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Advanced Scientific Research Center


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The RAGC awards the "Francisco Guitián Ojea" prize to the CellCOM group

03/Jul/2020 Events CellCOM

The CellCOM group, led by María Mayán and belonging to AE CICA-INIBIC, has received the "Francisco Guitián Ojea" Technology Transfer Award for the development of a drug that would improve the life of cancer patients.

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy alter the skin's ability to regenerate and heal, adding to cancer patients the risk of suffering from skin fibrosis or serious infections.

The drug is actually two well-known senotherapeutic compounds, which in combination have been shown to have a protective effect on the skin of treated patients. The first is an active compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties present in the olive tree; the second is a p38 inhibitor (a protein involved in carcinogenic processes) that would delay skin aging.

Although the combination has not yet been commercialised, it is already protected under two patents. In addition, there is a preliminary agreement with a Spanish pharmaceutical company with which it could soon be on the market.

The other two winners of the competition were a spin-off from Vigo for their artificial vision system capable of detecting irresponsible behaviour in the control of the COVID-19 and a group from the USC for the development of an anti-fungal nail polish.

The complete news in RAGC, 02/07/2020.

Image of RAGC

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2 new articles from the REACT! group are on the cover of 2 reference journals in inorganic chemistry

26/Jun/2020 Research REACT!

The month of June has brought good news to the group REACT! which has seen two of its latest articles make the cover of the scientific magazines: "Inorganic Chemistry" and "Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers", both D1 according to JCR 2019.

The titles of the papers: "Unexpected Trends in the Stability and Dissociation Kinetics of Lanthanide(III) Complexes with Cyclen-Based Ligands across the Lanthanide Series" and "Inert macrocyclic Eu3+ complex with affirmative paraCEST features". The group develops contrast agents (gadolinium or europium based) for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a technique used in the diagnosis and monitoring of some diseases. 

The publication in "Inorganic Chemistry" demonstrates how the structure of the contrast agent is fundamental for the fixation of gadolinium, which if released would be toxic to the organism. The image illustrates the behaviour of two different structures when gadolinium is released into an aqueous medium. “One of them easily releases the metal into the medium, while the other is capable of retaining it inside, minimising the possible toxicity of the compound", the authors point out.

The publication in "Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers" presents a new contrast agent based on europium whose behaviour depends on the pH of the medium, which is especially interesting for diseases sensitive to this, such as cancer. "The image illustrates how the magnetic properties of europium are able to modify the properties of water molecules in its environment, determining the contrast of MRI", explain the authors.

The full articles in  Inorganic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers.

The covers can be downloaded: Inorg. Chem. and Inorg. Chem. Front.

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A review by the QUIMOLMAT group makes the cover of the journal "Chemical Society Reviews"

24/Jun/2020 Research QUIMOLMAT

The QUIMOLMAT group review "Controlled binding of organic guests by stimuli-responsive macrocycles" has made it to the front cover of issue 12 of the Chemical Society Reviews (JCR2019 = 42.846).


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Blanca Laffon is elected guest editor of the journal "Antioxidants"

16/Jun/2020 CICA-Science DICOMOSA

Researcher Blanca Laffon from the DICOMOSA group has been invited as editor for the next issue "Tryptophan Metabolism in Health and Disease" of the open access journal "Antioxidants".

The degradation of tryptophan through the kinurenine route is due to indoleamine 2,3-diosyxegenase (IDO), an enzyme that is activated by increased oxidative stress. This route plays various roles in the body, especially in the regulation of the immune response. However, it is not trivial to define whether its function is beneficial or harmful because of the diversity of effects it triggers. Its degradation to kinurenine depletes the available tryptophan, preventing the proliferation of pathogens and malignant cells. However, the resulting metabolites are neurotoxic because of their ability to stimulate glutamate NMDA receptors.

"Antioxidants", with a 4.52 impact index, invites all researchers studying the involvement of tryptophan metabolism in oxidative state-dependent pathways and/or in the development of diseases to submit their manuscripts until February 28, 2021

Complete information about the special issue of the magazine and the call for papers can be found HERE.

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Open call for the recruitment of a researcher in training for the BLUEBIOLAB project

12/Jun/2020 Jobs Coordinación

CICA, as a member of the Cross-Border Laboratory of Marine Biotechnology (BLUEBIOLAB), is seeking a person with a Bachelor degree or equivalent to conduct research in one of the following areas:

  •    Area 1: Aquaculture and biotechnology
  •    Area 2: Development of new bioactive compounds and biomaterials of marine origin
  •    Area 3: Use of omic technologies for the understanding of marine biodiversity

The duration of the contract is 16 months (01/09/2020 - 31/12/2021) and it is obligatory to be enrolled in one of the SUG's doctoral programs to be eligible. Furthermore, within the contract period, the researcher will carry out a stay of 3 months (minimum) with one of the Portuguese partners: Universidade do Minho or Universidade do Porto.

To find out about the merits and the required documents, consult the official call for applications HERE

If you meet the requirements and want to work with us, send your application to until 25/06/2020 at 23:59 (CEST).

The BLUEBIOLAB project is financed by the Interreg POCTEP Programme and co-financed with FEDER funds.

All the information about the BLUEBIOLAB Project:

Any questions about the call should be addressed to 

IMPORTANT: The admission list and the final resolution will be published in the same link as the official call (HERE).

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Three UDC Sustentabilidade awards go to CICA master's and undergraduate students


CICA students win the second Master Thesis (MT) prize and two secondary awards in each category, MT and Bachelor Thesis (BT), in the second edition of the UDC Sustentabilidade Awards. This success makes visible the commitment of our research to environmental protection.

The winners were announced on June 5th, coinciding with the celebration of World Environment Day (see Resolution). Among them, our 3 students:

  • Luis Antonio Ruíz Sánchez (2nd MT prize): "Feasibility study of the hydraulic exploitation for energy generation in the reservoir of Pontillón de Castro”. The work was headed by Acacia Naves García-Rendueles (AQUATERRA).
  • Blanca Astray Uceda (secondary MT award): "Advanced oxidation processes for the degradation of β-blocking agents in natural fresh water". The work was headed by Moisés Canle López (REACT!).
  • Paula Gómez Meijide (secondary BT award): "Oral bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in atmospheric particulate matter". The work was co-directed by Jorge Moreda Piñeiro and Purificación López Mahía (QANAP).

In addition, the first BT prize with a work on the Asian wasp Vespa velutina was awarded to Yaiza Rodríguez Lueje, who until May 2020 was part of the BIOCOST group.

They will elaborate a book with all the awarded works and will make it available to everyone. The 2019 copy can be found HERE.

The complete news in Novas UDC, 05/06/2020.

Image of UDC Environment Office

Related articles: La Voz de Galicia

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The scientific challenge of micro-pollutants in drinking water

31/May/2020 In the Press REACT!

Moisés Canle, dean of the Faculty of Science at UDC and researcher with the REACT! group, warns that we do not have the water treatment technology needed to eliminate the growing accumulation of...

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We are slowly returning to CICA

29/May/2020 Gestión

Since May 11th we are in Phase 1 of the de-escalation and that means we are back at CICA! However, we must do it in an orderly and prudent way to avoid exposing our colleagues and ourselves to risks of contagion.

That is why the CICA management office has prepared a manual of measures that you can find attached to this communication and that are complementary to those already established by the Rectorate (see HERE).

Remember that:

  • Non-attendance work is still recommended.
  • Those responsible for each laboratory must send a document with the work forecast adjusted to the established measures. Pay special attention to the maximum capacities of each laboratory indicated in the manual.
  • You can recover the donated material that has not been used. To pick it up we need you to send us a list of your donation. We cannot guarantee that you will recover 100% of what you donated, as this material has been available to people who have performed services at CICA during the closure of the building.
  • Last week we prepared the building with hydro-alcoholic solutions available to all laboratories and common rooms. In addition, we established rules for the movement of personnel to avoid crowding as much as possible. Please check this information in the measurement manual and follow the signs distributed throughout the building.

Although we are scheduled to enter Phase 2 on Monday 25 May, the measurements remain the same. We will announce any change by email. If you have questions, please contact us at with a copy to

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Disinfection with ozone and ultraviolet light: use by non-professional hands could lead to serious health risks

19/May/2020 In the Press REACT!

Moisés Canle, dean of the Faculty of Science at the UDC and researcher of the REACT! group, has reported on the dangers of using ozone as a domestic disinfection system. The researcher has pointed...

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Researchers of the GRICA group present their work at a virtual congress of palaeontology

18/May/2020 CICA-Science GRICA

The researchers of the GRICA group, Blanca Moncunill and Alejandro Blanco, participated in the Virtual Congress of Palaeontology held from 1 to 15 May, whose organizing hub is located at the University of Valencia.

Organized in thematic sessions, the presentations of the speakers and keynotes have remained accessible to all those registered for the congress, who have also had virtual spaces for talks with the authors of the presentations and with the community.

Blanca Moncunill has contributed to the "Evolution and Paleobiodiversity in Neogene and Quaternary Island" session with a presentation entitled "Unravelling the biology of giant pikas: the case of Prolagus spp. from Gargano’s paleoarchipelago (late Miocene, Italy)". His colleague, Alejandro Blanco, has contributed to the "Mesozoic" session with his work "Niche partitioning among crocodyliforms in the Maastrichtian (late Cretaceous) of the Iberian Peninsula".

It might seem that the chosen format is an alternative solution because of the confinement by COVID-19, but the reality is different: the idea of making a Virtual Congress of Palaeontology was born in December 2018, and with this, they have successfully completed their second edition. 

More information at