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Ernest Giralt: "There are many diseases caused by failures in the protein-protein interactions”



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The Meet Our Scientists series presents Ernest Giralt, doctor of chemical sciences, who is the head of the Peptides and Proteins laboratory at IRB Barcelona.

In the video "The power of medicinal chemistry", Giralt highlights his interest in deciphering the language used by proteins to interact with each other.

The chemist Ernest Giralt (Viladecans, 1948) is the head of the Peptides and Proteins Laboratory at IRB Barcelona, ​​composed of more than 20 people among researchers and PhD students. This group focuses its research on peptides, small proteins, and on the dynamic properties of proteins.

Giralt has always been interested in trying to decipher the language that different proteins use to interact with each other, not only to unravel the biology of these interactions but also for their biomedical applicability since "there are many illnesses that are caused by errors in these interactions ".

The peptides designed in their laboratory are destined to interrupt or favour the unwanted interaction between the proteins. Among other advances, they have discovered some that interrupt very effectively an interaction between proteins related to cancer, which could open a door to new therapies against this disease. Likewise, they develop shuttle peptides that cross the blood-brain barrier to be able to supply drugs to the brain and that can be used for the treatment of pediatric brain cancer and for Friedrich's ataxia, a hereditary neurodegenerative disease.


The science and the music, his great passions

Giralt declares himself "very happy" with his professional work because it allows him to apply basic science to try to solve medical problems. In addition, along with his passion for chemistry and teaching, shows his other hobby, music: "to interpret and compose music is my favourite way to communicate with people," he says in the video.
"Meet Our Scientists" includes a series of short videos presenting the leaders of the research at IRB Barcelona. The main objective of the series is to show the vision, passion, character and talent of the scientists working at the centre. The videos have the support of the Spanish Foundation of Science and Technology (FECYT) and the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.



The video "The power of medicinal chemistry" is also on our YouTube channel with subtitles available in Spanish, Catalan and English.


About IRB Barcelona

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) pursues a society free of disease. To this end, it conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence to cure cancer and other diseases linked to ageing. It establishes technology transfer agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and major hospitals to bring research results closer to society, and organises a range of science outreach activities to engage the public in an open dialogue. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 researchers and more than 30 nationalities. Recognised as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence since 2011, IRB Barcelona is a CERCA centre and member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).