Last week IBEC’s PhD students headed off to Mas Colltort in Sant Feliu de Pallarols for the first ever IBEC PhD retreat. The two-day sojourn in the country was a chance for more than 50 of IBEC’s students to hear talks by various speakers, give flash presentations about their career paths, and get to know one another.
The invited speakers were Alfons Nonell‐Canals, CEO of Mind the Byte, who talked about ‘The thrill of being a scientific entrepeneur’; Dr. Vincenzo di Donato, Project Manager at ZeClinics, with ‘Jumping out from your comfort zone: straight from your PhD to Industry’; Pere Roca‐Cusachs, group leader at IBEC, with ‘How to progress in academia’; and IBEC postdoc Agata Nyga, who talked about ‘Surviving in research as an early career researcher: international perspectives’. There was also a workshop on ‘Molecules in the cloud: personalized medicine for everyone’ led by Mind the Byte.
Researchers from IBEC and UB have discovered that the way tumor cells expand defies the laws of physics.
In an article published today in Nature Physics, the researchers have challenged our current understanding of the discipline and developed a new framework that could help predict the conditions under which tumors initiate metastasis.
This discovery highlights the importance of physical forces in metastasis, opening the door to developing therapies to alter the mechanics of tumors as a possible treatment.
The study was financed by MINECO, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the European Research Council (ERC), the EC (under the MECHANOCONTROL project), CIBER-BBN and the Obra Social “La Caixa”.
MECHANO-CONTROL Coordinator Pere Roca-Cusachs has been interviewed about the project for the CORDIS Digital Single Market news section.
Through the interview by Barbora Negolicka, Pere unfolds the project into its staples, to approach its strategy to decipher and treat breast cancer.
CORDIS (Community Research and Development Information Service) is the European Commission’s primary public repository and portal to disseminate information on all EU-funded research projects and their results in the broadest sense.
IBEC group leader Pere Roca-Cusachs is the Journal of Cell Science’s ‘cell scientist to watch’ in its current edition.
In an in-depth interview, Pere tells writer Manuel Breuer about his challenges and successes during his research in mechanobiology, his early years as a new scientist and more recently when setting up his own group, about attaining a good work-life balance – and how his life nearly turned out very differently when he was considering stand-up comedy as a career. Read the interview here.
King’s College London Prof. Sergi Garcia-Manyes has been featured in Chemistry World, on its latest article on mechanochemistry, “Introducing mechanochemistry”. In the article, Garcia-Manyes explains how they induce chemical reactions by applying forces with an AFM on single chemical bonds in a molecule. This reaction can trigger the assembly of several molecules into a protein and its folding without the use of enzymes.
Xavier Trepat is one of six featured in Nature Physics’ latest ‘Insight’ issue, ‘The Physics of Living Systems’, in which all the articles have been co-authored by a physicist and a biologist.
Penned together with collaborator Erik Sahai from London’s Francis Crick Institute, Xavier’s article, ‘Mesoscale physical principles of collective cell organization’, reviews recent evidence showing that cell and tissue dynamics are governed by mesoscale physical principles – force, density, shape, adhesion and self-propulsion.
Noviogel hydrogels can be crosslinked after cell or organoid culture without loss of the reversible thermosensitive property during culture
Because of the reversible thermosensitive behavior of Noviogel, some researchers experience difficulties in using the hydrogel for immune staining. By using a crosslinker after culture, the properties of Noviogel are still intact like ease of use in cell passaging and retrieval of cells for other downstream applications. The solution was reported in this latest Nature Communication paper of the group of Paul Kouwe.
Mind the Byte’s CEO Alfons Nonell and Scientific Director Melchor Sanchez have taken part of the Pint of Science Festival, a global science outreach event taking place simultaneously in 21 countries.
The Pint of Science festival on 14th-16th May aims to deliver interesting, fun and relevant talks on the latest scientific research by the people who carry it out – in the pub!
On 15th May Alfons gave a talk, “Drug Design with Artificial Intelligence” at BlackLab Brewhouse bar on Plaça Pau Vila. At the same time – taking a different stage, though -, Melchor also spread the word on the same topic at the D9 bar on Carrer de Pallars.
Pint of Science, which was established by a community of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers at Imperial College in 2012, takes place annually over three days simultaneously in pubs in 21 countries.
Read more on the Pint of Science website: here and here.
IBEC group leader and member of Mechanocontrol consortium Xavier Trepat has been elected as a Member of EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organisation.
EMBO’s members are 1,800 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences, and new ones are elected annually in recognition of their contributions to scientific excellence. Of the 62 researchers from 24 countries to receive membership this year, Xavier is one of the only two researchers in Spain.
The Integrative Cell and Tissue Dynamics group leader is IBEC’s first full EMBO Member, and one of just 79 based in Spain. In 2016 IBEC group leader Pere Roca-Cusachs was accepted into the EMBO Young Investigator Programme.