Last Friday, 17 December 2021, IRB Barcelona hosted the 6th edition of the IRB Barcelona Alumni Excellence Award, presented to Dr. Rosana Collepardo-Guevara, Interdisciplinary Lecturer in Genetics and Chemistry and Assistant Professor and Group Leader at the University of Cambridge.
This award acknowledges outstanding contributions to science and the scientific community made by young researchers who have completed a significant part of their training and careers at IRB Barcelona and who are now alumni. Additionally, these awards are intended to showcase the impact and value of IRB Barcelona training. The IRB Barcelona Alumni Excellence Award is given with the support of Eppendorf.
Dr. Rosana Collepardo-Guevara applies computational simulations to understand how genomic DNA is packaged inside the cell nucleus. Her research has provided rigorous insight on the impact of slight charge modifications of DNA-binding proteins to DNA folding, organization, and ultimately macromolecular assembly.
This year’s award jury, composed of IRB Barcelona senior researchers, highlighted the quality of her research, demonstrated in prestigious reports contributed to Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Nucleic Acids Research, among serval other journals.
Her outstanding contributions to understanding liquid-phase separations and their biological relevance. Particularly relevant were considered her studies on chromatin structure.
Furthermore, Dr. Collepardo embraces open source and open data science practices. She shares manuscripts in the form of pre-prints, before peer-review and journal acceptance and maintains an updated GitHub repository. Finally, she has demonstrated an ability to distill the significance of her research and frame her career, without losing sight of the impact her accomplishments and actions might have on the younger generations of scientists.
Dr. Collepardo holds an Associate Professor position at the Department of Physics of the University of Cambridge, where she leads the Computational Physics of Chromatin Group, where she develops computer models to delve deeper into the link between genome structure and function and to help us understand how cells with the same DNA develop into heart or brain cells.
She and her team develop new computational approaches to decipher the unknown physical and chemical mechanisms determining chromatin structure and underpinning gene function.
Dr. Collepardo received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and an MSc and DPhil in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of Oxford. She then did postdoctoral work with Tamar Schlick (NYU), Dr. Modesto Orozco (IRB Barcelona), Dr. Daan Frenkel (Cambridge), and Dr. David Wales (Cambridge), until she took up her current Group Leader position at the University of Cambridge.
This was the sixth year of the Alumni Award —a prize given in recognition of outstanding contributions to science and the scientific community by young researchers who have completed a significant part of their training and careers at IRB Barcelona.
Previous winners of the award are Dr. David Vilchez (2016), Group Leader at the CECAD-Cluster of Excellence in Cologne (Germany), Dr. Marc Liesa (2017), Assistant Professor in-residence of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (USA), Dr. Joan Font-Burgada (2018), Assistant Professor at the Fox Chase Cancer Centerin Philadelphia (USA), Dr. Ana Janic (2019), Group Leader at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF, Barcelona), and Dr. Eva Novoa (2020), Group Leader at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (Barcelona).
Watch the pictures of the award event here:
About IRB Barcelona
Created in 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) and University of Barcelona, IRB Barcelona is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence, a seal that was awarded in 2011. The institute is devoted to conducting research of excellence in biomedicine and to transferring results to clinical practice, thus improving people’s quality of life, while simultaneously promoting the training of outstanding researchers, technology transfer, and public communication of science. Its 27 laboratories and eight core facilities address basic questions in biology and are orientated to diseases such as cancer, metastasis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and rare conditions. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 employees and more than 30 nationalities. It is located in the Barcelona Science Park. IRB Barcelona is a CERCA center, and a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).