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”

Interdisciplinary conference on neural engineering at the PRBB this September

Next 21-23 September 2015 an International Conference on System Level Approaches to Neural Engineering (ICSLANE) will take place at the PRBB. Organised by the Neural Engineering Transformative Technologies (NETT) Consortium, the conference presents an outstanding list of invited speakers. Maciek Jedynak and Alessandro Barardi, both research fellows at the Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo group (CEXS-UPF), and local organisers of this exciting conference, tell us a bit more about it. ————- Neural Engineering is an inherently new discipline that brings together engineering, physics, neuroscience and mathematics to design and develop brain-computer interface systems, cognitive computers and neural prosthetics. Neural Engineering Transformative Technologies (NETT) is a Europe-wide consortium of … Continue reading Interdisciplinary conference on neural engineering at the PRBB this September

Science at PRBB: Jordi Garcia Ojalvo’s Dynamical Systems Biology lab (CEXS-UPF)

In this sort video the physicist Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo, at the Department of Health and Experimental Sciences of the University Pompeu Fabra – located at the PRBB in Barcelona – talks about his group’s studies on circadian rhythms and other biochemical oscillations … Continue reading Science at PRBB: Jordi Garcia Ojalvo’s Dynamical Systems Biology lab (CEXS-UPF)

“We’re evolving towards systems pharmacology”

  A theoretical chemist by training, Jordi Mestres started up the chemogenomics lab of the IMIM, currently part of the GRIB, in 2003. The structure of the group, made up of graduates and doctors in chemistry, biology, biotechnology and computer science, perfectly reflects its three main lines of research: molecules, proteins and programming to predict the interaction between them. “We apply our predictions to both drug discovery and chemical biology”, summarises Mestres. This last discipline consists of using small molecules to sound out biology, for example inhibiting a protein to understand its function. According to the scientist from Girona the … Continue reading “We’re evolving towards systems pharmacology”

Horses with spots and giraffes with stripes

Shigeru Kondo (Institute of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Japan) gave one of the last talks at the “Computational approaches to networks, cells and tissues” meeting that took place this week  at the PRBB Auditorium. Co-organised by James Sharpe (CRG) and Hernán López-Schier (HZM), the meeting was supported by QuanTissue, a collaborative European network to bridge the gap between the traditional developmental cell biology, biophysics and systems biology. And so it did! Most of the nearly 200 participants were physicysts or mathematicians, as one could tell from their presentations and posters full of complicated mathematical formulae. But the subjects they studied … Continue reading Horses with spots and giraffes with stripes

“The same mutation can have a different outcome in different individuals”

The English researcher Ben Lehner started as a junior group leader at the CRG in December 2006 and has been an ICREA Professor since 2009. His lab, Genetics Systems, consists of five postdoctoral fellows, four PhD students, and a technician who hail from Italy, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Chile, Peru, Canada and Switzerland. About half of the group members are computational biologists and the rest work primarily in the ‘wet’ lab. They all have the same aim – to understand basic questions in genetics – but they use diverse approaches and model systems. From individual genome sequences to … Continue reading “The same mutation can have a different outcome in different individuals”

Listening to the language of neurones

Coming from the Rockefeller University in NY, Matthieu Louis leads the Sensory Systems and Behaviour group at the CRG, the only lab in Barcelona, and one of the few in Spain, investigating Drosophila neuroscience. His team comprises eight people with backgrounds in molecular biology, engineering and physics. Their aim is to correlate neural circuit function with behaviour using fruit fly larvae. “The Drosophila larva has a repertoire of complex behaviours and key cognitive functions. Yet its nervous system has 10 million neurones fewer than humans”, explains the physicist. The group tries to understand how odours are encoded by the olfactory … Continue reading Listening to the language of neurones

EMBO meeting on yeast gene transcription

The EMBO meeting on “Gene transcription in yeast: from mechanisms to gene regulatory networks” aims to catalyze the transformation of the field from classical genetics, biochemistry and structural biology to functional genomics and molecular systems biology of gene transcription and regulation. Organised by Francesc Posas, the director of the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences of the UPF, the meeting will take place in Girona on June 16-21, 2012. However, registration deadline is already on March 16, so don’t wait too long! You can already check out the programme on the conference website. Make sure you don’t miss this opportunity! Continue reading EMBO meeting on yeast gene transcription