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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    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

    His research interest is the development of Computational Biology methods and their application to biomedical problems. Some of the computational methods he developed are considered pioneering work in areas such as biological text mining, protein coevolution, disease networks and more recently modelling cellular systems (digital twins). He participates in some of the key cancer related international consortia. In terms of community services, he is one of the initial promoters of what is now the ELIXIR infrastructure, founder of the Spanish Bioinformatics network and founder member and former president of ISCB the professional association of Bioinformaticians and the Executive Editor of the main journal in the field (Bioinformatics OUP).

    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, quantum transport and manipulation, using 2D materials and topological insulators, and quantum metrology. 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

    I work on the interface of environmental economics, climate-policy research, and innovation studies. Research in recent years focuses on effectiveness and public support of climate policy. This accounts for undesirable systemic impacts, such as energy rebound and carbon leakage. It involves application of methods and insights from behavioural and evolutionary economics, operationalized through agent-based modelling, questionnaire surveys and online experiments. 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, rambling between Mediterranean waters and Catalan winefields.

    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
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    Isabelle Vernos
    Vernos, Isabelle
    Research Professor at
    Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    Life depends on the ability of cells to divide while maintaining their genomic integrity. Cell division is therefore a critical process and yet involves the full reversible reorganization of most of intra-cellular components. In particular it involves the transient assembly of a microtubule based molecular machine, the bipolar spindle that organizes and segregates the chromosomes during cell division. We recently identified a novel mechanism involving the postranslational modification of the spindle microtubules that is required for chromosome segregation fidelity in normal cells. This mechanism is at stake in cancer cells that often misegregate chromosomes. Indeed aneuploidy and chromosomal instability are two hallmarks of particularly aggressive tumors. Our aim is to understand how this mechanism and other regulatory signalling pathways ensure the proper execution of mitosis and identify novel targets to prevent cancer cell proliferation.

    Key words

    Cell division

    ORCID

    : 0000-0003-1469-9214

    RESEARCHER ID

    : C-1687-2015