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More than 700 experts on biochemistry and molecular biology take part in the first edition of the FEBS3+ Congress

17 Oct 17




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Professor Antonio Zorzano is the president of the FEBS3+ Congress as well as programme head at IRB Barcelona and the Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases Networking Biomedical Research Centre (CIBERDEM).

More than seven hundred experts from around the world are taking part in the first edition of the 1st Joint Meeting of the French-Portuguese Spanish Biochemical and Molecular and Biology Societies (FEBS3+), a high level scientific meeting to be held in Palau de Congressos de la Fira de Barcelona from October 23 to 26, chaired by Professor Antonio Zorzano, from the Faculty of Biology of the University of Barcelona, programme head at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and the Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases Networking Biomedical Research Centre (CIBERDEM).

This international congress is an initiative from the French Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SFBBM), the Portuguese Society of Biochemistry (SPB) and the Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM), and it has the support of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS). In addition, FEBS3+ coincides with the commemoration of the 15th SEBBM Congress, the main scientific association in Spain within this wide range of the field of knowledge of life sciences, created in 1963 and with around 4000 partners.

During the opening ceremony, to be held on Monday 23 at 5.30 p.m., Professor Jules Hoffmann, Nobel Prize awardee in Medicine in 2011 for the findings of activation molecular mechanisms in innate immunity, will give the conference “Innate immunity from insects to mammals”. The secretary for Universities and Research, Arcadi Navarro, the president of the FEBS3+ Congress, Antonio Zorzano; Félix Goñi, president of SEBBM; João Laranjin, president of SPB and Alain Krol, secretary-general of SFBBM, will attend the opening ceremony. 

Future challenges in biochemistry and molecular biology

“Apart from the interest in the scientific content of the congress, one of the key factors of the first edition of the FEBS3+ is to offer a platform so that members of the organizing entities –in particular, SFBBM, SPB and SEBBM- are able to create work groups with shared interests” says Professor Antonio Zorzano, president of the organizing committee of FEBS3+ and SEBBM.
From October 23 to 26, the attendants will participate actively in symposiums, plenary conferences, debates and work groups covering progresses and the most significant research lines of the moment in areas of knowledge on integrative metabolism, gene regulation, cell engineering, molecular biophysics and related areas. 
Among other content, the program includes a series of plenary conferences given by experts on international outreach such as Juleen Zierath (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Carlos Bustamante (University of California, United States), Miguel Allende (University of Chile) and Pablo Wappner (University of Buenos Aires), among others.  

New edition of the Forum on Entrepreneurship, from the 24th to 25 of October 

The FEBS3+ Congress will also offer an activity program including a series of educational activities such as the Forum on Entrepreneurship, a meeting place for dialogue between the field of research and the business sector to be developed in two sessions, on October 24 and October 25, from 6 p.m. to 8 p. m.
From the scientific and technological perspective, entrepreneurship is gaining a growing image in the development of the economy based on knowledge. Framed within the FEBS3+, the Entrepreneurship Forum is aimed at bachelor students, PhD students, and researchers from the field of biochemistry, biotechnology and biomedicine, who want to discover a global panoramic on the world of entrepreneurship and find out the challenges and opportunities on professional outreach that can be open in several scientific fields. The forum, organized in collaboration with the Spanish Association of Entrepreneur Scientists (AEEC) and Science & Business Events Management (SciBEM), has the participation of experts from France, Portugal and Spain, with a distinguished experience in launching the creation of technology-based companies (EBTs) in the Bio field.
On Tuesday, October 24, the session “From Biosciences research to market through start-ups” will gather the experts Albert Barberà (general manager of Research and Innovation on Health at Generalitat de Catalunya), Ion Arocena (general manager at the Spanish Bioindustry Association, ASEBIO), and Carlos José Fialho da Costa Faro (vice-president of BIOCANT Park, Portugal) and Pedro Vilarinho, from the Portuguese Association for Knowledge Valuation, Hiseedtech). The session is open to all registered people at FEBS3+ and graduates and PhD students of the field of Bio on the entrepreneur ecosystem in Barcelona. 
The session on October 25, “Raising funds for your start-up: The elevator pitch”, will have the format of a preparation workshop by the expert on biotechnology Júlia Pardo, who will explain the features of the elevator pitch, a key tool to present the projects of the start-ups to potential investments. Confirmation of the registration ( is required to participate in this session.

Science, society and communication

In a constantly fast changing society, the access to scientific knowledge is something which is gaining more and more importance. Challenges and new perspectives proposed by the relation between science, society and communication will be debated in aroundtable on October 25, at 10.30 a.m., with the participation of the experts Marçal Pastor Anglada (UB-IBUB), Mara Dierssen (CRG-UPF), Roger Strand (University of Bergen, Norway) and Raül Toran (Catalan Association of Science Communication, ACCC).
At 12.15 a.m, the plenary conference by the expert Carlos Bustamante (University of California, United States) –titled “Division of labor and allosteric regulation among the subunits of a DNA packaging ring ATPase”- will give way to the closing activity with the participation of Andreu Mas-Colell, president of Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Domènec Espriu, vice-rector for Research at the UB; Antonio Zorzano (FEBS3+ and SEBBM); Félix Goñi (SEBBM); João Laranjinha (SPB) and Alain Krol (SFBBM). Also, during the FEBS3+ congress, several honours will be given to researchers distinguished for their scientific career.

Opening science doors to all citizens

Are bacteria super resistant to the future threat for global health? What are the limits to innate immunity? How do our muscles work? How can we improve our nutrition to make it healthier? To answer these doubts, the FEBS3+ symposium will also reach citizens in Barcelona with the activity series Bioquímica a la ciutat, an initiative for all audiences with free entrance. 
From October 24 to 25, this series of activities will bring science to different places around the city with a program of conferences and roundtables with the participation of the experts Jules Hoffman (University of Strasbourg); Maria Casado and Josep Maria Argilés (UB); Lluís Montoliu (CSIC), Marc Güell (UPF) and Domingo Gargallo-Viola (ABAC Therapeutics), among other experts.  

More information:

- Enrtepreneurship Forum

Dr. Xavier Testar, lecturer at the University of Barcelona and member of the local committee of FEBS3+ Congress (


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 28 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).