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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    Juan Valcárcel
    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
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    Alfonso Valencia
    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
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    Sergio Valenzuela
    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.
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    Jeroen van den Bergh
    van den Bergh, Jeroen
    Research Professor at
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
    Social & Behavioural Sciences
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    Research interests

    My work is on the interface of environmental economics, climate science and innovation studies. Research in recent years focuses on the design of effective and politically-feasible climate policy that accounts for undesirable systemic impacts, such as energy rebound and international carbon leakage. This involves the application of methods and insights of behavioural and evolutionary economics, operationalized through agent-based modelling. Past work covered integrated ecological-economic modelling, contributions to the growth-versus-environment debate, environmental policies applied to urban-transport issues, biodiversity valuation and policy, modelling of recycling in material-product chains, and international dimensions 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
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    Niek van Huslt
    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 transport and coupling in single light-harvesting antenna complexes at native conditions, to unravel the efficiency and robustness 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 reflect & 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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    Licia Verde
    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: "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", their statistical properties and how the emerge and evolve from the Universe's initial conditions, which can be gleaned from   the statistical properties of the heat left over from the big bang. These observations are used   to shed light on the Universe composition, including the dark energy component,   the Universe's   history and evolution and ultimately the physics governing it.

    Key words

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

    ORCID

    : 0000-0003-2601-8770