Roderic Guigó: “We look for differences in gene expression between both tissues and individuals”

The international Genotype-Tissue Expression project (GTEx) began in 2010 with the aim of creating a database and tissue bank that would allow scientists to study the relationship between genetic variation and gene expression in human tissues. On April 20 and … Continue reading Roderic Guigó: “We look for differences in gene expression between both tissues and individuals”

Francisco Mojica: “I’m incredibly proud of having been part of the CRISPR revolution”

This is a longer version of an interview published by Maruxa Martinez-Campos in the July 2016 issue of El·lipse, the PRBB newspaper. Francisco M. Mojica is a microbiologist from Alicante, Spain, where he did his PhD and where he still teaches. He was the first to publish the workings of the CRIPSR-Cas system which has in recent years taken biomedicine by storm due to its many potential applications. Mojica, who recently received the Jaime I award for basic research, came to the PRBB to explain the history of CRISPR and what it means.   How did you discover CRISPR? It was … Continue reading Francisco Mojica: “I’m incredibly proud of having been part of the CRISPR revolution”

Leroy Hood: “Your genome does not control your destiny, just your potential”

More than 36 patents, 17 honorary degrees and 100 plus awards. This is the weight behind Lee Hood, one of only 15 people elected to all three US National Academies—of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Hood has also founded 15 biotech companies, as well as the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. A pioneer in the systems approach to biology and medicine, he came to the PRBB to talk about his vision for the future of medicine. How has biology changed in the last 50 years? There have been several paradigm changes in biology I have been involved in. The first … Continue reading Leroy Hood: “Your genome does not control your destiny, just your potential”

On data sharing and open science – interviewing Rebecca Lawrence (F1000Research)

Rebecca Lawrence has worked in scientific publishing for over 15 years and is currently involved in several international associations and working groups on data publishing and peer review. Rebecca was responsible for the launch of F1000Research in January 2013, a novel open science publishing platform that “uses immediate publication, transparent peer review, and publishes all source data”. She came to the PRBB to talk about the future of scientific publishing. What are the current challenges in scientific publishing? One is the delay between the moment you’re ready to share the science and when it actually gets out there and others benefit from … Continue reading On data sharing and open science – interviewing Rebecca Lawrence (F1000Research)

“Being in the minority is part of the problem”, Joan Steitz (Yale University and HHMI)

Joan Steitz, professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, came to Barcelona in January 2015 to participate in the CRG faculty retreat. Considered one of the founders in the field of RNA biology and world-renowned for her many seminal contributions, she is also a prominent activist, promoting scientific careers for women. Mother to a son who followed in her footsteps and wife to a Nobel Prize winner, during her stay at the PRBB she gave a talk about her research into non-coding RNAs and participated in a round table about women in … Continue reading “Being in the minority is part of the problem”, Joan Steitz (Yale University and HHMI)

“Cancer prevention requires the vision, courage, and political leadership to make long term decisions”

Christopher Wild has been the Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), since 2009. Married to a neuroscientist and father of three, this epidemiologist and Man United fan came to the PRBB in March to give the 3rd Global Health session co-organised by ISGlobal, CRESIB, and CREAL. How has the burden of cancer changed over recent years? The incidence of cancer globally has increased: there were 14 million new cases in 2012 and it is expected we will reach 24 million new cases by 2035. Also, about 70% … Continue reading “Cancer prevention requires the vision, courage, and political leadership to make long term decisions”

“A little bit of knowledge generates a great deal of ignorance”

Kim Nasmyth, 63, is a renowned researcher who co-discovered cohesin, a protein complex crucial for faithful chromosome segregation during cell division. Amongst other prizes and distinctions he is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), a fellow of the Royal Society and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS). The British scientist has been director of the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna for seven years and is currently the Head of the Biochemistry Department in Oxford. This chemist with a passion for climbing visited the PRBB last November. Many of your students have become very successful … Continue reading “A little bit of knowledge generates a great deal of ignorance”

“A society with 27% unemployment is a sick society”

On April 29, the III CiSAL (Occupational Health Research Centre) and Park Salut Mar Health Service meeting took place in the PRBB Auditorium, a meeting that filled the room from wall to wall. These annual meetings consist of an open conference, a round table, and a poster session for students. Fernando Benavides, coordinator of the Public Health and Education in Health Sciences programme at the CEXS-UPF and organiser of the meeting, tells us about it. What was the topic of the meeting? The meeting centred around seeing work as a source of health, physical, psychological and social welfare. The job … Continue reading “A society with 27% unemployment is a sick society”

“Stem cells are enormous help in improving scientific knowledge”

Carles Miquel Colell, coordinator of the Research and Innovation programme for the Generalitat’s Department of Health, is Chairman of the CMRB Ethics Committee (CEIC). Doctor of internal medicine by profession, he started off in the world of healthcare, proceeded to healthcare management, teaching, and currently, research coordination. Dr. Miquel explains the whys and wherefores of the CEIC of the CMRB. How long has the committee existed? In Spain in 2006, a unique approval mechanism was created to establish certain safeguards in the use of pre-embryos left over from in vitro fertilization for stem cell research. In particular, it is necessary … Continue reading “Stem cells are enormous help in improving scientific knowledge”

“Science is a good weapon to fight crises”

Ian Mattaj, came to the PRBB last October for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the CRG. This Scottish researcher is the director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, the largest molecular biology institution in Europe. He is also president of the CRG’s scientific advisory board, and he gave us his view on science at the CRG, in Catalonia, Spain and Europe. How would you sum up the CRG´s first 10 years? The CRG is remarkably successful for such a young institution. They have been recruiting foreign researchers, not so common in Spain, and they have … Continue reading “Science is a good weapon to fight crises”