2022 BIST Conference

Precision Medicine: Putting discoveries to work

“la Caixa” Foundation – BIST Chemical Biology Programme talk

Real-time metabolic analysis of 3D cell culture models: Organs-on-a-chip & NMR

November 10, 2022 |CCCB, Sala Teatre | 10.00h – 10.30h

There is a clinical need for non-invasive and reliable markers to diagnose, stage and evaluate treatment response in many diseases such as cancer or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Magnetic resonance (MR) methods now have the potential to identify such biomarkers in real time using so-called hyperpolarised (HP) MR techniques. In this talk, Dr. Marco-Rius will present her work towards implementing HP-MR to monitor metabolism in organ-on-a-chip devices.


Irene Marco-Rius 

Junior Group Leader. Molecular Imaging for Precision Medicine, IBEC

Irene Marco-Rius read a BSc in Physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain) and an MSc in Medical Physics in Heidelberg (Germany). She then embarked on a PhD in Biochemistry with Prof. Kevin Brindle at Cambridge (UK) to work on hyperpolarised magnetic resonance (HP-MR) techniques to observe cancer metabolism. During post-doctoral positions at UCSF Radiology department (California) and Cancer Research UK / University of Cambridge (UK) she has continued to develop HP-MR tools to study metabolism, diagnose metabolic pathologies and evaluate early response to treatment. In 2018, she returned to Barcelona at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) with a “la Caixa” Junior Leader fellowship to develop the use of HP-MR for real-time study of the metabolism in organs-on-chip. In 2021, Irene started her independent research group at IBEC, the Molecular Imaging for Precision Medicine lab, supported by the BIST-“la Caixa” Chemical Biology programme. Also in 2021, Irene co-founded IBEC’s spin-off company Vitala Technologies to bring the technical developments of her lab closer to society.

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