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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  • Vidal i Ferran, Anton

    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

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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
  • Vidal, Fernando

    Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)

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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

  • Vila Bover, Miquel

    Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR)

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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

  • Vilardell Trench, Josep

    Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC - IBMB)

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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

  • Voityuk, Alexander

    Universitat de Girona (UdG)

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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

  • Wagner, Peter

    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

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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