Dr. Boleda is a computational linguist. Her aim is to understand how language works, and in particular, how words convey meaning. If you say to your friend "Your brother just came", she will immediately know who you are talking about; this ability to link language to the world is one of the defining traits of humankind, and it is far from clear how it works. Dr. Boleda addresses this research question from a cross- and interdisciplinary perspective rooted in Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, and Cognitive Science.
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!
I am interested on understanding atmospheric aerosols and traces gases, from the physical and chemical processes affecting them, to their effects upon weather, climate, ocean biogeochemistry, air quality and health. My research group develops improved representations of pollutants within atmospheric and climate models to characterize their sources, sinks, atmospheric lifecycles and effects. I am known for my work on dust aerosols; in that context, I hold an AXA Chair that tackles both fundamental and applied research questions related to dust and I lead an ERC Consolidator Grant that investigates the role of the dust mineralogical composition in the climate effects of dust based on theory, experimental campaigns, remote spectroscopy and modeling.
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.
Thomas is a biochemist who is interested in understanding intracellular self-organization processes. Specifically, his lab studies the microtubule cytoskeleton which is particularly important during cell division when it builds the mitotic spindle that separates the genomic material of the cell. Thomas is mostly known for developing microscopy-based in vitro reconstitution approaches in which sub-systems of the cytoskeleton are re-built outside of cells from purified proteins, revealing basic mechanisms underlying dynamic cytoskeleton behaviour.
I explore the foundations that underlie the grammars of human languages. I am particularly interested in the grammatical properties of interactional language having observed that when we have conversations our use of language has characteristics that differ in interesting ways from those of sentences in isolation. Just as there is a systematic logic to the way sentences are constructed, there is also a systematic logic to the way utterances are constructed in interaction. Speakers have very clear intuitions about the well- and ill-formedness of language in interaction. I am fascinated by the question about what, if anything, in the grammar of interactional language is universal as well as the range of variation. Finding answers to these questions will allow us to gain deeper insight into the architecture of the language faculty. Moreover it should lead to a better understanding of the cognitive roots of human language as well as its social impact.