Ernest Giralt inducted into the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona

The coordinator of the Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Programme at IRB Barcelona is an international authority on the synthesis and design of biomolecules

Investigator at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Ernest Giralt, has been appointed today a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona In his address, he summarized the key points of research into the synthesis and design of biomolecules developed by his group. Giralt also used the opportunity to express his belief that the scientific academies of the XXI century should take on the responsibility of intermediating between researchers and society. “Society as a whole, including political parties and economic powers, has difficulty grasping the point of view of the scientist. In the US and UK, scientific academies are beginning to assume this role: we should follow their example.”

Ernest Giralt (Viladecans, 1948) is a group leader at IRB Barcelona and coordinator of its Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Programme. He is a leading expert in the synthesis and structural elucidation of peptides using a technique called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). The research performed by Giralt combines conceptual elegance with a highly practical focus on the construction of biomolecules. One of the objectives of the group is to design molecules that interact with protein surfaces for therapeutic applications. During his career, Giralt has introduced many novel techniques for the construction and interpretation of the structures of new peptides. Among other achievements, he headed the development of the NMR service at the Barcelona Science Park, which today enjoys international recognition.

With a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona (UB), he spent post-doctoral stays in the University of California, San Diego, and at Scripps Research Institute, in the same city. He has been a Professor of Organic Chemistry at the UB since 1986. He has authored more than 325 scientific articles, 10 patents, review articles and three books that are reference materials in his field. During his scientific career he has received several awards and prizes, among these the Narcís Monturiol Medal (1992), the Leonidas Zervas Award (1994), University Research Award from the Autonomous Government of Catalonia (2001), the NMR prize (2002), and the National Research Prize (2003), the latter two given by the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry.

The Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona, founded in 1764, is an association of investigators of science and its applications; membership to which is limited by number and through nomination. The aim of which is to act as a promoter and point of reference in the cultural arena and for Catalan society in all that is relevant to the Applied Arts.