Past events

  • 83rd ICREA Colloquium - Ageing as a treatable condition


    Speakers: ICREA Research Professors Pura Muñoz (UPF) and Prof. Manuel Serrano (IRB Barcelona)

    When: 9th of October 2018, 18:00h

    Where: ICREA, Pg. Lluís Companys 23, 6th floor


    Pura Muñoz

    New approaches to bring back youthfulness to aged stem cells

    Aging is a nearly universal process affecting all tissues. Despite its constancy in our lives, aging remains mysterious at a fundamental level. Nevertheless, common hallmarks of aging across different species have been proposed offering an integrated view of the basic mechanisms of aging. Primary hallmarks include cell autonomous changes linked to epigenetic alterations, genomic instability, telomere attrition and loss of proteostasis (protein homeostasis), which are followed by antagonistic responses such us deregulated nutrient sensing, altered mitochondrial function and cellular senescence. Aging hallmarks converge in the exhaustion of stem cells, which provokes tissue regenerative decline. Skeletal muscle provides a stark example of this decline. Its stem cells sustain muscle regeneration throughout life but at advanced age they fail for largely undefined reasons. Several causes for this age-associated stem cell regenerative failure are emerging: decline in proteostatic quality-control mechanisms, metabolic alterations, entry into senescence and changes in the systemic (circulatory) environment. I will review our recent findings on how to improve the regenerative capacity of old stem cells by countering these age-associated alterations, with the ulterior idea that the aging process is malleable and that it is feasible to rejuvenate aged cells and tissues.


    Manuel Serrano

    Senescence as a new therapeutic target to treat ageing-related diseases

    A major advance in the field of ageing research has been the demonstration that senescent cells play a key role in aging and, even more importantly, the discovery of small pharmacological compounds that can kill senescent cells within the organism resulting in improved health.  Upon tissue damage or stress, a substantial fraction of cells respond by adopting a cellular state known as “senescence”.  Regardless of their initial cell identity, senescent cells share key properties; namely, global chromatin remodelling, robust proliferation blockade, and a massive pro-inflammatory secretome.  The initial biological purpose of senescent cells is to orchestrate tissue repair, ultimately leading to their own disposal by the immune system and to their replacement by new, functional cells.  This is the favorable, beneficial, face of cellular senescence.  However, in certain contexts that are generally associated with chronic damage, degenerative processes, or organismal ageing, tissue repair is inefficient and senescent cells are not cleared.  Indeed, senescent cells accumulate in many human pathologies including various fibrotic diseases, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases.  This is the detrimental, pathological, face of cellular senescence.  Importantly, the last few years have witnessed the identification of small compounds that preferentially kill senescent cells, termed senolytic drugs. Such senolytic treatments in mice show an unprecedented therapeutic effect on the aforementioned diseases including lung fibrosis, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases.  I will present our contributions to the understanding of cellular senescence both in tissue repair and in pathological contexts. 

    The ICREA colloquia are a great way to learn about remote fields of research from our best experts. We usually have two speakers, who offer their opinions on the same subject from very different angles. Open to all ICREAs and their guests.

  • The 26th International Conference on Atomic Physics (ICAP2018)


    A bunch of extremely bright ICREAs (all of them are extremely bright, really) have organised an extraordinary event: the 26th International Conference on Atomic Physics (ICAP2018) held in Barcelona from the 16th to the 20th of July. It will count with several Nobel Prize Awardees as participants. You may find all the information about the event here.  What’s so special about something that is on its 26th edition anyway, I hear you thinking? Well, this time it’s organised by ICREAs and therefore, they include two  events open to a general audience that we can thoroughly recommend. Entrance is free, but registration necessary.

    The first one, which has a title almost as long as some people’s names is the Atomic physics has since its early foundations evolved in completely unexpected ways renewing itself and opening stimulating new research directions conference, to be held on Tuesday 24th July at 18:00h. If long titles are not your thing, we’ve got you covered; the next event should be right up your alley:  The New International System of Units (SI) to be held on the 26th at 19:30h.

    Both are going to be a ton of fun,  and children above 14 can also attend and enjoy. So drag bring them along if you can. They’ll thank you later. Much later. Maybe.



  • Jam Session


    The ICREA Jam Session comes back! We have changed the venue after discovering a little cafe in La Rambla del Raval: Café de les Delícies. They have a decent piano, a cosy room, a well stocked bar, and food if you feel like snacking something. We’ll meet at 19h, and we have the place booked until 22h. The cafe is next to a giant cat by Fernando Botero (who has not been invited).

    The event is free and everyone is welcome but there are two restrictions: the place will not take more than 40 people, and we have to buy our own drinks and food (just like last year).

    Remember: everyone is encouraged to bring their (portable) musical instruments and we guarantee an unconditionally supportive audience!

  • 82nd ICREA Colloquium - Democracy and self-determination: perspectives from historical sociology and political philosophy


    Speakers: ICREA Research Professor Peter Wagner (UB) and Prof. Daniel Gamper (UAB)

    When: 22nd of May 2018, 18:00h

    Where: ICREA, Pg. Lluís Companys 23, 6th floor


    Human rights and democracy are today often considered as universal normative principles. Even though not uncontroversial either, such assertion may be relatively unproblematic for individual human rights. The notion of democracy, however, clearly begs further questions: How is it that "the people" can govern and exert authority? What is the collective "self" that determines its laws and rules for living together? These are time-honoured questions of political thought. Despite being fundamental, they have never found a definitive answer. Rather, the answers vary with the historical context in which they are provided. The speakers will try to show, in different ways, that conceptual reflections from political philosophy need to be joined with historico-sociological observations on changing ideas of "people" and the capacity to self-govern, with a view to arriving at more adequate views on current topical issues.

    The ICREA colloquia are a great way to learn about remote fields of research from our best experts. We usually have two speakers, who offer their opinions on the same subject from very different angles. Open to all ICREAs and their guests.