This was the moment that IBEC group leader Pere Roca-Cusachs received the City of Barcelona Award for the life sciences from Barcelona mayor Ada Colau.
Pere won the prize for his study in Cell last year which identified a mechanism by which tissue rigidity regulates cell survival and proliferation, as well as its implications in diseases such as cancer and liver and lung fibrosis. The ceremony took place last night in the city council’s Saló de Cent, where the twenty winners of this year’s prizes, now in their 17th edition, were congratulated by Ms. Colau and Culture Commissioner Joan Subirats.
On Friday the IBEC-managed Spanish Nanotechnology Platform, NanoMed Spain, co-hosted the fifth edition of Nano World Cancer Day, a global initiative organized as part of World Cancer Day.
It’s the third year running that the platform has hosted the conference, which took place at the PCB and was opened by IBEC/NanoMed Spain’s Josep Samitier, who also gave a presentation about the platform.
The latest innovations in nanomedicine for cancer were presented and discussed in front of an audience of more than 90 researchers, clinicians, students and industry professionals, as well as journalists.
The other speakers were Ana Roda of the Fundación Científica de la Asociación Española contra el Cáncer (AECC); Salvador Borrós and Anna Cascante of SAGETIS Biotech; IBEC’s Pere Roca-Cusachs and Joan Montero; and Jaume Mora, Scientific Director of onco-hematology at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. They presented various new advances in the field and what they may imply in terms of new opportunities in diagnostics and therapies against cancer. Mechanocontrol coordinator, Pere Roca-Cusachs, showed his research in mechanobiology applied to the fight against cancer.
Philadelphia has held the last ASCB EMBO Meeting, in which many of the Mechanocontrol members have been actively involved.
From December 2 to 6, the Pennsylvania Conventions Center has held one of the biggest meetings in the field of cell biology.
Under the lema Science is an international endeavor, the 2017 first joint ASCB | EMBO meeting highlights the importance of inclusiveness and of the exchange of information and ideas beyond national boundaries. The Keynothe Speaker of this year’s meeting, Cori Bargman, highlighted the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration for neuronal cell biology with his talk “Building Knowledge by Integrating Levels: Genes, Cells and Behavior.”
In their effort to shed light on the role that physical forces play in the body, Pere Roca-Cusachs’ group at IBEC has shown how these forces ‘switch on’ the expression of genes that may result in cancer.
Cells apply mechanical forces to their surrounding tissue, and this mechanical effect is crucial for tissue function. In diseases such as cancer or liver and lung fibrosis, tissue rigidity and mechanical forces increase, promoting the progression of the disease. In their study published in Cell yesterday, IBEC’s researchers reveal how forces trigger the expression of certain genes by increasing the activity of a protein called YAP in the nucleus of the cell.
Yesterday Mechanocontrol partners met to discuss their first results on breast Mechanobiology under the auspices of the project. The meeting was held in Saarbrücken, coinciding with the Cell Physics 2017 conference, organized and financed by the Collaborative Research Center SFB 1027, in which Prof. Dr. Aránzazu del Campo, member of the consortium, has been involved.
During the meeting, all the partners had their chance to present their incipient results to the rest of the members of the consortium. Also the general guidelines of the project were discussed and reviewed during the meeting.
In view of the occasion, several members of the consortium – Prof. Marino Arroyo from UPC, the Project Coordinator and Group Leader at IBEC Pere Roca-Cusachs, Prof. Xavier Trepat from IBEC and Prof. Sergi Garcia-Manyes from King’s College – will be contributing to the Cell Physics conference with a talk, given the happy coincidence of both events.
September of 2017 starts with new Nature Materials article published by Xavier Trepat, Group Leader of Integrative Cell and Tissue Dynamics and member of MECHANOCONTROL consortium. The study shows mechanical waves forming after collisions between cellular tissues, an unexpected behavior that defies what we know about cellular dynamics.
Today three IBEC group leaders – Pere Roca-Cusachs, Vito Conte and Xavier Trepat – consolidate the institute’s leadership in mechanobiology by publishing a review of the field in Nature Cell Biology. Their paper, “Quantifying forces in cell biology”, summarizes a wide range of sensors and sensing methods able to quantify the forces generated by cells.
On Friday last week MECHANO-CONTROL, the largest European project ever coordinated at IBEC, held its kick-off meeting at the institute.
Pere Roca-Cusachs’ project, which is funded by H2020’s FET Proactive programme, will focus on understanding and controlling how cells transmit and detect mechanical forces, with the aim of coming up with new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches for cancer and other diseases.
Mind the Byte is one of the partners in the Mechano-Control research project slated to receive €7 million in funding over the next five years to develop therapies for cancer, fibrosis and other diseases. Coordinated by Dr Pere Roca-Cusachs, head researcher at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and adjunct professor at the University of Barcelona, Mechano-Control is one of 12 projects that have been selected from the 210 applications submitted from around Europe in the latest call launched by the Horizon 2020 FET Proactive programme.