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Fran Supek becomes an EMBO Young Investigator




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In 2017, Fran Supek started his research group at IRB Barcelona devoted to statistical genomics.

Through its Young Investigator Programme, EMBO identifies and supports some of the best young researchers in the life sciences.

Fran Supek, ICREA researcher at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), together with another 27 scientists from Europe and the rest of the world, has joined the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) through its Young Investigator Programme.

Supek heads the Genome Data Science Laboratory, where he applies cutting-edge analytical techniques involving Big Data and machine learning analyses to study the genomic data of human populations, tumour genomes, microbial genomes and microbiomes. The group’s particular interest are mutagenic processes that cause genomes to evolve due to DNA repair gone awry, examined in the ERC-funded project “HYPER-INSIGHT”.

The EMBO Young Investigator Programme gathers researchers under the age of 40 who are in the first four years of heading their own research group and who have a proven track record of scientific excellence. This programme already has a network of 129 young investigators and 340 former members. As part of the programme, the researchers and his/her team receive funding and other support over four years, as well as the opportunity to network.

“I see the EMBO Young Investigator Programme as a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded researchers who focus on doing exciting, world-class science. I hope this will spark many collaborations with great labs in other European countries and beyond,” says Supek.

EMBO director Maria Leptin said in a statement, "The first years as an independent researcher can daunting, and we hope to provide these 27 scientists with the support they need to develop independent research careers."


Fran Supek’s career


Fran Supek holds a BSc in Molecular Biology and a PhD from the Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics of the University of Zagreb (Croatia). In 2010, he came to Barcelona, where he joined the EMBL/CRG Systems Biology Research Unit at the Centre for Genomic Regulation as a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow. There, he worked in the “Systems Genetics” lab, headed by Ben Lehner, where he addressed the genomes of human tumours. In April 2017, he joined IRB Barcelona as a Ramon y Cajal fellow to set up the Genome Data Science lab, which comprises a highly interdisciplinary team capable of tackling cancer genomics and population genomics from a unique perspective.


Find out more about Supek in this interview:




More information: EMBO press release


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).