Barcelona, Spain

ICREA, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, is a foundation jointly promoted by the Catalan Government through its Ministry of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise, and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation . ICREA was created in 2000 aiming to boost the research system of Catalonia via the recruitment of top scientists for the Catalan R&D system, scientists capable of leading new research groups, strengthening existing groups, and opening up novel forefront lines of research.To achieve its objectives ICREA works closely with Catalan universities and research centres based in Catalonia by means of long-term agreements that allow ICREA researchers to integrate in research groups within these universities and centres.Cooperation, international openness and excellence are ICREA’s hallmarks.In the period 2000-2008, ICREA has hired a total of 222 tenured research professors in different areas of research: 32,5% in life and medical science, 27% in experimental science and mathematics, 10% in social science, 13,5% in different fields of humanities and 17% in technology. Wikipedia.


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Sanchez-Palencia L.,University Paris - Sud | Lewenstein M.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Nature Physics | Year: 2010

When attempting to understand the role of disorder in condensed-matter physics, we face considerable experimental and theoretical difficulties, and many questions are still open. Two of the most challenging onesdebated for decadesconcern the effect of disorder on superconductivity and quantum magnetism. We review recent progress in the field of ultracold atomic gases, which should pave the way towards the realization of versatile quantum simulators, which help solve these questions. In addition, ultracold gases offer original practical and conceptual approaches, which open new perspectives to the field of disordered systems. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Patent
Corning Inc., ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Date: 2016-02-16

Described herein are improved dewetting methods and improved patterned articles produced using such methods. The improved methods and articles generally implement continuous ultra-thin metal-containing films or film stacks as the materials to be dewetted. For example, a method can involve the steps of providing a substrate that has a continuous ultra-thin metal-containing film or film stack disposed on a surface thereof, and dewetting at least a portion of the continuous ultra-thin metal-containing film or film stack to produce a plurality of discrete metal-containing dewetted islands on the surface of the substrate.


Novotny L.,University of Rochester | Van Hulst N.,Institute Of Ciencies Fotoniques | Van Hulst N.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Nature Photonics | Year: 2011

Optical antennas are devices that convert freely propagating optical radiation into localized energy, and vice versa. They enable the control and manipulation of optical fields at the nanometre scale, and hold promise for enhancing the performance and efficiency of photodetection, light emission and sensing. Although many of the properties and parameters of optical antennas are similar to their radiowave and microwave counterparts, they have important differences resulting from their small size and the resonant properties of metal nanostructures. This Review summarizes the physical properties of optical antennas, provides a summary of some of the most important recent developments in the field, discusses the potential applications and identifies the future challenges and opportunities. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Moyano A.,University of Barcelona | Rios R.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2011

Asymmetric organocatalysis has been providing powerful and practical methods for the highly stereo-controlled construction of a huge variety of carbo- and heterocyclic compounds. In the case of polycyclic systems, either fused, bridged, or spiranic ring arrangements can be accessed. Around 150 different small chiral organic molecules have been proven to be useful catalysts in asymmetric cyclization, annulation, and cycloaddition processes. Some of these processes such as ntramolecular aldol reactions, intramolecular aza-Michael reactions, or Diels-Alder cycloadditions, have reached impressive levels of stereoselective control and are increasingly being used in enantioselective total syntheses. Polyene cyclizations, domino processes, combination of organocatalysis with transition metal-based catalysis and/or biocatalysis, polymer-supported and supramolecular-gel-supported catalysts, self-assembled organocatalysts, and multiphase homogeneous catalysis and flow chemistry are experiencing a fast growth.


Esteller M.,08908 LHospitalet | Esteller M.,University of Barcelona | Esteller M.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2011

The relevance of the non-coding genome to human disease has mainly been studied in the context of the widespread disruption of microRNA (miRNA) expression and function that is seen in human cancer. However, we are only beginning to understand the nature and extent of the involvement of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in disease. Other ncRNAs, such as PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs), transcribed ultraconserved regions (T-UCRs) and large intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) are emerging as key elements of cellular homeostasis. Along with microRNAs, dysregulation of these ncRNAs is being found to have relevance not only to tumorigenesis, but also to neurological, cardiovascular, developmental and other diseases. There is great interest in therapeutic strategies to counteract these perturbations of ncRNAs. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Lehner B.,Center for Genomic Regulation CRG and UPF | Lehner B.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2013

To what extent can variation in phenotypic traits such as disease risk be accurately predicted in individuals? In this Review, I highlight recent studies in model organisms that are relevant both to the challenge of accurately predicting phenotypic variation from individual genome sequences ('whole-genome reverse genetics') and for understanding why, in many cases, this may be impossible. These studies argue that only by combining genetic knowledge with in vivo measurements of biological states will it be possible to make accurate genetic predictions for individual humans. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Melchiorre P.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Melchiorre P.,Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

Asymmetric aminocatalysis exploits the potential of chiral primary and secondary amines to catalyze asymmetric reactions. It has greatly simplified the functionalization of carbonyl compounds while ensuring high enantioselectivity. Recent advances in cinchona-based primary amine catalysis have provided new synthetic opportunities and conceptual perspectives for successfully attacking major challenges in carbonyl compound chemistry, which traditional approaches have not been able to address. This Review outlines the historical context for the development of this catalyst class while charting the landmark discoveries and applications that have further expanded the synthetic potential of aminocatalysis. Primary choice: In only five years, cinchona-based primary amine catalysis has almost equaled the high level of efficiency and reliability of aminocatalysis by proline-derived catalysts, offering the unique possibility of effecting reactions between sterically demanding carbonyl compounds (see picture). Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Gonzalez C.,Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine | Gonzalez C.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2013

For decades, lower-model organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster have often provided the first glimpse into the mechanism of action of human cancer-related proteins, thus making a substantial contribution to elucidating the molecular basis of the disease. More recently, D. melanogaster strains that are engineered to recapitulate key aspects of specific types of human cancer have been paving the way for the future role of this 'workhorse' of biomedical research, helping to further investigate the process of malignancy, and serving as platforms for therapeutic drug discovery.© 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Ballester P.,Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia | Ballester P.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2013

Chemical intuition suggests that anions and π-aromatic systems would repel each other. Typically, we think of cations as being attracted to electron-rich π-systems of aromatic rings, and the cation-π interaction, a well-established noncovalent interaction, plays an important role in nature. Therefore the anion-π interaction can be considered the opposite of the cation-π interaction. Computational studies of simple models of anion-π interactions have provided estimates of the factors that govern the binding geometry and the binding energy, leading to a general consensus about the nature of these interactions. In order to attract an anion, the charge distribution of the aromatic system has to be reversed, usually through the decoration of the aromatic systems with strongly electron-withdrawing groups. Researchers have little doubt about the existence of attractive anion-π interactions in the gas phase and in the solid state. The bonding energies assigned to anion-π interactions from quantum chemical calculations and gas phase experiments are significant and compare well with the values obtained for cation-π interactions. In solution, however, there are few examples of attractive anion-π interactions.In this Account, I describe several examples of neutral molecular receptors that bind anions in solution either solely through anion-π interactions or as a combination of anion-π interactions and hydrogen bonding. In the latter cases, the strength of the anion-π interaction is indirectly detected as a modulation of the stronger hydrogen bonding interaction (enforced proximity). The dissection of the energy contribution of the anion-π interaction to the overall binding is complex, which requires the use of appropriate reference systems.This Account gives an overview the experimental efforts to determine the binding energies that can be expected from anion-π interactions in solution with examples that center around the recognition of halides. The studies show that anion-π interactions also exist in solution, and the free energy of binding estimated for these attractive interactions is less than 1 kcal/mol for each substituted phenyl groups. The quantification of anion-π interactions in solution relies on the use of molecular recognition model systems; therefore researchers need to consider how the structure of the model system can alter the magnitude of the observed energy values. In addition, the recognition of anions in solution requires the use of salts (ion pairs) as precursors, which complicates the analysis of the titration data and the corresponding estimate of the binding strength. In solution, the weak binding energies suggest that anion-π interactions are not as significant for the selective or enhanced binding of anions but offer potential applications in catalysis and transport within functional synthetic and biological systems. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Lehner B.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2010

Gene expression responds to changes in conditions but also stochastically among individuals. In budding yeast, both expression responsiveness across conditions ("plasticity") and cell-to-cell variation ("noise") have been quantified for thousands of genes and found to correlate across genes. It has been argued therefore that noise and plasticity may be strongly coupled and mechanistically linked. This is consistent with some theoretical ideas, but a strong coupling between noise and plasticity also has the potential to introduce cost-benefit conflicts during evolution. For example, if high plasticity is beneficial (genes need to respond to the environment), but noise is detrimental (fluctuations are harmful), then strong coupling should be disfavored. Here, evidence is presented that cost-benefit conflicts do occur and that they constrain the evolution of gene expression and promoter usage. In contrast to recent assertions, coupling between noise and plasticity is not a general property, but one associated with particular mechanisms of transcription initiation. Further, promoter architectures associated with coupling are avoided when noise is most likely to be detrimental, and noise and plasticity are largely independent traits for core cellular components. In contrast, when genes are duplicated noise-plasticity coupling increases, consistent with reduced detrimental affects of expression variation. Noise-plasticity coupling is, therefore, an evolvable trait that may constrain the emergence of highly responsive gene expression and be selected against during evolution. Further, the global quantitative data in yeast suggest that one mechanism that relieves the constraints imposed by noise-plasticity coupling is gene duplication, providing an example of how duplication can facilitate escape from adaptive conflicts. © 2010 Ben Lehner.

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