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in vivo December 2007

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December 2007

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Issue 01

NEWSLETTER OF THE INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH IN BIOMEDICINE

A Newsletter for All Welcome to the first edition of in vivo, the official newsletter of the IRB Barcelona community. The aim of this publication is to provide an efficient and effective way to spread the word on issues relevant to the entire Institute. Since IRB Barcelona was founded two years ago, the number of research and administration staff working at the Institute has grown from a small group to nearly 400 members. Staff work in different laboratories spread across the entire Barcelona Science Park - an arrangement which underlines the need

for a common platform for information exchange. In vivo’s intended audience reaches beyond the internal IRB Barcelona community to include our patrons, advisors, collaborators and anyone interested in learning more about the Institute. The newsletter, published quarterly by the Office of Communications and External Relations, will be an important means for raising awareness about developments at IRB Barcelona for a wide readership. In addition to publishing news from

administration, in vivo will provide information about science-related initiatives as well as highlight activities and opinions of the people behind the science at IRB Barcelona. To ensure that the newsletter is a truly valuable resource, we will rely on input from our community. We encourage our readers to participate by contributing articles and letting us know about exciting developments in their areas. Submissions and suggestions should be sent to the editor (anna.alsina@irbbarcelona.org).

Barcelona BioMed Series Twenty leading authorities in cancer stem cell research met in Barcelona in October, invited by IRB Barcelona and the BBVA Foundation. The Barcelona BioMed Conference, entitled 'Stem Cells and Cancer', attracted over 150 participants.

External Advisory Board Lands in Barcelona The External Advisory Board landed in Barcelona last month for its first meeting with IRB Barcelona researchers. Intense working sessions were followed by a visit to the Camp Nou Stadium, where they ran into the president of Barça. Page 2

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Spectrometer moves into IRB Barcelona

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Get your copy of the IRB Barcelona Annual Report. Available from the Office of Communications & External Relations or read it online at www.irbbarcelona.org.

Protein Expression Unit launch

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Working in the Wild Would you object if you were asked to hang up your lab coat and spend two days working in a hotel with views of the Mediterranean or in a rural house overlooking the forest? The more than forty IRB Barcelona members who took a trip to the wild didn't seem to mind ...

Interview with Patrick Aloy

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Letter from the PhD community


December 2007

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in vivo

Issue 01

External Advisory Board lands in Barcelona

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f you were passing by IRB Barcelona on November 5-6, you may have seen several people dressed in suits busily walking in and out of the Tower D building. The reason? The first encounter between IRB Barcelona researchers and the External Advisory Board, composed of some of the most respected scientists worldwide. The meeting, which will be held annually, provided an opportunity for the board members to learn about the research currently being conducted in IRB Barcelona labs, as well as about research-related activities such as core facilities and the PhD Programme. Their input will help IRB Barcelona scientific management to shape future directions for the Institute. The IRB Barcelona team asked the External Advisory Board member and Nobel Prize Dr Tim Hunt, currently working at the Cancer Research UK, about his overall impression of the meeting. He praised the recent addition of the embryonic oncology groups and pointed out the possibility for fruitful and lively

Advisory Board members Tim Hunt, Bruce Spiegelman, Michael Czech, Andrew Hamilton and Charles Sherr with Joan Massagué during the Barça game (left) and posing with Barça President Joan Laporta (right).

exchange between them and the Drosophila groups in the Cell and Developmental Biology Programme. “Also, and unique in my experience, is the powerful presence of real and excellent chemists at the Institute,” said the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. “Again,” Hunt added, “it will be important to find ways to make interactions between the groups work, but I can think of several times in my life when it would have been wonderful to have access to serious chemical exper-

tise, something that's not normally available to biologists. This is an exciting project.” After their work was done, the External Advisory Board took a deserved break to attend the Barça football game in the Camp Nou Stadium. They were treated to the best seats in the house, courtesy of Barça management, and also had the opportunity to meet the president of Barça, Joan Laporta, during halftime.

Stem cells could be a key factor in cancer Twenty leading authorities in cancer stem cell research met in Barcelona in October, invited by IRB Barcelona and the BBVA Foundation.

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here is a pressing reason to study stem

and cancer stem cells and how the latter cell

in New York, “during metastasis a few cells

cells: some types of cancer are known

type can be identified and characterized. Ac-

that escape from the primary tumor have the

to originate from these cells and they may

cording to Joan Massagué, adjunct director

capacity to re-initiate tumor growth after in-

even be the root cause of all cancers. This was

of IRB Barcelona and chairman of the Can-

vading distant vital organs. Therefore, we be-

the focus of discussion in the fifth Barcelona

cer Biology and Genetics Programme of the

lieve that it is during metastasis that the tumor

BioMed Conference entitled 'Stem Cells and

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

must resort to its 'stem cell' capacity. In fact,

Cancer', held on October 1-3 and organized by Eduard Batlle (IRB Barcelona) and Hans Clevers (Hubrecht Labora-

we are close to identifying genes that From left to right, Hans Clevers, Joan Massagué and Eduard Batlle.

confer this capacity during breast cancer metastasis.”

tory).

Three laboratories at IRB Barcelona are developing cutting-edge research in

ed by the Institut d’Estudis Catalans

cancer stem cells: Cayetano González,

(IEC), brought together twenty leading

in the Cell Division Laboratory, Edu-

Photo: J. Pareto

The conference, generously host-

scientists in a field of study that may revolutionize therapeutic treatments used in the fight against cancer. The 150 conference attendees addressed two key

ard Batlle, in the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory, and Roger Gomis in the MetLab. Sonia Armengou

issues: the similarities between healthy

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December 2007

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in vivo

Issue 01

Working in the wild Would you object if you were asked to hang up your lab coat and spend a couple of days working in a hotel with spectacular views of the Mediterranean or in a rural house overlooking the forest? What about singing karaoke with your co-workers? And cooking together? The more than forty IRB Barcelona members who accepted to take a trip to the wild and spend two days together didn't seem to mind ...

S

tudents, postdoctoral fellows, programme coordinators, principal investigators and secretaries headed in different directions earlier this year to hold their first retreats. Some chose the countryside, others the Mediterranean, but the purpose was the same: to allow people from different labs to get to know each others' work better to increase collaborations. Full-day scientific presentations were followed by heated discussions, drinks, and some time off. The retreats held in parallel were initiatives of the Molecular Medicine Programme, the two Colorectal Cancer Laboratories and the Cell and Developmental Biology Programme. Asked about their impressions, several participants agreed that the experience was worth it. “The best thing about the Molecular Medi-

Photo: M. Macias The new NMR spectrometer cools off during the installation process in the basement.

Hiking and hanging out on a terrace with views of the Mediterranean were some of the parallel activities during the retreats.

cine Programme retreat is that it worked,” explained postdoctoral fellow Dèlia Zafra. “The goal was to allow people from different labs to get to know each other better, to contribute to new experiments by bringing ideas to the table, and to know where to get advice on specific techniques. ”

full days of scientific presentations were “extremely useful” to get a global overview of the projects being done at IRB Barcelona. “Saturday night everybody ended up singing karaoke, even the shy ones. I'm not a great singer,” Calon confessed, “but we discovered some hidden talents amongst us.”

Alexandre Calon, a postdoctoral researcher who attended the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory II retreat, described his experience as intense: “The location was incredible, a rural house in the countryside with a fireplace. We were far from everything, with no experiments to run,” said Calon, who added that the two

During the retreat, some researchers even found time for adventure: “We got lost crossing the dunes during one of the hikes, we couldn't find our co-workers,” recalls Hector Herranz, postdoctoral fellow who attended the Cell and Developmental Biology retreat and managed to arrive home safely.

Spectrometer moves into IRB Barcelona

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he Institute for Research in Biomedicine will start the year 2008 with a new measuring instrument to complement laboratory experiments: a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer. This new addition will complement the UB spectrometers currently available to IRB Barcelona researchers at the Science Park. Maria Macias, principal investigator of the Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy group at IRB Barcelona, spent five weeks installing the spectrometer. The process required having to climb up the side of the instrument several times to load it with hundreds of litres of nitrogen and

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helium. “The spectrometer absorbed up to 750 liters of nitrogen in three days,” said Macias, who added that the installation required an additional 600 liters of helium for the system to be energized and become a magnet. The new NMR spectrometer will be used mainly to speed up the process of resolving structures of proteins in solution and studying how interactions occur. “Having permanent access to the spectrometer will allow us to acquire complete data sets with the same sample preparation, which will decrease the costs of protein production and facilitate data analysis,” Macias explained. NMR spectrometry uses very powerful magnetic fields to provide information of molecules at the atomic level in conditions that resemble their cellular environment.


December 2007

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in vivo

Issue 01

Protein Expression Unit ready to begin operations

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RB Barcelona researchers working on projects that require either purified proteins or plasmids for protein expression, will soon have a new mechanism to accelerate their research. The Protein Expression Unit (PEU), expected to begin operations shortly, will provide a wide range of services to support research projects, including cloning and protein expression. The PEU will bring some of the latest cloning technologies to simplify often complex cloning (DNA manipulation) procedures allowing them to be performed more easily, reliably and efficiently. The expression screening service also gives researchers a “rapid way to investigate the ability of these cloned genes to produce proteins for experimental purposes,” explains Nick Berrow, who moved from the Oxford Protein Production Facility in September to start the Protein Expression Unit at IRB

Barcelona. The PEU will deliver cloning and expression screening activities in high throughput formats and will be capable of performing up to ninety-six experimental variations on a theme simultaneously. “The ability to perform this number of variations in parallel can significantly decrease the time taken to solve a particular protein-related problem, bringing experiments to more rapid conclusions and leading to faster publication of data,” says Berrow. The PEU is a new addition to the list of core facilities already available at IRB Barcelona that provide technologies and services to facilitate research. These include the Mass Spectrometry core facility, a unit equipped with high accuracy and high resolution mass spectrometers with new incorporated MS techniques, the Functional Genomics core facility, currently providing state-ofthe-art tools for genomic research, and the

Mutant Mouse core facility, which generates murine models of disease and development for researchers within IRB Barcelona.

Hands-on bioinformatics

The first Barcelona BioMed Workshop, entitled 'Bioinformatics Resource Days', was held on November 26-28 and attracted over seventy national and international participants. The event was organized by IRB Barcelona and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, with the collaboration of the BBVA Foundation.

AWARDS & HONOURS YIP YIP Hooray! Marco Milan recognized for early career excellence

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iologist Marco Milan, Drosophila researcher at IRB Barcelona, has been awarded the EMBO Young Investigator Programme (YIP), given by the European Molecular Biology Organization to promising young European scientists for their early career excellence. The programme has been identifying and supporting on an annual basis some of the brightest young researchers in Europe since 2000. Selected by EMBO for the high standard of his research in molecular biology, Milan will receive financial support for three years

along with other benefits designed to help him attract new collaborations and funding in the early years of his independent career. One of Milan’s goals will be to better understand the mechanisms that control size and shape in animal development, using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as model system for his studies. Since 2003, Milan, 39, has been leading the Developmental Biology of Drosophila group at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, a research team focused on the study of the signals that control size, shape

and pattern in animal development, using the fruit fly wing as model system. This year’s Young Investigator Programme, an initiative with an established worldwide reputation of excellence, has selected a total of eighteen of Europe’s most talented young researchers. The three-year programme, which targets scientists within the first four years of having setup their laboratories, offers a range of academic and financial benefits to smooth the transition for young researchers in their independent careers.

Miquel Coll selected organizing committee member for EMBO meeting

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iquel Coll, coordinator of the Structural and Computational Biology Programme at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, was selected to take part in the local organizing committee to help in planning the annual EMBO members meeting

'Frontiers of Molecular Biology'. The event, an initiative of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), was held in Barcelona the last week of October and brought together leading scientists from all corners of the life sciences community.

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A member of EMBO since 2000, Coll obtained his degree in biology in 1982 and his PhD in 1986 from the University of Barcelona. Before joining IRB Barcelona, he was Deputy Director of the Institute for Molecular Biology of Barcelona.


December 2007

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in vivo

Issue 01

IN BRIEF

VIEWPOINT

A trip to EMBL

What is it like juggling family life with working at IRB Barcelona?

A delegation of four IRB Barcelona managers took a trip to Heidelberg the last week of October to visit the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). The purpose of the two-day meeting was to learn from EMBL's experience and to gain insight into the behind-the-scenes workings of a major international research institute.

Parliamentarians visit IRB Barcelona A group of Spanish parliamentarians visited the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in November, as part of an initiative of the Federation of Spanish Scientific Societies to promote communication among scientists and their representatives in Parliament.

IRB Barcelona present at SEBBM congress The Institute for Research in Biomedicine attended as an exhibitor the 30th Congress of the Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM). Meritxell Gavaldà and Dani Cifuentes were on hand to man the stand, which attracted many visitors interested in knowing more about the Institute's research activities. Held in Malaga in September, the congress drew over a thousand participants.

Call for Group Leaders IRB Barcelona will launch a new call for group leaders in January 2008. More information: www.irbbarcelona.org

Joana Fort

Postdoctoral Researcher, Molecular Medicine Programme

“I've always had the feeling that I've put science before my daughter. When I'm in the lab in one of those moments in which I reckon I'm going to put the world to rights, I feel rotten thinking that I'm neglecting my loved ones. To tell the truth, it's not easy because I am mad about both my family and science. But with the help of a fantastic family and a good Internet connection everything is possible and I can enjoy moments of great happiness in both areas of my life, although Tecla, my daughter, is always the most grateful.”

Jorge Dominguez

Research Associate, Molecular Medicine Programme

“The first thing that comes to mind is that I can’t dedicate enough time to my children or to my work in the lab. It's like cycling to the top of a mountain for the first time: fantastic, intense, highly unpredictable and totally contradictory. It's a combination of moments of euphoria, when my two kids joyfully jump around me, with those of complete exhaustion. Fortunately, there are important differences with competitive cyclists: our climb is not a race and is done on a tandem bicycle with my partner, who always pedals much harder than me. Also, I get to grab on to the team car (my boss and lab-mates) when the going gets tough and I can’t keep up.”

Sarah Sherwood

Head of Communications & External Relations

“It's not easy, that's for sure. Both are full time jobs, and it's clear that we want to do the best we can at work and at home. Having family nearby can be a great help, but not all of us have that, especially those of us who have come from different countries. And unfortunately the situation in Spain does not favour finding a balance between working and parenting. IRB Barcelona has an opportunity to meet this challenge head on by providing support for daycare services and flexible work options. It will help make finding the balance easier.”

Elena Casacuberta

Researcher, Cell & Dev. Biology Programme

“When you have children your whole life gets more complicated, not only the scientific part. I must say that my husband (also a scientist at IRB Barcelona) and I tried to share the baby-related work as much as possible, and in that way minimize the impact on our everyday life and especially on our work. The worst thing for me is to work a fixed timetable, and to have to improvise when the kid gets sick all of a sudden and cannot go to school, although thanks to the Internet some things can be worked out from home.”

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December 2007

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in vivo

Issue 01

FACES TO NAMES Patrick Aloy.

Principal Investigator, Structural Bioinformatics Lab, IRB Barcelona

“I lose interest in things I understand” Born in Barcelona, biotechnologist Patrick Aloy, PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has been leading the Structural Bioinformatics Lab in IRB Barcelona since April 2006, when he moved back from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. Besides his lab responsibilities, he’s currently immersed in the organization of the next Barcelona BioMed Conference ‘Targeting and Tinkering with Interaction Networks’, to be held in April 2008 and focused on one of his passions: cell networks and their potential in therapeutics.

ANNA ALSINA

H

Youth on wheels

a protein at an atomic level, but how these in-

e’s on the phone in his office, pacing

Patrick Aloy grew up by the sea, in

terconnect to form big macromolecular com-

across the room - I can see his silhou-

a small village near Barcelona. He

plexes and how they talk to each other is a hot

ette through the glass door. One of his team

has been riding a motorcycle since

topic. We are working towards building a sys-

researchers, with German politeness, kindly

he was nine. “More than a hobby, it

tem to bridge the gap between different reso-

asks me to wait outside the lab. A few min-

was a necessity,” he says. His parents'

lutions, a Google map sort of system to zoom

utes later, someone calls my name. Patrick

house was in one edge of the village

in on a cell, to move from global interaction

Aloy, 35, is waiting for me in his office. Sit-

and everything was way too far away

networks through individual pathways to the

ting by the computer on his desk is a picture

to walk. At the age of 14, he bought

atomic details of interactions and back again.

of his two-year-old son.

his first 50cc motorcycle. He quickly

If we achieve this -we hope to do so in the next

- How did you get hooked on science?

realized that the serial carburetor

ten years- it would not only be scientifically

“When I was a kid, I was fascinated with Fe-

was insufficient and replaced it with

fascinating but would give us many ideas for

lix Rodriguez de la Fuente's animal life series.

a more powerful one. “Police stopped

future research.”

I grew up wanting to be like him.”

me several times under the suspicion

- Your passion changed …

of outrageous speed, but I never got

to see?

“My life unexpectedly turned around in sec-

fined.” Every time police caught him,

“I would like our laboratory to unravel the

ondary school, when I saw the structure of a

they would issue a paper obliging him

path to predict undesired side effects for each

protein for the first time. Its beauty shocked

to take his motorcycle to the local sta-

therapeutic target we suggest. If we manage to

me. From that moment on, I knew I would

tion for inspection within 24 hours. “I

do this, we will be able to alert pharmaceuti-

end up working on structural biology.”

spent many hours in my parents' ga-

cal companies of the adverse effects of some

- You were very determined.

rage changing the carburetor to the

drugs still in a pre-clinical or Phase 1 stage,

“Not really, I may even disappoint you. I

original one to pass the inspections,”

thus saving the step of having to run clinical

never had long-term expectations back then

he recalls.

trials with hundreds of patients.”

- And at a smaller scale, what would you like

- What fascinates you in your field?

and I don’t have them now. One thing that I often experience, probably a common atti-

“I would like us to be capable of one day simu- “That we’re capable of tinkering with living

tude among scientists, is that I lose interest in

lating macroscopic effects from atomic infor- organisms and redesigning some functions at

things I understand. I like to challenge my-

mation. For instance, to predict how a small will without understanding them.”

self, otherwise I get bored. Every time I find

change of a residue in an interaction interface - If you hadn't chosen science, what would

a new area I don’t comprehend that seems

between two proteins will end up affecting you have done?

interesting, I jump right into it.”

the whole structure of an organism and to (He laughs.) “I try to be a good guy in this

- What would you like to see happening in

comprehend why this occurs. Today we have life, and behave properly, so that I can reincar-

your laboratory?

very detailed information of what happens in nate into a scuba diving instructor.”

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December 2007

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in vivo

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Open Letter from the PhD students community few months ago, the research administration office of IRB Barcelona contacted us asking for help in organizing a welcome party for the new PhD Programme candidates. Half a dozen students started to meet to organize the event, and quickly we realized that there were many other activities and initiatives we wanted to implement. One of the first ideas that came up was to create a space and time for PhD students to relax, share stories and perspectives, and enjoy a drink in the company of their colleagues. This is how the IRB Barcelona Cool-off session was conceived. The most recent one, organized by students of the Molecular Medicine Programme, took place on October 19 on the PCB Cafeteria terrace. Beer and snacks were provided and the only requirement was to bring conversation.

During those early meetings, another idea that came up was to organize a PhD Symposium and invite national and international scientists to give talks on topics of potential interest to all students in the Institute. More detailed plans of this initiative are currently being worked out. To create a forum of discussion beyond the barriers of time and space, we also established a Google group for PhD students (groups. google.com/group/irbphd) intended to be an informal platform of interaction and communication for students. The group is open to others interested in our activities and participation only requires registration, which is free. If you have ideas for student events or would like to participate, join the group and let us know! PhD Student Group

NEWS FROM THE PARK

New PCB laboratory building up and running The construction of the building is part of the Barcelona Science Park expansion project to increase the area up to 90,000 m2 by 2010

T

he new Barcelona Science Park (PCB) laboratory building, known as the Satellite Building, has started normal operations. After construction work finished on October 25, several services and organizations have moved in. The third floor was the first to be occupied by the following biotechnology companies: Oryzon Genomics, ERA Biotech, Biolab, Combino Pharm and Ordesa, these last two new additions to the PCB. Combino Pharm carries out research into the development of generic pharmaceuticals and Ordesa researches new ingredients for baby foods. Two research groups from the Institute of Molecular Biology of Barcelona (IBMB-CSIC) led by Isabel Uson and Joaquim Roca have also taken up residence on the third floor. The building is also home to the Bioincubator PCB-Santander, an initiative backed by the PCB, the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation and the Santander financial group. The idea behind the incubator is that it will facilitate the growth and development of new biotech-

nology companies, which it will provide with top-quality techno-scientific infrastructures, together with business management services. The companies that form part of this project are Aromics, BarnaGen, Neuroscience Technologies, Biocontrol Technologies, Genmedica Therapeutics, Omnia Molecular, UBAN, Agrassys, Intelligent Pharma and Infinitec Activos. All of them have moved into the second floor, with the exception of Agrassys and Intelligent Pharma who will be in the Administration Building. Several IBMBCSIC research groups have also moved into the second floor. These are led by the following researchers: Nuria Verdaguer, F. Xavier Gomis, Elisa Marti, M.A. Martinez-Balbas, The new satellite building occupies more than 6,500 m2.

Photo: PCB

Photos: M. GavaldĂ

A

PhD students during the last Cool-off session at the PCB Cafeteria.

Timothy Thomson, Anna Aragay and Maria Isabel Geli. Next to these, there is a group of researchers led by Sara Marsal, coordinator of the Rheumatology Research Unit at Vall d’Hebron Hospital. The company Enantia also has a laboratory on the second floor. The Institute for Research in Biomedicine and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia are located on the first floor. The first IRB Barcelona researchers to move in were the groups led by Lluis Ribas de Pouplana and Ramon Eritja. Throughout 2008 other researchers will move in, including Jens Luders, Xavier Salvatella and the researchers belonging to the joint BSC-IRB Barcelona program. The first floor will also house the AIDS Research Unit, directed by Josep Maria Gatell, head of the Infectious Diseases and AIDS Section of the IDIBAPS-Hospital Clinic. A number of rooms in the building will be occupied by the Core Scientific Services (SCCPCB), a laboratory for the Radioactive Installation (PCB) and an area set aside for housing fish and amphibians for the Animal Research Centre (SEA-PCB). The new satellite building is part of the Barcelona Science Park expansion project, already underway, to increase research activity. The PCB is expected to expand the area up to 90,000 m2 by 2010, of which nearly 30,500 m2 will be occupied by laboratories.

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December 2007

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in vivo

Issue 01

SPOTLIGHT

NEW AT IRB BARCELONA

Sofia Araujo Postdoctoral fellow, Development and Morphogenesis in Drosophila Group, IRB Barcelona. - You have been selected to appear in the opening video of the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF 2008), to be held in Barcelona in July. How did that happen? “The TV production team came to the park one morning to talk to all the candidates interested in taking part. We had a short conversation about the aims of the ESOF video and who it is for. They were very interested in knowing about my current work at IRB Barcelona and why I decided to move here to do research.”

Sofia Araujo (Portugal, 1971) during the filming session at IRB Barcelona.

Natalia Molner (Spain, 1974) has recently joined the IRB Barcelona team as a programme secretary. Her main responsibilities are to provide administrative support to the Molecular Medicine Programme, including the organization of BioMed seminars and conferences, budget monitoring and assistance to PhD students. Previously a sales secretary at Pronovias Fashion Group, she studied Public Relations and Communications. Asked about what she likes in her new position, Natalia says “to feel that you're working for a good cause.”

Fabrizio Rossi (Italy, 1979) moved from Rome in October to join IRB Barcelona as a postdoctoral fellow in the Cell Division Laboratory, headed by Cayetano González. Fabrizio studied at the University La Sapienza, in Italy, and headed to the United States to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he spent the last year of his PhD as a visiting scholar. Coming from a background in genomics, Fabrizio will now tackle the field of cell biology and is looking forward to the challenge.

Sara Chalk (United Kingdom, 1973) left her previous position at the University of California and crossed the Atlantic to join the Mutant Mouse Core Facility at IRB Barcelona as a scientific officer. A microinjection specialist, she is responsible for all aspects of mutant production, including harvesting and microinjecting oocytes and blastocysts, reimplanting embryos and culturing mouse embryonic stem cells. “I've been doing the same job in transgenics for ten years now,” says Sarah. The best thing in this field is that “there's always something new to learn and lots of variety.”

- Why were you selected? “I'm not sure, but perhaps because of my extensive experience abroad or the fact that they liked the type of research I do.”

COMING SOON

- What will your involvement be?

Barcelona BioMed Conferences

“The idea is to show the various institutes and types of research being done in Barcelona. My involvement is brief, since the video will only be eight minutes in total and there are several researchers taking part. It will combine audio with snapshots of my research at different locations, including the fly room, the laboratory and the confocal rooms. I decided to participate because I think researchers should have an active role in bringing science to the public.”

»

More info about ESOF: www.esof2008.org

Targeting and tinkering with interaction networks 14 - 16 April, 2008

»

Metastasis genes and functions 19 - 21 May, 2008

»

Morphogenesis and cell behaviour 6 - 8 October, 2008

For more information and registration see www.irbbarcelona.org Organised by IRB Barcelona with the collaboration of the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Foundation. Hosted by the Institut d’Estudis Catalans.

Published by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine. Office of Communications & External Relations. Parc Cientific de Barcelona. Josep Samitier, 1-5. 08028 Barcelona, Spain. www.irbbarcelona.org. Editor: Anna Alsina. Associate Editor: Sarah Sherwood. Contributors: Sonia Armengou, Tanya Yates, PhD student group, PCB Communications Department. Design: Aymerich Comunicacio.

www.irbbarcelona.org

IRB Barcelona - InVivo 1 - December 2007  

This is an online publication of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). Please, visit our webpage at www.irbbarcelona.or...