The ICREAs

ICREA research professors form a vibrant community of scientists and researchers in all areas of knowledge that contribute to the advancement of humankind by exploring, interpreting and questioning. Have a look and learn about their amazing discoveries and findings here:

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  • Bonatti, Luca

    Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

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    Bonatti, Luca

    Research Professor at
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)
    Social & Behavioural Sciences
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    Research interests

    I work on artificial and natural language learning, natural categorization, and theories of deductive and probabilistic reasoning. I study cognition both in adults and young infants. In adults, the focus of my latest research is on how language learners can find words and rules in an unknown speech stream. I have promoted a dual model of language acquisition, giving evidence that lexical learning and grammatical learning recruit different acquisition mechanisms. In infant cognition, my work focuses on early abilities of reasoning about the future, and on how basic categories affect infants' organization of experience. Recently, with my collaborators, I have proposed a novel theory of how infants reason about uncertain events and on how their reasoning is affected by what they experience. I have tried to show that infants have intuitions about the future that are not based on their experience of the past, but on their logical abilities of analyzing current events.

    Key words

    Language acquisition, Cognition, Infant cognition, Probabilistic Reasoning, Deductive Reasoning
  • Brander, Christian

    Institut de Recerca de la Sida - IrsiCaixa (IrsiCaixa)

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    Brander, Christian

    Research Professor at
    Institut de Recerca de la Sida - IrsiCaixa (IrsiCaixa)
    Life & Medical Sciences
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    Research interests

    Our work focuses on the cellular immunity to viral infections in the immune compromised host. The main quest is the search for immune correlates of relative control of HIV and how to translate these findings into rational HIV vaccine design. In our work, we have used a series of ex-vivo immune analyses in samples from HIV infected individuals to identify regions of the virus where it is most vulnerable and try to better define the critical characteristics (avidity, cross-reactivity) of an effective T cell response to HIV. These studies are complemented by analyses in highly-exposed yet HIV-uninfected individuals and subjects that are closely followed from time points before HIV infection to chronic stages of newly acquired infection. In all these patient groups, we also apply integrated systems biology analyses that combine "communicom" studies with methylom determination to assess to what level HIV infection induces epigenetic changes in crucial anti-viral host factors

    Key words

    HIV, cellular immunity, host genetics, viral evolution, viral immunity in solid organ transplantation

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-0548-5778

  • Bromley, Stefan T.

    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

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    Bromley, Stefan T.

    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Barcelona (UB)
    Engineering Sciences
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    Research interests

    With the constant technological drive for device miniaturisation, materials are increasingly being used at scales of only a few 100s or 1000s of atoms (i.e. at the nanoscale). Such nanomaterials often display novel size-dependent properties compared to materials at everyday length scales. Using powerful supercomputers and a range of atomistic/quantum modelling methods, our aim is to obtain a detailed predictive understanding of the structural, electronic and chemical properties of nanomaterials. Of particular interest is how nanomaterials evolve with increasing size, and the design of new materials using nanoscale building blocks. Our research follows three main themes: (i) nanoclusters and nanostructured phases of materials having importance in energy applications (e.g TiO2, ZnO). (ii) growth and properties of nanoclusters of astronomical importance (e.g. TiC, silicates). (iii) design of nanostructured materials using organic molecular building blocks for electronics/spintronics.

    Key words

    Nanoclusters, Computational Modelling, Nanostructured Materials

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-7037-0475

    RESEARCHER ID

    : A-2481-2009

  • Brucet, Sandra

    Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVIC)

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    Brucet, Sandra

    Research Professor at
    Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVIC)
    Experimental Sciences & Mathematics
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    Research interests

    A key focus of my research is the response of aquatic ecosystems and their biodiversity to global changes, particularly the combination of climate change with other anthropogenic stressors. My research is holistic including the whole trophic structure. I focus on different aquatic ecosystems and I use complementary approaches (experiments, latitudinal comparisons, theoretical ecology). I conducted research evidencing the negative effects of the combined increased temperature, salinity and drought on the food web and biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems. We showed that warming and the associate changes in the top-down control will benefit small organisms across the food web with negative consequences for ecosystem health. We also found that temperature strongly influences most components of fish taxonomic and functional diversity at macroecological scale, emphasizing its importance in determining aquatic biodiversity.

    Key words

    biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, global change, aquatic ecosystems, ecoinformatics
  • Burjachs Casas, Francesc

    Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES)

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    Burjachs Casas, Francesc

    Research Professor at
    Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES)
    Humanities
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    Research interests

    My investigation seeks to understand the climatic changes that happened along human evolution. This information is important to appreciate some of the factors which have influenced our evolution towards the current species. More precisely, my work is developed in the science of Palynology, which basically consists in the study of the fossil pollen trapped in the soil that our ancestors stepped on. In this way, we can describe the landscape in which they lived, the climate they endured, the vegetables they ate, etc.

    Key words

    Palaeopalynology, archaeopalynology, prehistory, palaeoclimatology, palaeoenvironment, social evolution.

    ORCID

    : 0000-0002-7200-9552

    RESEARCHER ID

    : G-2064-2015

  • Cabot, Andreu

    Institut de Recerca en Energia de Catalunya (IREC)

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    Cabot, Andreu

    Research Professor at
    Institut de Recerca en Energia de Catalunya (IREC)
    Engineering Sciences
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    Research interests

    My research focuses on the design, production and manipulation of nanocrystals and nanomaterials, their functional characterization and their technological application in the energy field. I use solution-based processes to produce these nanocrystals and to assemble them to the macroscale. Solution-based methods allow both a unique control over composition and crystal phase at the nanometer scale and a high versatility in the development of socially and economically-relevant technologies. From an application point of view, I have centered my work in the development of materials for energy conversion and storage. In particular, my group develops solution-processed solar cells using spray deposition technologies, thermoelectric nanocomposites from the bottom-up assembly of colloidal nanocrystals and multi-metallic and metal-metal oxide nano-heterostructures for catalysis, including photo and electrocatalysis.

    Key words

    Nanomaterials, nanotechnology, energy, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, catalysis, photocatalysis, colloids