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Research initiative puts Catalan cell and tissue research on the map


Dj, 19/11/2020 - 17:00

Research initiative puts Catalan cell and tissue research on the map

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) has hosted the inaugural seminar for CATCAT – or Cell And Tissue research in CATalonia – an initiative that brings together research groups working to understand how a cell is built and how cells are assembled into a tissue.

CATCAT researchers uncover the biological processes involving membranes, lipids, cell compartmentation, division and growth, cell migration, cytoskeleton, extracellular matrix, and nuclear organization.

The group pursues some of the most innovative interdisciplinary research projects in the world, including:

  • Verena Ruprecht’s group at the CRG, which has recently found that squeezing a cell to the point where its nucleus starts to stretch triggers an escape reflex so that a cell can flee a packed environment
  • Pura Muñoz-Cánoves’ group at UPF-DCEXS, which is uncovering how signaling pathways help maintain the function of some types of muscle stem cells all the way into later life
  • Felix Campelo’s group at ICFO in collaboration with Malhotra at the CRG, who are describing a physical mechanism by which cells control the amount of collagen secreted

Founded by Vivek Malhotra at the CRG, CATCAT will promote the exchange of ideas amongst its constituent research labs, organising regular meetings, courses and workshops. The group will work together to put Catalonia on the map as the natural destination for global talent in cell and tissue research.

“Understanding how a cell is built and engineered to assemble into a tissue is a formidable challenge. With the talent in Catalonia and a windfall of resources, CATCAT is one step forward in this direction,” says Vivek Malhotra, ICREA Research Professor and Coordinator of the Cell & Developmental Biology Programme at the CRG.

CATCAT comprises 36 laboratories from excellent institutes, including the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) site in Barcelona, the Department of Health and Life Sciences at the University Pompeu Fabra (UPF), the Institute of Molecular Biology of Barcelona (IBMB), the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) and the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG).

The next CATCAT seminar will be hosted at the beginning of 2021, with details for an international seminar series to follow soon.