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Thursday, 12 March 2020

BIST supports multidisciplinary research through the BIST Ignite Programme and Awards

The awarded projects are BIOVAC (ICN2 / IBEC), which aims to develop a new generation of vaccines against untreatable infections and multi-resistant bacteria, and BIOSPAD (ICFO / IFAE), which will develop more affordable brain diagnostic tests. ICN2 is involved in 4 of the 5 projects selected in the 2020 Ignite Programme, leading one of them (SensMOF) through Dr Leyre Gómez Navascués.

The BIST Ignite Awards Ceremony was held yesterday in La Pedrera Auditorium to announce the two projects winning the BIST Ignite Awards 2020 and the five projects selected by the BIST Ignite Programme. The BIST Ignite programme fosters collaboration among members of the BIST research community. Every year a competitive call for BIST Ignite project proposals is launched and five winners receive funding to start their research collaboration. At the end of the first year of funding, two projects are selected to receive additional funding and a BIST Ignite Award, based on the obtained results, the potential impact of the project and the addition of new collaborators from within and outside BIST.

ICREA Prof. Elena Galea (Institute of Neurosciences-UAB) presented the two projects selected for a second phase. The BIOVAC project is a collaboration of the ICN2’s Nanostructured Functional Materials Group, led by Prof. Daniel Ruiz, and the IBEC’s Bacterial Infections: Antimicrobial Therapies Group, led by Prof. Eduard Torrents. The project aims to populate nanoparticles with antigens to create a new generation of vaccines against untreatable infections and multi-resistant bacteria. On the other hand, BIOSPAD, which is co-led by the IFAE’s ATLAS Píxels group (Prof. Sebastian Grinstein) and the ICFO’s Medical Optics group (Prof. Turgut Durduran), will develop more affordable brain diagnostic tests.

The act celebrated yesterday included a talk by the invited keynote speaker Dr Serge Picaud, of Institut de la Vision (Paris), about restoring vision in blind patients. He was introduced by ICREA Prof. Jose A. Garrido, Group Leader of the ICN2’s Advanced Electronic Material and Devices Group and coordinator of the i-Vision project, funded by Fundació La Caixa and aimed to develop better retinal prostheses. I-Vision is a success case that benefitted from a previous edition of the BIST Ignite Programme and Awards.

The five proposals awarded a seed funding to promote collaborations were SensMOF, coordinated by Dr Leyre Gómez Navascués, from both the ICN2 Supramolecular NanoChemistry and Materials Group and the Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group; 2DETMIPS, participated by Dr Klaas-Jan Tielrooij, Group leader of the ICN2 Ultrafast Dynamics in Nanoscale Systems Group; Maki, led by Dr. Claudio Parolo, from the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group; QEE2DUP, promoted by Dr César Moreno, from the ICN2 Atomic Manipulation and Spectroscopy Group; and NANO-GBA, the only one without ICN2 participation despite its name.