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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    Vila Bover, Miquel
    Research Professor at
    Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    Our research is geared toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms of neuron cell death occurring in Parkinson's disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's dementia, in order to: (i) identify biomarkers for the diagnosis, early detection, patient stratification, disease progression, prognosis or response to treatment, (ii) identify new molecular targets for potential therapeutic intervention, (ii) develop novel therapeutic strategies with disease-modifying potential for this currently incurable disease, (iv) unravel molecular pathways common to other neurodegenerative diseases.

    Key words

    Neurodegenerative diseases, Parkinson's disease, neurodegeneration, mitochondria, apoptosis, autophagy, neuroinflammation, intracellular inclusions, neuroprotection

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-1352-989X
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    Vilardell Trench, Josep
    Research Professor at
    Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC - IBMB)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    Living systems carry on the information to reproduce ("Genetic" Information) themselves. This is subjected to Natural Selection and there are many examples of strategies to optimize the storage of genetic information. However, apparently this does not hold in multicellular organisms, including us. Most our genes are repeatedly interrupted by many comparatively large, apparently meaningless, segments, that are neatly removed before decoding the gene. This removal is done by the spliceosome, a machine akin to a genome’s ghostwriter and possibly the most complex enzyme in a eukaryotic cell. Our research aims at what controls the spliceosome and how this is achieved. For this we follow a reductionist scheme with the yeast model, using molecular and computational approaches. We study the initial steps in the recognition of “meaningless” segments and their regulation. In addition, taking advantage of large datasets publicly available, we investigate how the spliceosome responds to aging, mutations, or disease, both in yeast and human cells.

    Key words

    RNA splicing, genomics, gene expression, genetics, yeast, human

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-7102-4590

    RESEARCHER ID

    : K-9726-2014
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    Voityuk, Alexander
    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Girona (UdG)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics
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    Research interests

    Electron transfer (ET) and excitation energy transfer (EET) are  important processes in biochemistry and material science. The main area of my research is the development of theoretical and computational tools to explore ET and EET in molecular systems and their application to  biomolecules and organic materials to understand  underlying mechanisms that control the charge and exciton migration in the systems. Semiempirical methods, the development of computer codes and simulation of ET and EET in DNA and related systems are of special interest.

    Key words

    Computational modeling, electron and excitation energy transfer, DNA, Proteins, organic semiconductors

    ORCID

    : 0000-0001-6620-4362

    RESEARCHER ID

    : K-3647-2014
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    Wagner, Peter
    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
    Social & Behavioural Sciences
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    Research interests

    Peter Wagner's research is based in comparative historical and political sociology, social and political theory, and sociology of the social sciences. It focuses on the identification and comparative analysis of different forms of social and political modernity and of the historical trajectories of modern societies. In this perspective, the term "modernity" does not signal a single and unique model of social organization, but rather variable interpretations of basic human problématiques in the light of specific historical experiences. It was initially applied to a comparative political sociology of European societies, and subsequently to transformations in the self-understanding of Europe.  Over the past few years, it was elaborated further towards a "world-sociology", focusing on the tensions between struggles for autonomy and persisting forms of domination and exploring current possibilities of progress in the light of historical experiences in different world-regions.

    Key words

    political sociology, social and political theory, comparative-historical sociology, European studies, sociology of the sciences
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    Wanner, Leo
    Research Professor at
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)
    Humanities
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    Research interests

    Leo Wanner is working in the field of computational linguistics, teaching the computer to understand spoken and written natural language material,  to supply people with information that might be useful to them and to interact with people. His research areas include human-computer interaction (in particular, the design and realization of conversation agents that reveal social and cultural competence), automatic written and spoken graph transduction-based language generation, automatic summarization of written material, data-driven parsing, information extraction, and, more recently, profiling of authors of written material and the information structure-prosody interface. He is furthermore interested in lexicology and lexicography, and there, in particular, in the automatic recognition, representation and use of lexical idiosyncrasies (so-called "collocations") by both native speakers and learners of a language. An important characteristics of his research is that it is multilingual.

    Key words

    computational linguistics, language generation, language analysis, summarization, lexicology, lexicography.
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    Williams, Andrew
    Research Professor at
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)
    Humanities
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    Research interests

    My interests lie in moral and political philosophy and practical rationality, as well as intersecting areas in economics and political science. My research focusses in particular on questions about distributive justice, including ones arising across states and generations. I explore how egalitarian distributive principles  should guide the design of social institutions that shape the prospects of children, parents, the elderly, and future generations. My most recent work examines how we should deal with the needs of the elderly and with variations in lifespan as well as the role that demographic factors should play in our response to climate change.

    Key words

    Political Philosophy, Ethics, Rational Action, Distributive Justice, International Ethics, Intergenerational Ethics, Liberalism, Political Authority, John Rawls, Demographic Change, Climate Change

    ORCID

    : orcid.org/0000-0001-7907-8991