Chemists furthering the life sciences


The congress “Chemistry for Life Sciences”, being held in Barcelona, is hosting more than 200 international chemists, who answer questions and offer solutions to biomedical problems.

The European congress has been organised by IRB Barcelona researchers headed by Ernest Giralt, coordinator of the Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Programme.

“We want to make these biennial meetings "THE" European congress in chemical biology,” says Ernest Giralt, head of the organisation of the 5th European Conference on “Chemistry for Life Sciences”, which is being held in Barcelona until Wednesday under the auspices of the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS).

Professor Giralt, also senior lecturer at the University of Barcelona, is chairing the Scientific and Organising Committees, in which IRB Barcelona is highly represented. “Very few biomedical centres around the world incorporate Chemistry into their main research structure. In this regard, this feature makes IRB Barcelona singular and we should take advantage of this to explain the relevance of this discipline to further the life sciences,” explains Giralt.

The more than 200 scientists, mostly from centres in Europe but and also from Asia and America, gathered in Barcelona work at the interface between chemistry, biology, biophysics and materials science, with the objective to apply cutting-edge chemistry to answer the questions and solve the problems posed in biology.

Among the IRB Barcelona scientists invited to give plenary conferences are Xavier Salvatella, head of the Molecular Biophysics Lab and a specialist in the interactions between proteins associated with prostate cancer and Kennedy’s disease, and Natàlia Carulla, associate researcher with the Peptides and Proteins Lab who leads a project focussed on Alzheimer’s disease. Another distinguished guest is Samuel Gellman, from the University of Wisconsin (US), an expert on molecular recognition of proteins and also a member of the External Advisory Board of IRB Barcelona.