The Academia Programme run by ICREA seeks to foster research excellence among professors at public universities in Catalonia.
Antonio Zorzano, Group Leader of the Complex Metabolic Diseases and Mitochondria laboratory at IRB Barcelona, has been presented with the 2020 ICREA Academia Award by the Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), after being awarded the same distinction in 2014.
The ICREA Academia Programme was launched in 2008 with the aim to contribute to the intensification of the research carried out by university professors who are in a fully active and expansive phase of their research careers. The winners of the ICREA Academia Award, all of them professors at public universities in Catalonia, receive a substantial research grant for a period of five years.
Zorzano, a Senior Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Barcelona amg Group Leader at IRB Barcelona, heads one of the most active research groups in Europe working on the molecular bases of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. He has supervised 35 Ph.D. theses, and has coordinated international consortia funded by different European agencies. He is co-inventor of 21 patents, and has published over 270 scientific articles (more than 20,400 citations), with key discoveries published in leading journals, and an h-index of 71 (Google Scholar). He has been the founder of biotechnological companies in Spain and in the UK.
A major objective of his laboratory is to understand the biology mitochondrial dynamics proteins, the mitophagy pathways, and the relative role of these mitochondrial components in the triggering of inflammation. He is also interested in the manipulation of these pathways for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and type 2 diabetes (T2D).
The ICREA Academia Awards are given for a period of five years and in recognition of the scientific trajectory of university lecturers. Awardees receive 40,000 per year over this period to support their lines of research. Since 2011, senior university lecturers that undertake their research in centres belonging to the Generalitat de Catalunya can be considered for this award. ICREA Academia professors decrease their dedication to teaching activities to concentrate on research.
Of the 28 Group Leaders currently at IRB Barcelona, 15 are ICREA Research Professors and 3 have been awarded with the ICREA Academia distinction. A foundation that belongs to the Generalitat de Catalunya, ICREA was set up to recruit, attract and retain scientific talent in CERCA centres and in universities in Catalonia. ICREA recognition is a seal of quality and excellence.