Representatives of the board of directors of the Catalan Association of Cystic Fibrosis (ACFQ) recently visited IBEC laboratories to discuss the latest advances in bacterial resistance with Dr. Eduard Torrents, principal investigator at IBEC of the group of Bacterial infections: Antimicrobial therapies .
Eduard Torrents, with the support of the ACFQ since 2009, is investigating different antimicrobial strategies to eradicate infections associated with this disease. As on previous occasions, he showed his laboratory to the representatives of the association and shared with them the latest advances in the different lines he is currently developing. “Working with the patient association made me change the way I was doing my research, I want to find solutions,” he said.
On their behalf, the “Associació Catalana de Fibrosi Quística”, that since his foundation at 1988 backs the assistencial and researcher work, devotes a large part of its financial resources to achieve progress in treatment and research, providing different improvements to different research groups .
Rob Surgical, the spin-off created by the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) in 2012, has closed a €5 million investment round with the Dutch holding Scranton Enterprises to fund the final phase of the new Bitrack System and launch the product onto the market
Rob Surgical is a company which designs and develops new robotic systems for minimally invasive surgery. The investment will facilitate the obtention of the CE marking for the new Bitrack System, which will enable it’s break into the market to improve the effectiveness of current surgical robotics.
The Bitrack System will be an alternative to the current laparoscopy surgical robot Da Vinci and will be an improvement on what is currently available in terms of efficiency.
More than 60 people attended the “Mechanobiology of Cancer Summer School 2019” organised by IBEC as the center is in charge of coordinating the Mechano·contorl project. The summer school was held in Prullans, a tiny village located at the Catalan Pyrinees between 17 and 21 of September. The event was a great success both in participation and scientific level. The aim of the summer school was to provide training on mechanobiology, and specifically its application to breast cancer, and promote interactions between professionals of the field.
The school included lectures as well as practical workshops in different techniques and disciplines, ranging from modelling to biomechanics to cancer biology. The Mechano·Control project, coordinated by Pere Roca-Cusachs, principal investigator of the IBEC is the largest European project coordinated by the IBEC to date.
José Antonio del Río, Pau Gorostiza, and Samuel Sánchez have been awarded in two of the “la Caixa” calls.
José Antonio del Río, principal investigator of the Molecular and Cellular Neurobiotechnology Group at IBEC, is one of the winners of the second edition of the call for applications in biomedicine and health. Del Río’s project focuses on analysing the molecular mechanisms involved in the genesis and propagation of tau protein in brain cells. This protein is linked with several neurodegenerative processes and is present in numerous diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Pau Gorostiza, principal investigator of the Nanoprobes and Nanoswitches Group, also received an award at the second edition of the call for applications for research projects in biomedicine and health. In this case, for his project on degenerative eye conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa, which causes blindness due to the progressive degeneration of the cones and rods, which are the light sensitive cells.
IBEC researcher Loris Rizzello receives 1.5 million Euros from the prestigious ERC Starting Grant for his PANDORA project, focused on creating a new therapy to eradicate tuberculosis.
Last September 3rd the European Research Council (ERC) announced the projects awarded with an “ERC Starting Grant”. Among the 408 projects selected is the PANDORA project of Dr. Loris Rizzello, a researcher of the Nanobioengineering group of the IBEC led by Prof. Josep Samitier.
The PANDORA project of Dr. Rizzello aims to revolutionize the way we cure infections caused by intracellular pathogens, finding an universal therapy able to attack infectious diseases and, at the same time, avoiding antibiotic resistance. More specificially, the winning project of the prestigious ERC Starting Grant will seek solutions that help eradicate tuberculosis, one of the worst pandemics so far, identifying the molecular “barcode” of infected cells, in order to design polymeric nanoparticles that selectively attack infected cells, without affecting healthy cells.
On Wednesday July 17th, the 12th IBEC Annual Symposium was held at the Hotel Catalonia Plaza in Barcelona. With the participation of more than 300 assistants and the exhibition of more than 102 scientific posters, this year, the event focused on Bioengineering for active aging – one of the three main research areas of IBEC- and had the participation of three MIT speakers (Massachusets Institute of Technology), among others.
“Active aging” or “healthy life expectancy” is an indicator defined by WHO as the equivalent in years of life that individuals are expected to live in good health, and that is approximately a world average of 10 years Less than life expectancy. In recent years, researchers from around the world have put their attention on this indicator, because life expectancy is increasing and also the possibility of suffering diseases associated with aging, which puts the current health system at risk that will have to strengthen its effectiveness in the areas of health promotion and prevention.
Three members of the ICMS have participated at the second IBEC-ICMS symposium, celebrated last 16th July at the Barcelona Science Park. The event aimed to identify synergies and potential for collaboration between IBEC groups and the researchers of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS), a research institute of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).
Josep Samitier, director of IBEC, and Jan van Hest director of ICMS opened the symposium by welcoming more than 80 participants from both institutions. Two IBEC group leaders, Vito Conte and Lorenzo Albertazzi, already have dual appointments with ICMS.
The researcher Núria Montserrat accompanies the president of the European Research Council (ERC) together with a selection of the best European researchers, at the Summer Davos annual Meeting, organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF). She has participated in several forums about how to work on more prosperous future and she explained how the research in organ regeneration that she is currently undertaking at IBEC can help in the fight against cancer.
The Annual Meeting of the New Champions (AMNC) also known as Summer Davos, is one of the events that brings together the brightest minds on the planet to discuss issues related to scientific research, leadership, and innovation. On this occasion, the forum was from 1 to 3 July and was held in the Chinese city of Dailan with the participation of the European delegation composed of its president, the mathematician Jean-Pierre Bourguignon and ten of the most outstanding European scientists.
Santiago Marco, group leader of the Signal and information processing for sensing systems research group at IBEC has recently been appointed vice-president for the next two years of the International Society for Olfaction and Chemical Sensing (ISOCS) during the general assembly held at the International Symposium on Olfaction and Electronic Nose Conference (ISOEN) in ACROS, Fukuoka, Japan.
The ISOCS was launched in May 2008 by the Network of Excellence General Olfaction and Sensing Projects on a European Level (GOSPEL), the EU Network of Excellence in artificial olfaction, and Santiago Marco is one of its founding partners.