asymmetric catalysis, Preparation of industrially relevant enantiopure products, Development of sustainable production methods, Supramolecular Catalysis, Molecular Recognition
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    Vidal, Fernando
    Research Professor at
    Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)
    Humanities
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    Research interests

    How do values and the production and application of scientific knowledge interact in particular contexts to shape views and practices of the human being? This has been the common question of my main research interests, which have long concerned the history of the mind/brain sciences from the early modern “sciences of the soul” to contemporary neurosciences. I keep working in those areas (see Lines of Research), but now also explore that question in the framework of biomedical ethics and medical anthropology and phenomenology. My main current project, which involves a network of researchers, patients and caregivers in Europe, the US and Japan, examines how the individual and collective experience of neurological conditions articulates with conceptions of personhood and forms of subjectivity. It focuses on the locked-in syndrome (known to the public through the film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), a condition that leaves the mind intact, but the body almost entirely paralyzed.

    Key words

    History of the human sciences, Medical anthropology and phenomenology, Biomedical ethics, Science and society

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-2956-8607

    RESEARCHER ID

    : L-7384-2014