Success at the conclusion of the 6th edition of the course “Mad for Bioengineering”

For the sixth consecutive year, IBEC has successfully hosted its ‘Mad for Bioengineering’ course with the support of the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation. Geared towards 1st-year high school students interested in STEM careers, the program provides a unique immersion in the field of bioengineering, addressing health issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. The closing ceremony, attended by students and their families, featured presentations of final projects and the awarding of diplomas.

This marks the sixth consecutive year that IBEC has organized the ‘Mad for Bioengineering’ course with the support of the Catalonia La Pedrera Foundation. Targeted at 1st-year high school students with a scientific vocation interested in STEM careers, the program aims to raise awareness of the multidisciplinary environment in bioengineering, where various disciplines are combined to address health problems.

The 24 selected young individuals had the opportunity to learn about bioengineering research applied to health conducted at IBEC. Throughout the year, students came together in 16 theoretical and practical sessions to delve into the research of diseases related to aging, cancer, and other rare diseases, all within a real research laboratory. Additionally, they participated in complementary workshops addressing ethical and scientific communication issues.

On Friday, November 24, the closing ceremony of the course took place at the Barcelona Science Park, where the ‘mad men and women’ attended accompanied by their families. The event was hosted by María Arista Romero, a member of the IBEC communication team and course coordinator. Pere Roca Cusachs, principal investigator of the Cellular and Molecular Mechanobiology group at IBEC, delivered the welcome talk. Following that, Alba Herrero Gómez, researcher in the Molecular Imaging for Precision Medicine group and professor of this sixth edition of the course, shared her own personal experience with the young participants and their families on her journey to enter the world of research.

The central moment of the day was the presentation of the final projects. Utilizing the knowledge gained throughout the course, students were divided into four groups and presented various proposals to address current health challenges using bioengineering. The topics were diverse: organs-on-a-chip to study prion diseases, photodynamics applied to breast cancer, nanoparticles for cystic fibrosis, and neuronal cell regeneration after a stroke.

Following the 4-minute presentations, the students defended their ideas to Roca-Cusachs and Herrero, who posed questions and provided advice to the young individuals, congratulating them for the high level of the presentations. Two students expressed their gratitude in a farewell speech, thanking everyone for the enriching experience and learning.

Finally, diplomas were awarded to the participating students of this 2023 edition. The event concluded with a few words from Nando Oterino Blázquez, head of programs at the Catalonia La Pedrera Foundation