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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    Coroleu Lletget, Alejandro
    Research Professor at
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
    Humanities
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    Research interests

    Classical and Comparative Literature: Latin literary culture in Europe (ca. 1480-ca. 1720)

    Intellectual History and Renaissance Studies: Hispanic, Italian and European Humanism

    The reception of Greek and Roman literatures in early modern Iberia (1450-1600)

    Key words

    Comparative Literature, Intellectual History, Renaissance Studies
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    Cortés Closas, Alfred
    Research Professor at
    Institut de Salut Global Barcelona (ISGlobal)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum regulates at the epigenetic level the expression of a multitude of genes that participate in host-parasite interactions (clonally variant genes). These genes can be found in either an active or a silenced state, which is clonally transmitted from one generation to the next. At the malaria epigenetics lab we study the chromatin-based mechanisms involved in the epigenetic regulation of clonally variant genes, and how transcriptional variation results in phenotypic variation and contributes to parasite adaptation to changes in the environment. We combine genome-wide studies with studies on specific clonally variant genes that control important processes in parasite biology. Among these, we are especially interested in the regulation of solute uptake and sexual conversion, which is necessary for malaria transmission. More recently, we started investigating the transcriptional changes that mediate parasite survival at febrile temperatures.

    Key words

    Plasmodium falciparum, malaria, erythrocyte invasion, epigenetics, variant gene expression, chromatin

    ORCID

    : http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0730-6582
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    Cosma, Maria Pia
    Research Professor at
    Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    Main interests of Cosma's group are to dissect mechanisms and factors controlling somatic cell reprogramming and tissue regeneration in mammalians. We showed that activation of the Wnt/ß-catenin signalling pathway enhances reprogramming of somatic cells after their fusion with embryonic stem cells. We are dissecting gene networks and reprogramming factors controlled by the activation of Wnt/ß-catenin pathway. Furthermore, by using super resolution microscopy we are investigating on the remodelling and looping of the chromatin fiber during the reprograming process. The activation of Wnt pathway controls regeneration in response to damage in lower and higher vertebrates. We found that the Wnt/ß-catenin signalling is also key to control cell-fusion-mediated regeneration in mammals. We recently showed that in vivo reprogramming of neurons and hepatocytes after fusion with hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells is a mechanism for tissue regeneration.

    Key words

    stem cell, reprogramming, Wnt/beta-catenin signalling, human genetic disorders, sulfatases, gene network
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    Dalmau Obradors, Josep
    Research Professor at
    Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    My research focuses on immune-mediated diseases of the nervous system. Although this work initially focused on cancer associated (paraneoplastic) disorders, it evolved with our discovery of a category of diseases named antibody-mediated encephalitis. These diseases occur in association with antibodies against neuronal cell-surface proteins, ion channels, or synaptic receptors involved in synaptic transmission and plasticity. Antibody-mediated changes in the structure or function of these antigens result in several different syndromes characterized by psychosis, epilepsy, memory deficits, abnormal movements, sleep dysfunction, or cognitive decline. My research group carries out translational studies including the identification of novel diseases (e.g., anti-NMDAR encephalitis among others), the development of diagnostic tests and treatment strategies, as well as basic studies aimed at elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the immune-mediated brain dysfunction

    Key words

    Neuro-immunology, Cancer, Neuro-oncology

    ORCID

    : 0000-0001-5856-2813
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    Daura Ribera, Xavier
    Research Professor at
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    The main objective of our research group is the development of new strategies to combat infections by multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, in particular of the Gram-negative (GN) group. The increasing emergence and spread of MDR pathogens constitutes at present one of the major threats to public health. The shortage of effective antimicrobials for the treatment of MDR GN infections is particularly critical as cases of pan-resistance accumulate. The discovery of new drug targets and modes of action (MoA), less propitious to the evolution of resistance, has therefore become a pressing need. In parallel, the development of effective vaccines may offer a solution for high-risk population groups. Our team combines a range of computational and experimental techniques for the identification of antimicrobial-target candidates with new MoA and vaccine candidates eliciting prescribed resposes. Much of this work is done in collaboration with the group of Bacterial Molecular Genetics of IBB.

    Key words

    multidrug resistance, synthetic vaccinology, antimicrobials, bioinformatics, biomolecular modelling, biomolecular simulation

    ORCID

    : 0000-0001-9235-6730

    RESEARCHER ID

    : C-9275-2009
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    de Diego Balaguer, Ruth
    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
    Social & Behavioural Sciences
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    Research interests

    My research combines information from brain-damaged patients, developmental populations and brain-imaging in healthy individuals to understand whether words and rules of language require different neural and cognitive mechanisms to be acquired since the earliest stages of contact with a new language. I am particularly interested in i) the role of the attentional systems in the acquisition of different aspects of language; ii) the role of the striatum as a brain structure that could make the interface between language and other cognitive functions necessary in the learning process; and iii) how is the acquired information consolidated and modified when we learn new additional information.

    Key words

    Language adquisition, rule learning, striatum

    ORCID

    : orcid.org/0000-0002-2357-5195

    RESEARCHER ID

    : V-2131-2017