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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    Massimo Stengel
    Stengel, Massimiliano
    Research Professor at
    Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (CSIC - ICMAB)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics
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    Research interests

    My research develops and uses frontier electronic-structure methods to tackle key fundamental and technological questions in ferroelectricity, magnetism, surface science and metal/oxide interfaces. In the past few years I have focused on perovskite thin films, and in particular on understanding how the reduced size affects their functional properties. I am currently interested in the study of novel functionalities in oxide-based systems (e.g. flexoelectricity, magnetoelectric effects, confined electron gases, improper ferroelectricity) and in development of accurate modeling strategies to bridge the gap between the microscopic and macroscopic worlds.

    Key words

    first-principles theory, ferroelectrics, magnetoelectrics, interfaces, thin films

    ORCID

    : 0000-0003-4175-3888

    RESEARCHER ID

    : E-2934-2010
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    Thomas Sturm
    Sturm, Thomas
    Research Professor at
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
    Humanities
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    Research interests

    How is rationality understood in philosophy and the human sciences? How should it be understood? What is its function in various domains? These are the guiding questions for my research, which comprises topics reaching from early modern philosophy - esp. Immanuel Kant's philosophy - up to current discussions at the interface of philosophy, psychology, and the social sciences. I study aspects of reason in Kant's philosophy in relation to his notions of truth and the systematicity of science; I analyze the history as well as the potentials and limits of current psychological and philosophical theories of rationality; and I also study their role in politics, ethics, and education. I'm moreover interested in the philosophy of knowledge, mind, and science. Methodologically, I combine tools of analytic philosophy and history of science: I am unconvinced by widespread opinions according to which they cannot, or should not, be integrated.

    Key words

    Rationality, Immanuel Kant, Philosophy of Mind & Psychology, Philosophy & History of Science

    ORCID

    : 0000-0001-5698-3542

    RESEARCHER ID

    : C-6548-2015
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    Hans Supèr
    Supèr, Hans
    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    My interest is studying the cognitive brain, To get a grasp of its immense complexity, I studied the development of the cortex and the functional organization of the neocortex. Current research focuses on neural circuit dynamics using computer simulations and cognitive behavior with psychophysical experiments. We described novel roles for fixational eye movements in cognitive processing. These studies support the idea that vision is an active process, which can be trained to improve cognitive behavior. The exploitation of these findings is protected by patents, which are licensed. Currently, my research investigates 1) the neural mechanism and function of vergence/synchrony, 2) clinical applications of Cognitive Vergence and eye synchrony, and 3) interactive eye-tracking games to improve cognitive behavior.

    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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    Thomas Surrey
    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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    Marcel Swart
    Swart, Marcel
    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Girona (UdG)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics
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    Research interests

    He focuses on the study of electrons in transition-metals during catalysis and in the formation of nanomaterials. He paved the way and designed new density functionals which enabled him to show how electrons flow in transition metal catalysts by jumping from one spin state to another, enabling the corresponding fingerprinting through computational spectroscopy (IR, NMR, UV-Vis, Mössbauer).  His scientific excellence has been recognized through several honors and awards: he was awarded the 5th MGMS Silver Jubilee Prize for promoting young molecular modelers (2012), and was selected to contribute to “The next generation” 40 years anniversary issue of Inorg. Chim. Acta (2007). Recently, he received a special award in honor of his continuous support for advancing chemical sciences in Serbia (2017), as the first and only foreigner who has received it.

    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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    Albert Tarancón
    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 and Iontronics. They are 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 devices for radically new applications. In this direction, he was awarded with an ERC CoG to implement disruptive Nanoionics concepts in Si-integrated micro-SOFC technology and two FET Proactive projects on new microenergy technologies. From this recent activity, Albert's group developed unprecedented synaptic transistors based on oxide-ion conductors in the frame of their Transionics ERC-PoC project. This can be considered the starting point for a new class of switchable devices that will boos the future Ion Age. 

    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