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Congratulations Dr. Pedro Tiago

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UBICS people 09/09/2020

Pedro Tiago Martins, member of the UBICS, successfully defended yesterday his PhD. 

Dr. Pedro Tiago Martins has developed his thesis in Cognitive Science and Language at the University of Barcelona, under the supervision of Cedric Boeckx. He has carried out his research as part of the Cognitive Biology of Language Group

The committee members in his thesis were Faustino Dieguez, Andrea Ravignani and Adriano R. Lameira. 

Congratulations Dr. Piedro Tiago!

Les neurones de laboratori es poden integrar en teixit cerebral humà

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UB papers 31/08/2020

Un equip d’investigadors de l’Institut de Neurociències (UBNeuro) i de l’Institut de Sistemes Complexos (UBICS) de la Universitat de Barcelona ha demostrat que es poden generar neurones a partir de les cèl·lules de la pell d’un donant utilitzant tecnologia de reprogramació cel·lular. Segons els resultats obtinguts, aquestes neurones són capaces d’integrar-se en el circuit neuronal quan es trasplanten a una petita porció de cervell obtinguda d’un donant humà.

Amb l’ús de la tecnologia més avançada, incloent-hi el rastreig neuronal monosinàptic mitjançant virus, i registres electrofisiològics, els investigadors han demostrat que les cèl·lules trasplantades s’integren en una xarxa neuronal ja establerta —procedent de l’escorça cerebral d’un donant humà— i que són capaces de rebre senyals i establir contactes sinàptics amb les neurones d’aquesta part del cervell. 

«És un gran avenç en el tractament del dany cerebral, perquè la majoria dels estudis fets per demostrar la viabilitat dels trasplantaments de cèl·lules mare com a teràpia s’han dut a terme amb models animals, com ara ratolins o rates. En aquest estudi, hem establert un mètode per demostrar que aquestes teràpies també són eficients quan es trasplanten cèl·lules humanes en un teixit humà», explica Daniel Tornero, professor del Departament de Biomedicina i membre de l’Institut de Neurociències de la UB. «A més, les cèl·lules de l’empelt es poden generar a partir de cèl·lules de la pell humana per al trasplantament al·logènic, és a dir, el trasplantament de cèl·lules obtingudes del mateix pacient, evitant un possible rebuig d’aquest empelt i els problemes ètics associats amb aquest tipus de teràpies», afegeix Tornero.

L’investigador assenyala que gràcies a la col·laboració amb el professor Jordi Soriano, de la Facultat de Física de la UB i membre del UBICS, ha estat possible combinar tècniques de biologia cel·lular amb cèl·lules mare i l’anàlisi de xarxes neuronals funcionals des d’una perspectiva física. Aquesta col·laboració ha permès entendre millor la complexitat del model experimental i definir estratègies futures per a aplicacions terapèutiques.

L’estudi, que s’ha publicat recentment a la revista Stem Cells Translational Medicine, s’ha desenvolupat en col·laboració amb el laboratori del professor Zaal Kokaia, del Lund Stem Cell Center (Suècia).  

Article de referència:

M. Grønning Hansen et al. «Grafted human pluripotent stem cell‐derived cortical neurons integrate into adult human cortical neural circuitry», Stem Cells Translational Medicine, juny del 2020. Doi:10.1002/sctm.20-0134

Junior Postdoc position

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Albert grants 12/08/2020

We offer a 1-year postdoctoral position to conduct research at the
University of Barcelona (Dept. Condensed Matter Physics) on modeling
patterning processes in developing organisms within the project
PGC2018-101896-B-I00 funded by Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y
Universidades / Agencia Estatal de Investigación / Fondo Europeo de
Desarrollo Regional, Unión Europea.

The research will be theoretical and computational, motivated by
empirical data on living organisms and with potential collaboration
with a research laboratory in molecular biology. The project aims to
characterize principles of organization and function of matter in
living organisms, from the point of view of nonlinear and stochastic
physics. One objective is centered in signaling between adjacent cells
through Notch receptor in order to decipher dynamical mechanisms for
efficiency at signaling and error correction in patterns. Another
objective is to unravel the spatial integration of signals within the
meristem of plant roots.

The candidate must have a PhD in Physics, Mathematics, Computer
Science, Biology, or similar, and have expertise on modeling dynamical
systems (analysis and simulations). Programming and mathematical
modeling skills are required.

Submissions must include a complete CV and the name and contact of at
least 1 referee.

Inquiries and submissions should be sent to Marta Ibañes mibanes@ub.edu.

Applications are welcome until the position is filled. The starting
date is as soon as possible and no later than December 2020.

Trobades Virtuals de la VI Festa de la Ciència

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UB products 29/07/2020

Adjuntem en aquesta llista les Trobades Virtuals que es van fer per la VI Festa de la Ciència: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqC1l3M4ZN0&list=PL4St1S6pcSAP4tJjLxJPAsCerEL9SFz0n&index=6&t=2347s

Aquesta activitat virtual ha estat fruit de la celebració el 8 de maig del 2020 de la VI Festa de la Ciència de la UB en format virtual com a conseqüència de la pandèmia pel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. La Festa, com cada any, ha buscat la connexió entre els grups de recerca de la Universitat de Barcelona i la societat, inclús en moments de distància social. Els vídeos amb tallers i propostes per fer des de casa publicats amb motiu de la Festa 2020 han donat pas, en alguns casos, a trobades virtuals en directe per generar el diàleg tan valuós que es produïa a les activitats presencials.

En especial podràs trobar a la llista el Taller Virtual "Descobrint els sistemes complexos" on va participar, el membre CEIPAC i també membre del UBICS, en Jordi Pérez González. A continuació adjuntem el resum del Taller. 

Es compleixen 30 anys de l'inici de les excavacions a Testaccio, turó artificial de la zona portuària de l'antiga Roma formada per restes de milions d'àmfores de fang que es feien servir per transportar oli d'oliva. Aquest abocador romà és un singular jaciment d’on cada any s’extreu nou material. Entre d'altres troballes cal destacar els epígrafs amb informació sobre per exemple el comerciant, l'origen de l'oli, el seu transport, etc. Gràcies a aquestes dades s'ha incrementat el coneixement de l'economia i la societat antiga. Aquesta enorme quantitat d’informació es gestiona amb la base de dades d'epigrafia de l'CEIPAC (Centre per l’Estudi de la Interdependència provincial de l’antiguitat clàssica). Jordi Pérez González ens guia per aquest abocador d'època antiga i ens fa conèixer als personatges involucrats en el comerç de l’oli d’oliva. També explica com l’anàlisi i la interpretació de la gran quantitat de dades obtingudes d’aquestes excavacions es du a terme per especialistes de diversos àmbits.  

 

Webinars Complex Systems and Covid-19 on Youtube

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UBICS products 22/07/2020

"Complex Systems and COVID-19" : Cicle de Webinars sobre Sistemes Complexos enfocats en el COVID-19 organitzat per l'UBICS i complexitat.cat. Enfocat per a tothom interessat en els Sistemes Complexos i els seus actuals camps d’aplicació.

Ara pots trobar tots els videos aquí:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53tEodkCv0c&list=PLf7A47_ENtnLkXJ8QPspRIT5a0zz-1nPd&index=5

11 June - Manlio de Domenico, CoMuNe Lab, Fondazione Bruno Kessler

"Tackling complexity: foundations and appplications."

18 June - Nuria Oliver, Data-Pop Alliance & ELLIS (The European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems)

"Data Science to fight against COVID-19"

25 June - Santiago F. Elena, Instituto de Biología Integrativa de Sistemas, CSIC

 “Identifying early-warning signals for the sudden transition from health to disease stages by dynamical network biomarkers”

02 July - Alex Arenas, DEIM, Universitat Rovira i Virgili

 “Epidemics and mobility”

16 July - Ernesto Estrada, IUMA

"Fractional diffusion on the human proteome as an alternative explanation to the multi-organ damage of SARS CoV-2."

 

Webinar by Ernesto Estrada

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UBICS projects 13/07/2020

Date: 16 July, 16h (CET, GMT+2, Barcelona/Madrid/Paris/Berlin)

Speaker: Ernesto Estrada, IUMA, Universidad de Zaragoza

Title:  “Fractional diffusion on the human proteome as an alternative explanation to the multi-organ damage of SARS CoV-2"

Link to the VIDEO of the webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53tEodkCv0c&list=PLf7A47_ENtnLkXJ8QPspRIT5a0zz-1nPd&index=5

Abstract: 

SARS CoV-2 is the new coronavirus causing the pandemic known as COVID-19. This respiratory disease is characterized by multi-organ and systemic damages in patients. The abundance of ACE2 on human organs has been claimed as responsible for such multi-organ spread of the virus damages. However, once on circulation the virus could spread to practically every organ in the human body as
ACE2 is ubiquitous on endothelia and smooth muscle cells of virtually all organs. Contrastingly, SARS CoV-2 only damages selectively a few organs. Here, we develop the hypothesis that the effects of the SARS CoV-2 virus can be spread through the human protein-protein interaction (PPI) network in a subdiffusive way. We then elaborate a time-fractional diffusion model on networks which allow
us to study this phenomenon. Starting the diffusion from the SARS CoV-2 Spike protein to the human PPI network we show here that the pertubations can spread across the whole network in very few steps. Consequently, we discover a few potential routes of propagation of these perturbations from proteins mainly expressed in the lungs to proteins mainly expressed in other different tissues, such as
the heart, cerebral cortex, thymus, lymph node, testis, prostate, liver, small intestine, duodenum, kidney, among others already reported as damaged by COVID-19.

Webinar by Alex Arenas

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UBICS products 26/06/2020

Date: 2 July, 16h (CET, GMT+2, Barcelona/Madrid/Paris/Berlin)

Speaker: Alex Arenas, DEIM, Universitat Rovira i Virgili​

Title:  “Epidemics and mobility”

Link to the video of the Webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54NoVIRdKo0&list=PLf7A47_ENtnLkXJ8QPspRIT5a0zz-1nPd&index=5&t=0s

Abstract: 

Reaction–diffusion processes have been widely used to study epidemics in networked metapopulations. In the context of epidemics, reaction processes are understood as contagions within each subpopulation (patch), while diffusion represents the mobility of individuals between patches. Recently, the characteristics of human mobility, such as its recurrent nature, have been proven crucial to understand the phase transition to endemic epidemic states. Here, we present a framework able to cope with the elementary epidemic processes, the spatial distribution of populations and the commuting mobility patterns. We will show after, how this framework has been adapted to describe the COVID-19 pandemic.

Webinar by Santiago F. Elena

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UBICS products 19/06/2020

Date: 25 June, 16h (CET, GMT+2, Barcelona/Madrid/Paris/Berlin)

Speaker: Santiago F. Elena, Institute for Integrative Systems Biology, CSIC​

Title: "Why some patients develop a severe syndrome while other remain asymptomatic? Early-warning signals associated with the phase transition from health to disease."

You can see the webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMY08wJQndU&list=PLf7A47_ENtnLkXJ8QPspRIT5a0zz-1nPd&index=6

 

Abstract: One of the most outstanding observations during COVID-19 pandemics is that some patients have an asymptomatic infection while others suffer severe symptoms, some of them becoming fatal. Is there any relation between the global gene expression state of patients and they propensity to suffer an asymptomatic infection? Is it possible to identify which genes, or groups of them within a regulation network, may serve as markers to predict the clinical fate of a patient before the presence of any symptom? In this seminar I will introduce the fundamentals of the theory of Dynamical Biomarkers of Networks (DBN), illustrating their application to the analysis of transcriptomic data during disease progression in a pathosystem model.

 

Títol: "Perquè alguns pacients desenvolupen símptomes severs mentre uns altres són asimptomàtics? Biomarcadors d'una transició de fase associada a la progressió de la malaltia”

Resum: Una de les observacions més destacables fetes durant l'epidèmia de la COVID-19 és que alguns pacients passen la infecció de manera asimptomàtica mentre que uns altres pateixen símptomes severs que en un percentatge de casos tenen un desenllaç fatal.  Existeix alguna associació entre l'estat d'expressió gènica global dels pacients i la seua propensió a patir una infecció asimptomàtica?  És possible identificar quins gens, o grups d'ells en una xarxa de regulació, servirien de marcadors per a predir el destí clínic d'un pacient abans que mostre cap símptoma?  En aquesta xarrada presentaré els fonaments de la  teoria dels biomarcadors dinàmics de xarxes (DNB) i il·lustraré la seua aplicació a l'anàlisi de dades transcriptòmics presos al llarg de la progressió de la malaltia en un patosistema model.

Beques Master+UB - UBICS

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UB grants 16/06/2020

Et recordem que ja en breus finalitza la convocatòria per demanar les Beques de col·laboració Master+UB.

 Aquest any l'Institut ofereix dues beques anomenades 2020.4.UBICS.1 i  2020.4.UBICS.2, una de 15h/setmanals i l'altra de 25h/setmanals (de l'1 de febrer de 2021 al 30 de juliol de 2021) per donar suport en el desenvolupament del Treball de Final de Màster dels estudiants dins d'un grup de l'UBICS.

Si ets estudiant i estàs matriculat en algun dels següents Màsters:

· Màster de modelització computacional atomística i multiescala en física, química i bioquímica​ · Màster de fonaments de la ciència de dades · Màster de ciència cognitiva i llenguatge · Màster​ interuniversitari en Intel·ligència Artificial · Màster d'Enginyeria Biomèdica​

Pots gaudir d'una d'aquestes beques i realitzar el TFM amb un grup de l'UBICS. 

Pots trobar tota la informació sobre les beques i com demanar-les en el següent link:    http://www.ub.edu/beques/col.laboracio/   

Heu de mirar l'apartat:   Programa Màster+UB de captació d’estudiants per a cursar un màster universitari i incentivar vocacions científiques en el sí d’un grup de recerca. Curs 2020/2021  

Recorda que el termini de presentació de sol·licituds va del 21/05/2020 al 29/06/2020. 

Si tens algun dubte posa't en contacte amb nosaltres: ubics@ub.edu

 

Webinar by Nuria Oliver

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UBICS test 12/06/2020

Date: 18 June, 16h (CET, GMT+2, Barcelona/Madrid/Paris/Berlin)

Speaker: Nuria Oliver, Data-Pop Alliance & ELLIS

Title: "Data Science to fight against COVID-19"

You can see the webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C7PoVf2QNY&list=PLf7A47_ENtnLkXJ8QPspRIT5a0zz-1nPd&index=6&t=0s

Abstract: 

In my talk, I will describe the work that we have done within the Commission on AI and COVID-19 for the President of the Valencian Region. As commissioner, I have led a multi-disciplinary team of 20+ scientists who have volunteered since March 2020. We have been working on 4 large areas: (1) human mobility modeling; (2) computational epidemiological models (both metapopulation and individual models); (3) predictive models; (4) citizen surveys (https://covid19impactsurvey.org)

I will describe the results that we have produced in each of these areas and will share the lessons learned in this very special initiative of collaboration between the civil society at large (through the survey), the scientific community (through the Expert Group) and a public administration (through the Commissioner at the Presidency level)

Short Biography

Nuria Oliver, is Chief Data Scientist at Data-Pop Alliance, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Vodafone Institute and co-founder of ELLIS (The European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems).  Since March 2020, she has been appointed Commissioner for the President of the Valencian Region on AI Strategy and Data Science applied to the fight against COVID-19. As part of her work as commissioner, she is leading a team of over 20 scientists working on large-scale human mobility modeling, computational epidemiological modeling and data science to answer public policy questions. As part of this work, she has launched the https://covid19impactsurvey.org, one of the largest anonymous citizens’ surveys to date related to COVID-19, with over 230,000 answers.

She is a Telecommunications Engineer from the UPM and holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

She has over 25 years of research experience in the areas of human behavior modeling and prediction from data and human-computer interaction. She has been a researcher at Microsoft Research (Redmond, WA), the first female Scientific Director at Telefonica R&D for over 8 years and the first Director of Research in Data Science at Vodafone globally (2017-2019).

Her work in the computational modeling of human behavior using Artificial Intelligence techniques, human-computer interaction, mobile computing and Big Data analysis - especially for the Social Good is well known with over 160 scientific publications that have received more than 17800 citationsand a ten best paper award nominations and awards. She is co-inventor of over 40 filed patents and she is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences.  Her work has contributed to the improvement of services, the creation of new services, the definition of business strategies and the creation of new companies.

Nuria is the only Spanish researcher recognized by the ACM as Distinguished Scientist (2015) and Fellow (2017) at the same time. She is also a Fellow of the IEEE (2017) and the European Association for Artificial Intelligence (2016). She has received an Honorary Doctorate from the Miguel Hernandez University (2018). Dr. Oliver is the youngest and fourth female member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering (2018) and an elected member of the Academia Europaea (2016) and CHI Academy (2018), where she is the only Spanish scientist.

As an advisor, Dr. Oliver is a member of the scientific advisory committee of several European universities, the Gadea Ciencia Foundation, Mahindra Comviva and the Future Digital Society, among others. In addition, she advises the Government of the Valencia Community, Spain and the European Commission on issues related to Artificial Intelligence. She is a member of a Global Future Council at the World Economic Forum. She is an independent member of the board of Bankia. 

Dr. Oliver is a member of the program committee of the main international congresses in her research areas. She has also been a member of the organizing committee of 19 international conferences and is a member of the editorial committee of five international magazines.

Dr. Oliver's work has been recognized internationally with numerous awards. She graduated top of her class at the UPM and received the First National Telecommunications Award (1004). She is the first Spanish scientist to receive the MIT TR100 (today TR35) Young Innovator Award (2004) and the Rising Talent award by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society (2009). She has been awarded Data Scientist of the Year in Europe (2019), Engineer of the Year Award by the COIT (2018), the Medal for Business and Social Merit by the Valencian Government (2018), the European Digital Woman of the Year award (2016) and the Spanish National Computer Science Angela Robles Award (2016).

She has been named one of the top 11 Artificial Intelligence influencers worldwide by Pioneering Minds (2017), one of Spanish wonderful minds in technology by EL PAIS newspaper (2017), “an outstanding female director in technology” (El PAIS, 2012), one of “100 leaders for the future” (Capital, 2009) and one of the “40 youngsters who will mark the next millennium” (El PAIS, 1999).

Nuria firmly believes in the value of technology to improve the quality of people, both individually and collectively, and dedicates her professional life to achieving it.

Her passion is to improve people’s quality of life, both individually and collectively, through technology. She is also passionate about scientific outreach. Hence, she regularly collaborates with the media (press, radio, TV) and gives non-technical talks about science and technology to broad audiences, and particularly to teenagers, with a special interest on girls. She has given talks to more than 10,000 adolescents, has contributed to the book "Digital natives do not exist" (Deusto, 2017) with the chapter "Digital scholars", has written articles for EL PAIS, The Guardian, TechCrunch among others and has been co -organizer of large congresses with thousands of attendees, such as the first TEDxBarcelona event dedicated to emerging education, the I and II International Congress on Artificial Intelligence and the I International Congress on Aging. Her talks on WIRED, TEDx and similar events have been viewed thousands of times.

Twitter: @nuriaoliver

URL: http://www.nuriaoliver.com   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuria_Oliver

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