In Vivo - February 2017





INVIVO - Newsletter of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine - IRB Barcelona
Can't see this properly? Click here FEBRUARY 2017
RESEARCH NEWS
CELL
Oriol Gallego designs tiny platforms in living cells to observe proteins in 3D
Research Associate and Ramón y Cajal Fellow in Raúl Méndez Lab Oriol Gallego combined genetic engineering, super-resolution microscopy and biocomputation to see a 3D “protein nanomachine” in a living yeast cell. This breakthrough paves the way for inspiring future discoveries, such as the live observation of how viruses use protein complexes to infect cells. The study, published in Cell, was conducted in collaboration with researchers at the University of Geneva and the Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo in Seville. Read the press release here, and an interview with Oriol here.
 
SCIENCE
Here’s how to design your own β-sheets for medical applications
Postdoctoral Fellow Enrique Marcos, together with an international team of scientists, has published a study in Science that is the first to describe the ‘Principles for designing proteins with cavities formed by curved β sheets.’ β sheets are one of the most common 3D structures in proteins. “We tried to computationally create new protein structures that had cavities or holes. These cavities are of great biomedical interest because we can design in them active sites for enzymes or recognition sites for small molecules useful for certain types of treatment,” he says. Read the press release here, and an interview with Enrique here.
NATURE CELL BIOLOGY
The protein CPEB4 can protect against fatty liver disease
Scientists from four IRB Barcelona labs have published a paper in Nature Cell Biology describing the molecular function of the protein CPEB4. ”la Caixa” PhD student Carlos Maíllo has revealed that the protein orchestrates the liver the stress response to uncontrolled ingestion of fats in mice with fatty liver. Without CPEB4, the stress response is not activated, leading hepatocytes to accumulate lipids produced by the fatty liver.
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS
The fly reveals a new signal involved in limb growth
PhD students Carles Recasens and Anna Ferreira, in Marco Milán's Development and Growth Control Lab, have explained in a paper in Nature Communications that the JAK/STAT signalling pathway, known to be tightly linked to inflammatory processes and tumour growth, determines where, when and how a wing develops in Drosophila.
SPOTLIGHT
 
WOMEN IN SCIENCE
Elaine Fuchs: “We all need to embrace diversity”
Earlier this year, Elaine Fuchs, a world expert in skin stem cells visited IRB Barcelona for a short sabbatical. During her stay, she gave a lecture on her science and also took some time out to reflect with in vivo on her career as a woman scientist. With some good advice.
INNOVATION NEWS
 
TECH TRANSFER
Two IRB Barcelona patents receive CERCA funding
Gínjol is a new patent fund, recently created by the Catalan Government to provide support for the costs associated with patent processing and intellectual property rights. IRB Barcelona submitted two projects to the first call, and have been selected for funding. Read more about the initiative here.
OUTREACH NEWS
 
CRAZY ABOUT BIOMEDICINE 2017
Welcoming 24 secondary school students crazy about science
IRB Barcelona organises its fifth year-long workshop in the life sciences within the series “Crazy About Science”, run by the Catalunya – La Pedrera Foundation. “Crazy About Biomedicine” seeks to satisfy students’ interest in science and give them a taste of what doing science in a top-class centre is like. 14 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows at IRB Barcelona will teach the students the concepts and techniques used in 12 cutting-edge topics in the fields of cell and molecular biology, structural and computational biology, and biomedical chemistry.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Foto M. Minocri
Doctores Diz Pintado / Ciutat de Barcelona
Salvador Aznar-Benitah
Hot off the heels of the publication of his breakthrough paper in Nature, ICREA researcher and group leader of the Stem Cells and Cancer Laboratory Salvador Aznar-Benitah received the VI National 'Doctores Diz Pintado' Cancer Research Prize on 30 January. The prize acknowledges his efforts to transfer knowledge from basic research to the clinic. On 17 February, Aznar also received the 2016 “Premi Ciutat de Barcelona" from the Barcelona City Council (Photo: M. Minocri).
Olga Torres Foundation
Colorectal Cancer Lab
Eduard Batlle’s project “Evaluating immunotherapies in a preclinical model of metastatic colorectal cancer” has obtained a 60,000€ grant given every two years by the Olga Torres Foundation. Batlle is a ICREA researcher and group leader of the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory.
Ramon Margalef
Benjamí Oller-Salvia
On 24 November, the University of Barcelona awarded IRB Barcelona alumnus Benjamí Oller-Salvia the 2016 Ramon Margalef Award for the best article. His PhD thesis on MiniAp-4 was published in Angewandte Chemie in 2015. Benjamí is now a postdoctoral fellow at Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. Watch the video of the ceremony.
FACES
 
EXCHANGES
From peptide shuttles to capsules: Cristina Fuster talks about her stay in Japan
PhD student Cristina Fuster is the first IRB Barcelona student to participate in the academic exchange programme recently signed with the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Tohoku University in Japan. Her specialty is regioselective transport of Blood-Brain Barrier shuttles. “I worked on the peptide that my labmate Roger Prades designed, called retro-enantio THR, which can carry small drugs and nanoparticles across the barrier,” she says. While in Japan, she did not miss the opportunity to stay in one of Tokyo's famous capsule hotels.
COMING UP
28 FEB
 
Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Seminar
9.30 - 13.00 h, FELIX SERRATOSA, PARC CIENTÍFIC DE BARCELONA
Overview on Mass Spectromics and Proteomics techniques.
 
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