Laia Andreu research focuses on the study of the interactions between forests and the environment and on reconstructing past climate conditions using tree rings and isotopic geochemistry. Warming temperatures associated with global climate change are having dramatic and profound impacts on forests, and her research centers on assessing these changes across several key regions of the planet. She is currently conducting research in boreal, tropical, Central Asian and Mediterranean regions, which are ‘hot spots’ of current climate and environmental change.
ICREA is an expanding community. Each year, new research professors join ICREA after the ICREA senior call. This is a list of the most recent incorporations. We would like give them all a very warm welcome to the ICREA community: Benvinguts!
Xavier Costa-Pérez research focuses on the digital transformation of society (DX) driven by the interplay of mobile networks and AI. In contrast to previous mobile network generations, a key new aspect for the industry is the need to expand the mobile ecosystem to incorporate industry verticals like automotive, manufacturing, smart-grids and health. While early research and field trial results are promising, the AI-driven automation of mobile networks for a cost-efficient society digitalization (DX) is still at its infancy and will require a huge research effort to deliver on the DX promises in the next decades.
Beatriz’s research in the multidisciplinary domain of bioinspired nanotechnologies involves the design and integration of emerging nanostructures into a new class of devices for the early diagnosis of infectious diseases. She is conducting research on Si-based nanotechnologies, such as the fabrication of arrays of multi-layered nanochannels with site-specifically displayed receptors, and tunable electrochemical features. These highly versatile materials with advanced properties can be fine-tuned to suit diagnosis at the various stages of the dynamic process of infection: host-immune response assessment, pathogen identification, antimicrobial resistance testing, and therapeutic drug monitoring. Her research aims to strengthen the scientific and societal impact of One Health approach by using this new suit of diagnostic tools to spur a paradigm shift in the current clinical workflow.
In my group, we use confined microfluidic environments to control reaction-diffusion conditions that allow for an extraordinary control over self-assembly processes (supramolecular chemistry) and for materials engineering. We have proved that microfluidic devices (where mixing occurs only through molecular diffusion) can be used to generate, isolate and study out-of-equilibrium structures (which is crucial to understand and control self-assembly); to engineer unprecedented functional materials (controlled crystal defect engineering); and further, to localize and control self-assembly processes on surfaces.
My main research is focused in “organs-on-a-chip” development, technology that has become of extreme importance in the last years. The idea is to integrate biosensor devices and nanotechnology with stem cell research and with tissue engineering. Engineered tissues are integrated with biosensing technology to obtain microdevices for detecting cellular responses to external stimuli, monitoring the quality of the microenvironment and supporting diverse cellular requirements. This research on 3D-functional engineered tissues is expected to develop knowledge of tissue construction and their functions and relation with some human diseases. Integration of fully functional tissues with microscale biosensor technology allowed us to obtain the aforementioned “organs-on-a-chip” platforms. These chips could be used in pharmaceutical assays and could be a step toward the ultimate goal of producing in vitro drug testing systems crucial to the medicine and pharmaceutical industry.
Xavier is a mathematician who works on Partial Differential Equations (PDEs). Specifically, he studies the regularity of solutions to elliptic and parabolic PDEs, and he is mostly known for his results on free boundary problems and integro-differential equations. He is the PI of an ERC Starting Grant, and has received numerous awards including the Scientific Research Award from the Fundación Princesa de Girona in 2019.