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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    Paul Verschure
    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: ·Architecture of mind and brain ·Computational neuroscience ·Robotics ·Neuroinformatics ·Human neurophysiology ·Neurorehabilitation ·Education and cultural heritage.

    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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    Anton Vidal
    Vidal i Ferran, Anton
    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics
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    Research interests

    Our current objectives encompass developing efficient, reliable and selective catalytic systems for synthetic transformations of interest, and studying their use to prepare relevant products for the life science and fine chemical sectors. Crucial aspects of this work include the modularity of the catalytic systems, the versatility of the synthetic strategies for their preparation and the incorporation of supramolecular motifs (when appropriate) in the catalyst’s structure to achieve additional function, taking into account the issue of sustainability.

    In terms of the catalytic transformations under homogeneous conditions that are being studied, our research interests focus on generating value-added products from unsaturated compounds through pivotal chemical transformations such as stereoselective hydrogenations, hydroformylations, hydroalkoxylations, hydrovinylations and hydroborations and C-C couplings on non-halogenated substrates.

    Key words

    Organic chemistry, Enantioselective catalysis, Preparation of industrially relevant enantiopure products, Development of sustainable production methods, Supramolecular Catalysis, Molecular Recognition, Chiral Functional Materials

    ORCID

    : 0000-0001-7926-1876

    RESEARCHER ID

    : A-5784-2013
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    Fernando Vidal
    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? 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 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
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    Miquel Vila
    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, (iii) 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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    Josep Vilardell
    Vilardell Trench, Josep
    Research Professor at
    Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC - IBMB)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    Gene structure, or how the genetic information is written, 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. In addition, taking advantage of large datasets publicly available, we investigate how the spliceosome responds to aging, mutations, or disease.

    Key words

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

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-7102-4590

    RESEARCHER ID

    : K-9726-2014
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    Alexander Voityuk
    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