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Advanced Scientific Research Center


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8 groups of CICA will receive funding from the Call “Challenges to Society and Knowledge Generation”


The Ministry of Science and Innovation's State Programme for R&D and Innovation Geared to the Challenges of Society has decided to fund 8 projects presented in the 2019 call by research groups from the Advanced Scientific Research Center (CICA) of the University of A Coruña (UDC). The total amount of the grants for CICA groups is 1,172,490 euros.

The projects that will receive this funding are classified into two thematic categories (Generation of Knowledge and Research Challenges), further subdivided according to the profile of the principal researcher (see resolution):

1. Knowledge Generation Projects (PGC), whose objective is to support the advancement of knowledge regardless of the time horizon and scope of the same.

  • PGC projects led by consolidated researchers (PGC Type B):
    • QUIMOLMAT Group (Carlos Peinador Viera and Marcos Daniel García Romero): "Development of new self-assembled cyclophanes and their implementation in nanometric structures”
    • REACT! Group (Carlos Platas Iglesias and David Esteban Gómez): "Innovative platforms for radiopharmaceutical applications" 

2. “Research Challenges" projects (RTI), which are aimed at resolving the major social challenges set out in the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017-2020.

  • RTI projects led by young researchers with no or only temporary ties (JIN-type RTI):
    • REACT! Group (Aurora Rodríguez Rodríguez). "Iron(III)-based MRI contrast agents for breast cancer detection". 
    • NEUROCOM Group (José Luis Pardo Vázquez): "Eating and cognitive functioning: do we make worse decisions because we have too much food, too easy to get?" 
  • RTI projects led by consolidated researchers (RTI Type B):

    • AQUATERRA Group (Francisco Javier Samper Calvete and Luis Montenegro Pérez): "Models of mass transport and geochemical interactions in heterogeneous, irregular and multiple interfaces in porous and fractured media with hydraulic gradients, thermi“
    • GRICA Group (Roberto Bao Casal): "Climatic impacts of the common era on the aquatic ecosystems of NW Spain“
    • GIBE Group (Andrés Martínez Lage): "Comparative study of reproductive strategies of crustaceans of commercial interest: advances for fisheries sustainability and resilience of exploited stocks"
  • RTI projects of a coordinated type:

    • QANAP Group (Soledad Muniategui Lorenzo and Alatzne Carlosena Zubieta): "Chemical characterization of recyclable polymers and biopolymers and their additives (Chemplas)"

Show 2.0 1134x638 2020.08.03 imagen ndp circlelab web

CICA participates in a European project that will bring students and teachers closer to the model of the circular economy

04/Aug/2020 Events Coordinación

The European project Circle-Lab, "innovative learning approach for circular chemistry in secondary education", in which the Centro de Investigacións Científicas Avanzadas (CICA) of the Universidade da Coruña (UDC) participates, will be financed with 400 thousand Euros from the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.

The project, conceived for the learning of the circular economy in secondary school students, is coordinated by the Swedish university Mälardalens Högskola and has, initially, universities, research centers, NGOs and educational centers from Sweden, Italy, Macedonia, Lithuania and Spain.

It is estimated that the circular economy will generate around 1 million jobs by 2030 and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thus mitigating the effects of climate change, among other benefits for the environment and society. In this context, the chemical industry is already one of the driving forces behind these new economic models, the importance of which is manifested across the board in the different areas of research of the CICA.

In this way, the Circle-Lab Project will promote different training and dissemination actions related to the adoption of new models of circular economy, and will contribute to the development of new teaching profiles through the application of innovative virtual tools in secondary education centres, the so-called Circle-Lab Toolkit.

This virtual format makes more sense than ever in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, since the new normality requires reinventing a new digital model as an alternative to face-to-face teaching, thus facing the challenge of ensuring that educational quality is not lost in this transition.

Circle-Lab will be launched in September 2020 and will run for the next 3 years. During this time it is also expected to carry out an intense dissemination of the project's results through communication actions in the media, social networks and through workshops at European level. Likewise, Circle-Lab will be supported by the CICA's Proyecto Incrúst@te, dedicated to the promotion of scientific vocations in the field of secondary education.

For more information, please contact Rubén Reif López, Circle-Lab Project Manager (

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A research pitch with the CICA-UDC brand receives an award from the Compostela Group of Universities

29/Jul/2020 Disclosure QUIMOLMAT

The international jury of the 4th Pitch Contest of the Compostela Group of Universities (GCU) has awarded the second prize to the doctoral student Jorge Salgado Beceiro from the ...

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The Royal Galician Academy of Sciences awards the COVIDBENS project

23/Jul/2020 In the Press MICROALGAE BIOENGIN GIM

The project led by Edar Bens and in which research teams from CICA-INIBIC Strategic Group (Group of Research in Microbiology, MICROALGAE, BIOENGIN and experts in wastewater analysis) and CITIC participate, has received an award from the RAGC for its fight against SARS-CoV-2.

The afternoon of Tuesday 22nd July, an event was held at the Salon Nobre do Colexio in Fonseca (Santiago de Compostela), where 20 Galician projects related to Covid19 were awardedDuring the event, the researcher Margarita Poza from the Microbiology group was in charge of introducing the block of projects working on the detection and monitoring of the virus in wastewater.

The awards were delivered by the President of the RAGC, the Education Minister and representatives of the UDC, USC and UVigo.

Image taken during the virtual transmission of the event.

Other related articles: GCiencia and El Correo Gallego

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INIBIC consolidates itself as a research centre thanks to the accreditation of the Spanish Ministry of Science

13/Jul/2020 In the Press ScINIBIC

The Institute of Biomedical Research of A Coruña (INIBIC), with whom we form the Strategic Group CICA-INIBIC since 2015, has just been accredited as a health research centre by the Carlos III Health Institute, which depends on the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, for the second time in a row.

This recognizes the "scientific, structural and organizational" excellence of the entity and of the 452 professionals who work in this institute composed of groups from CHUAC, the University and the primary care area of A Coruña.

According to Francisco Blanco, INIBIC's scientific director, this seal not only brings prestige to the institute, but will also give it access to funding to ensure the continuity of its research. In addition, its future location, fully integrated into the hospital, will facilitate communication between health professionals and researchers, accelerating the clinical application of scientific results.

The complete news in La Voz de Galicia, 10/07/2020

Image by Eduardo Pérez

Other related articles: El Ideal Gallego

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The Microbiology Research Group discovers the pathogenicity mechanism of the superbacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae

09/Jul/2020 In the Press GIM

The team coordinated by Astrid Pérez Gómez and Germán Bou, researchers of the Microbiology Research Group of CHUAC belonging to the AE CICA-INIBIC, has observed for the first time the pathogenicity mechanism (or Kpi system) of K. pneumoniae, bacteria that kill 2000 people every year in Europe.

This mechanism, based on the pili of the bacteria, gives them an unusually effective capacity to adhere to the mucous membranes. This facilitates their subsequent entry into organs and the bloodstream, where they cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections. This discovery may facilitate the diagnosis and prognosis of patients, who through PCRs can determine the extent of the infection. In addition, the team is already working on a possible vaccine to target this adhesion system.

The complete news in La Voz de Galicia, 07/07/2020, R. Romar.

Image of La Voz de Galicia

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José Luis Barriada is elected guest editor of the journal "Nanomaterials"

08/Jul/2020 Research METMED

The researcher José Luis Barriada from the METMED group has been invited as editor for the next issue "Green Synthesis of Nanomaterials and its Applications" of the open access journal "Nanomaterials".

Nanotechnology has experienced a strong expansion in recent years and with it has increased concern about the effect it has on the environment. If we want the synthesis of nanoparticles and nanomaterials to be in line with the principles of the circular economy: this synthesis must be cost-effective, use renewable sources and employ by-products.

"Nanomaterials", with a 4.32 impact index, invites all researchers studying green approaches for the preparation of metallic nanoparticles and their applications to submit their manuscripts until 20 March 2021. 

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

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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).