2021 BIST Conference

Quantum Technologies: Present and Future

Satellite session: Presenting the research breakthroughs of the next generation of scientific leaders

November 4, 2021 | 15.30h – 17.00h

This flash-talk session will give participants a glimpse into projects by the leaders of tomorrow. Our talented PREBIST and PROBIST fellows are part of H2020 European projects and come from all backgrounds and continents, working together to push the frontiers of today’s multidisciplinary scientific landscape ever further.


Mónica Pérez-Temprano

Group Leader (ICIQ)

Mónica H. Pérez-Temprano received her PhD degree from the University of Valladolid in 2011, under the supervision of Prof. Espinet and Prof. Casares. Next, she moved to the United States and joined the research group of Prof. Sanford at the University of Michigan. In 2015, she began her independent career as Junior Group Leader at Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).

At ICIQ, her research group is focused on providing knowledge-driven reaction design approaches for developing novel and more sustainable transformations. Since she started her independent career, she has received different recognitions. She was selected as one of the “2018 Talented 12” by Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society (ACS), and more recently, she received the Young Investigator Group Leader Modality Award by the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry. She is also part of the Editorial Advisory Board of Organometallics, Chem Catalysis and the Early Career Advisory Board of Chemistry – A European Journal.

Last but not least, she is also involved in outreach activities to increase the visibility of women in science and promote the scientific education of scholars.


Claudia Patricia Valdés

PROBIST Postdoctoral Fellow (ICFO)

Building the tools to unveil the retina in high detail

We are working on the development of a non- invasive multimodal device that will allow imaging the retina with high resolution, providing unprecedented information at the cellular level and bringing unaccessible anatomical information on the patient.
Our device is a compact and portable, easy to use Scanning Light Opthalmoscope (SLO) with Adaptive Optics (AO) and a retinal tracker. The adaptive optics compensates the aberrations introduced by the eye itself allowing for the high-resolution imaging. The retinal tracker corrects, in real time (within 10ms), the position of the images when saccadic motion occurs. This device has been already tested in human subjects and it is being modified to image small animal retinas. Some of the obtained images on humans, and small animals, showing the resolution and tracking capabilities will be presented.

Valentin Maffeis

PROBIST Postdoctoral Fellow (ICIQ)

Blasting your way through bad kinetics to achieve efficient photoconversion: quantum effects in biology?

The photosystem II found in plants, algae and some bacteria is incredibly efficient at harvesting and transforming light into usable chemical energy. The current hot hypothesis is that quantum mechanisms allow this feat. However, can effects so delicate actually have an influence in biology? We use state-of-the art spectroscopy to study and implement those properties in the next generation of human-made protein based solar conversion systems.

Maria de la Cruz Cardeñosa

PROBIST Postdoctoral Fellow (ICN2)

Silicon photonic biosensors for the new generation of clinical diagnostics

“Silicon photonics is revolutionizing the current clinical diagnosis thanks to the development of new biosensor chips that can be integrated into portable analytical devices also known as point of care platforms. In our research group, we develop this kind of sensors for a wide range of applications such as the rapid diagnostic of infectious diseases or the monitoring and evaluation of other disease conditions.”

Pablo Sanchez-Puertas

PROBIST Postdoctoral Fellow (IFAE)

Unveiling the pion radii

Pions, like protons and neutrons, are not elementary particles, but are made of up and down quarks, bound together by the strong force. Determining the properties of their structure, such as their radius, is a daunting enterprise, yet the latter is well known. In this work, we tackle a yet more defying venture: to determine the different radius of their up and down constituent quark, that is expected to be extremely small, but nonzero, due to their different masses.

Thomas Mortimer

PROBIST Postdoctoral Fellow (IRB Barcelona)

Deconstructing Systemic Coordination of Circadian Clocks and Their Role in Optimising Organismal Fitness

For circadian regulation to benefit an organism, the molecular clocks in tissues throughout the body must act as a coherent network that is synchronised to the external light-dark cycle. However, how tissues communicate in this network, the mechanisms by which they do so, and the biological consequences of this communication remains poorly defined. Building on previous work, I am using novel mouse models and in vivo assays to dissect the mechanisms underlying circadian clock synchronisation through each branch, whilst also attempting to uncover specific homeostatic tissue functions reliant on each. In doing so, I hope to provide an unprecedented insight into the mechanisms that enable coordinated circadian regulation of organismal physiology, a particularly pertinent insight given its frequent and deleterious disruption by modern lifestyles.

Craig Day


Chemistries leading catalytic transformations

My research focuses on understanding chemistries leading catalytic transformations that use nickel metals as catalysts. Unravelling these mechanisms offers us the potential to rationally, and systematically improve these transformations to become more environmentally friendly, economical and have broader applicability. Tackling these challenges is critical to transitioning these reactions from curiosities developed in academic laboratories to implementing them in an industrial setting.

Clara Borràs

PREBIST PhD Fellow (IRB Barcelona)

Function of p38a signalling in anti-tumour immune response

The aim of our project is to investigate the function of p38a signaling in myeloid cells as a modulator of the anti-tumor immune response using models of both primary and lung metastatic melanoma. We will also evaluate the potential therapeutic interest of using p38a chemical inhibitors to re-program myeloid cells in tumors towards an anti-tumoral phenotype, either alone or in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

BIST centres

Institutional Members of the Board of Trustees