The ICFO-CERCA opens a call for director

ICFO’s research is world-class and encompasses broad fundamental and applied themes relevant to medicine and biology, advanced imaging techniques, information technologies, a range of sensors, tunable and ultra-fast lasers, the properties and applications of nano and quantum materials, and quantum science and technologies.

ICFO is a CERCA research center affiliated to the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya- Barcelona Tech, located in the Mediterranean Technology Park, in Castelldefels, in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It was created in 2002 and currently hosts 450 people, organized in 25 research teams.

Application Deadline: 29 Sep 2023 – 22:00 (Europe/Madrid)

The IPHES-SERCA opens a call for director

The Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES-CERCA) has announced an open call for direction.

IPHES-CERCA is seeking applicants with a distinguished record of scientific excellence and the innovative thinking necessary to lead a dynamic organisation.

The deadline for submitting nominations ends on October 5, 2023.

Daniel Maspoch, PI at ICN2-CERCA and ICREA professor, acknowledged with Rei Jaume I Award to New Technologies

  • His groundbreaking research and successful translation of academic concepts into industrial applications have fuelled considerable progress in the domain of material science.

 Renowned chemist ICREA Prof. Daniel Maspoch Comamala, Group Leader of the ICN2-CERCA Supramolecular NanoChemistry and Materials Group, has been distinguished with the New Technologies Rei Jaume I award at the illustrious Rei Jaume I Awards ceremony. The judging panel of the Rei Jaume I Awards selected the winners in six distinct categories this morning.

In addition to the Prof. Maspoch’s recognition to his remarkable contributions to the sphere of new technologies, six other scientific profiles have been awarded in different categories: Antonio Echavarren Pablos (Basic Research); Olympia Bover Hidiroglu (Economics); Guillermina López-Bendito (Medical Research); Carlota Escutia Dotti (Environmental Protection) and Alfonso Jiménez Rodríguez-Vila (Entrepreneurship award).

ICREA Prof. Daniel Maspoch has garnered widespread acclaim across academia, industry, and society for his research impact. His endeavours in the synthesis of reticular materials, comprising metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), covalent-organic frameworks (COFs), and metal-organic polyhedra (MOPs), have instigated a paradigm shift in the domain of material science.

Alongside his work on microscopic ‘spongy’ materials, Prof. Maspoch’s Group has also created new systems to selectively deliver medicines. His team, collaborating with hospitals and research institutes, has made promising strides in developing ways to treat diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis. This has led to him co-founding Ahead Therapeutics in 2017, a company that’s currently working on several new treatments for autoimmune diseases.

Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren honoured with prestigious Rei Jaume I Award in Basic Research

  • This award recognizes the great contribution of the research group leader at ICIQ-CERCA in the field of organic chemistry and catalysis.

Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren, senior group leader at ICIQ-CERCA and scientific director of the Severo Ochoa Programme at the Institute, has been awarded with the prestigious Rei Jaume I Award in recognition of his innovative contributions to the field of chemistry. This recognition, widely regarded as one of the highest scientific honours in Spain, highlights the exceptional achievements and outstanding research work of Prof. Echavarren in the field of catalysis.

The recognition awarded to Prof. Echavarren highlights his work in the field of catalysis and his important contribution to the development of efficient synthetic methodologies, such as gold-catalyzed reactions, which have expanded knowledge in the field of organic chemistry. His innovative contributions have revolutionized the field, opening new possibilities for the synthesis of complex organic compounds and drugs.

Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren

José Antonio Bonet, new director of Agrotecnio

Replaces Ignacio Romagosa, who has been the director during the last 5 years

The Board of Trustees of the Agrotecnio Foundation has chosen , José Antonio Bonet Lledós, as the new director of this research centre. He will hold the position for a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 5, renewable. Bonet replaces, Ignacio Romagosa, who has been the director of Agrotecnio since February 2018 until now.

Bonet has been professor at ETSEAFIV since February 2021, although he has been linked to this UdL center as a professor and researcher since 2003. Doctor of Forestry Engineering and Master of Business Administration and Management (Executive MBA) , was director general of the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) from 2006 to 2009, where he had also been director of research and technology transfer between 2001 and 2007. Currently, he continues there as a researcher. Member of the Forest Production research group of the UdL, his lines of research focus on health and forest mycology, forestry, bioenergy and protected natural spaces.

Among his priorities at the head of Agrotecnio, the new director highlights “consolidating this research centre of excellence within the CERCA map and optimizing the impact of the research carried out by the different groups, enhancing synergies with the Park Agrifood Scientific and Technological of Lleida (Agrobiotech Lleida)”.

José Antonio Bonet is linked professionally or through management or representation positions to the CTFC, Fundació Terra i Agrotecnio. He was assistant to the president of the Social Council of the University of Lleida from 2008 to 2017, a member of the Board of Directors of IRTA between 2009 and 2016 and of the Board of the European Forest Institute (EFI), as a representative in the Spanish Government, in the period between 2008 and 2014. In March 2021, he was appointed coordinator of Research, Transfer, Entrepreneurship and Innovation of the Agrobiotech Park, a position in which he will continue until June.

Dr Joan Comella, new director of the Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu

The Governing Council of the Institute de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu (IRSJD) has appointed Dr. Joan Comella as director of the institute. Comella, director of Innovation, Research and Knowledge Management at the SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital, replaces Dr. Francesc Palau, the first director of the IRSJD.

I am honored to take on this significant responsibility and challenge as the new director of the Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu. I am proud to follow in the footsteps of the excellent work accomplished so far and I am eager to contribute to the growth of this esteemed institution. My focus will be to broaden its international reach and ensure that our research makes a tangible impact in diagnosing and treating patients’ illnesses“.

Dr Joan Comella holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Barcelona. From September 2009 to September 2022 he has directed the Institut de Recerca de l’Hospital Vall d’Hebron (VHIR), and has been the head of research at the Campus Hospitalari de Vall d’Hebron.

The new leadership faces the challenge of maintaining and advancing the pursuit of global excellence with a tangible impact on enhancing the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in our field. This requires providing the institute with adequate infrastructure and equipment, as well as fostering the development and recruitment of skilled professionals and dedicated research time for healthcare workers.

Dr Begoña Benito, new director of the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute

Benito, a cardiologist specialising in hereditary disorders that cause arrhythmias and sudden death, will head the VHIR after having worked in healthcare, research and teaching at the Vall d’Hebron Campus.

Dr Begoña Benito Villabriga is to take over the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) after combining work in healthcare, research and teaching at the Vall d’Hebron Campus in recent years. She holds an undergraduate and doctoral degree in Medicine from the University of Barcelona, specialising in Cardiology at Hospital Clínic in Barcelona.

In her statement, Dr Begoña Benito said, “It is a true privilege for me to have this opportunity to direct the research centre of a referral hospital such as the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital. Thanks to the work of all the professionals and managers who have preceded me, VHIR is ideally positioned to successfully face the coming years, which will see the commissioning of the new building to help meet many of the current and future challenges in biomedical research.”

During her career she has focused on the field of arrhythmias, taking a special clinical and scientific interest in the study of hereditary disorders causing arrhythmias and sudden death. To complement her knowledge in this field, she has trained in basic and experimental research and in clinical and interventional management of arrhythmias at a number of leading centres, including the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard University in Boston.

Prof. Eugenio Coccia, new director of the Institute for High Energy Physics

The Governing Board of the Institute for High Energy Physics (IFAE) has appointed Prof. Eugenio Coccia as the new director, with effect from 15 November 2022.

Dr Coccia is an experimental physicist specialising in astroparticle physics. His research has focused on the study and detection of gravitational waves and on the development of very low temperature technologies for fundamental physics experiments.

A suma cum laude graduate in Physics from the University of Rome (1980), in Edoardo Amaldi’s group, he was a post-doctoral researcher and later a fellow at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, 1981-1985). He was also a researcher (1985-1987) and professor of Physics (1988-2016) at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, alternating several periods of research activity at CERN, the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory in Leiden and the National Nuclear Physics Institute (INFN) Laboratory in Frascati.

He was director of the INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory (2003-2009) and founding director of the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) School of Advanced Studies, where he has been director until now. He is an honorary member of the Academia Europaea and a fellow of the European Physical Society.

Eugenio Coccia will be the fourth director of the IFAE, succeeding the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) research professor Ramon Miquel, director since 2015 who will remain at the IFAE as principal investigator in the observational cosmology research group. The previous directors of the centre were Matteo Cavalli-Sforza (2008-2014) and Enrique Fernández, its founder and first director (1991-2008).

The appointment of the new director is the result of an international selection process coordinated by the CERCA Institute and involving the IFAE External Scientific Advisory Board.

Gemma Domènech i Casadevall, new director of the Catalan Institute for Cultural Heritage Research

She will succeed Joaquim Nadal, who will remain as a seconded researcher.

The Board of Trustees of the Catalan Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (ICRPC) has appointed Gemma Domènech i Casadevall as the new director of the centre, at a meeting held on Tuesday 27 September in which representatives of the Generalitat de Catalunya Ministry of Research and Universities and Ministry of Culture and the University of Girona (UdG) took part as Institute trustees. Domènech, a researcher at the ICRPC since 2009, holds a PhD in Art History, teaches Museology and Heritage at the UdG, and has written over a hundred publications specialising in the uses of heritage and memory. Between 2019 and 2021 she was the Generalitat de Catalunya Director General for Democratic Memory.

The appointment follows an international selection process coordinated by the CERCA Institute, with the participation of the ICRPC’s External Scientific Advisory Board. Gemma Domènech will be the third director of the centre, succeeding Dr Joaquim Nadal i Farreras, who has completed his term of office and will stay on as a researcher attached to the ICRPC, and Dr Gabriel Alcalde, the founding director.

Dr Gemma Domènech

The ICRPC, created in 2006 by the Generalitat de Catalunya and the University of Girona, is part of the CERCA Institute and promotes and implements basic research, transfer, training and socialisation of knowledge, to provide society with the elements of analysis of its heritage and its current and future social relations. Domènech will be one of the four women directors at the 41 CERCA research centres in Catalonia.

 The ICRPC would like to thank Dr Joaquim Nadal for the great work he has done in his eight years leading the centre.

Dr L. Maria Lois, appointed director of the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics

L. Maria Lois will succeed José Luis Riechmann as Director on 1 February

The Board of Trustees of the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) has appointed the scientist L. Maria Lois as the new director for the centre. The appointment was made at the Board of Trustees meeting in December after an international selection process coordinated by the CERCA Institute, with the participation of the CRAG External Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr Lois, who will take up her post on 1 February, is a researcher at the centre and a senior scientist at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

She will be the third director of CRAG, succeeding José Luis Riechmann, who made director at the beginning of 2013 and will remain at CRAG as head of the research group, and Pere Puigdomènech, who was the founding director. Lois will be one of the few women directors among CERCA research centres in Catalonia and the Severo Ochoa centres of excellence in Spain.

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