Five IBEC researchers awarded “la Caixa” grants at ceremony

IBEC researchers were in the limelight today at the awards ceremony for the “la Caixa” fellowships and grants for research and innovation calls.

Anna Labernadie and Irene Marco, postdocs in the Integrative Cell and Tissue Dynamics and Biosensors for bioengineering groups respectively, won fellowships under the first Junior Leader “la Caixa” call, which helps excellent researchers of any nationality who wish to continue their research career in Spanish or Portuguese territory. Anna was one of 10 postdocs to win a ‘Retaining’ grant for candidates who are already residing in the countries, and Irene was awarded one of 20 ‘Incoming’ positions for those coming from elsewhere.

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Group leader Eduard Torrents was awarded a Caixaimpulse grant for the project ‘BiofilmChip: personalized treatment for biofilm infections’ in the programme’s fourth call. It’s the second time Eduard has won support from Caixaimpulse, which aims to promote technology transfer in science. In 2015, his project RNRbiotics, which aimed to develop new antimicrobial agents effective against resistant bacterial infections, was awarded.

In addition, IBEC junior group leaders Javier Ramon and Nuria Montserrat are partners in two projects awarded under the Health Research 2017 Call: ‘Therapeutic targeting of MBNL microRNAs as innovative treatments for myotonic dystrophy’, led by the University of Valencia, and ‘Regenerating photoreceptors in human retinal organoids to establish a treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa’, led by the CRG.

Held at the “la Caixa” Foundation headquarters on av. Diagonal, the ceremony was presided over by ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation President Isidre Fainé and Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education Manuel Heitor. In total, 75 research projects were funded under the various “la Caixa” research and innovation calls.