Fifth IBEC symposium a great success

The event, which took place in Barcelona’s AXA auditorium, welcomed 230 participants, a record 20% of which came from outside the institute. In his opening speech, IBEC director Josep A. Planell said that the fact that IBEC was able to be there celebrating its fifth year of symposia was testament to the hard work and great results of all its scientists.

The invited speakers from outside the institute were Bradley Nelson from ETH in Zurich, who talked about the microrobots his group is developing to treat eye diseases and the nanorobots that swim with a technique inspired by motile bacteria. Next, William Bonfield, Emeritus Professor of Medical Materials at the University of Cambridge, was able to offer the audience the best advice about clinical and commercial success with biomaterials start-ups, having sold his company Apatech Ltd last year for $330 million. Conrad Bessant from Cranfield  Univeristy in the UK talked about using pattern recognition to analyse large data sets from biological samples for improved diagnostics, and finally Alejandro Frangi from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra/University of Sheffield addressed the symposium on image-based cardiovascular modeling in the framework of the Virtual Physiological Human, particularly as applied to aneurysms in the brain.

From inside IBEC, Xavier Trepat and Antonio Juárez presented their recent work on collective cell migration and the role of bacterial plasmids as applied to antibiotics resistance respectively. Twenty-six IBEC PhD students presented their work in three-minute flash presentations, which Professor Bonfield commented was an excellent way of gaining an overview of the work of IBEC in a short space of time, and there were 60 posters to examine during the breaks.

At the opening ceremony, which was conducted by the Hble. Sr. Boi Ruiz, Minister of Health, the UPC’s Vice-Rector of Scientific Policies Dr. Xavier Gil, and Dr. Joan Roca, the Director of the UB Campuses of International Excellence, Lluís Jofre, the Generalitat’s director general of Universities, described IBEC as “an essential tool in the Catalan research system” and thanked the institute for carrying out its roles as platform provider and coordinator at both the regional and the national levels.

More pictures of the event will be available to view online in the next few days.