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The Team

The TeamThe Team


The CRG received the "HR Excellence in Research' logo from the European Commission in 2013. It recognizes the institute's commitment in developing an HR Strategy for Researchers, including a Gender Equity Action Plan. In the same year the institute's direction established the CRG Gender Balance Committee with the mission to promote equal opportunities for men and women at the CRG and foment women's advancement in scientific career.


  • Mentoring programme for CRG postdocs (independent of gender)
  • CRG recruitment process without gender bias
  • Increased attractiveness of the CRG as an employer for female scientists
  • Increased Work-Life Balance for CRG employees


The members of the Gender Balance Committee are representative of all the areas of the institute, in order to address and taking care of the needs of the different groups of the CRG. With regular meetings every month, the Committee members are very active and truly engaged with its mission.

Name:  Isabelle Vernos
Nationality:  French / Spanish
Chair since 2013
What is your role at the CRG? I am a senior PI in the Cell & Developmental Biology research program
I am part of the GBC because... I strongly believe that our society should provide equal opportunities to everybody. The numbers show that it is not the case for women in the scientific academic ladder. I have therefore been engaged into promoting gender equality in academic and non-academic science career for several years. Since 2013 I am the chair of the Gender Balance working group of the ERC and I also coordinate the EU funded project LIBRA.


Name:  Mara Dierssen
Nationality: Spanish
Member since 2013
What is your role at the CRG? I lead the Cellular and Systems Neurobiology laboratory. My main current scientific interests are focused on the study of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying memory and learning and their alteration in complex diseases (polygenic and multifactorial) and in the development and application of this knowledge.
I am part of the GBC because... I believe women are still vastly underrepresented — especially in leadership positions — in academia. Whether women are just starting their science careers or have already achieved success, they have possibly faced serious obstacles. As a result, they may have experienced a lack of self-confidence or a difficult work-life balance, leading to difficult decisions.  I am convinced that the GBC will help by creating pioneering tools, inform faculty, both men and women, about biases and help achieving equal opportunities for women and diversity in science.


Name: Juan Valcarcel 
Nationality: Spanish 
Member since: 2013 
What is your role at the CRG? Associate Director, Coordinator of the Gene Regulation, Stem Cells and Cancer Program, Group Leader 
I am part of the GBC because... there is a historical, collective need to address gender inequality issues in society, in science as a profession and in working conditions in general. Addressing these issues will help society as a whole (not just women) and in particular will enrich scientific research. I am part of the GBC because I would like to help to implement concrete measures that will provide women, and more specifically women scientists, with equal career opportunities.


Name: Roni Wright
Nationality: British
Member since: Jan 2018
What is your role at the CRG? I am a Postdoc in the lab of Miguel Beato within the Gene Regulation Stem Cells and Cancer department. Our research focuses on understanding the role of hormones in breast cancer cell growth. In addition to work on the bench I am also the Technology Business and Development Office (TBDO) fellow and aid the TBDO office with the assessment and evaluations of new technologies and ideas within the CRG.
I am part of the GBC because... I firmly believe that raising awareness and pushing for change with regards to existing gender bias is essential.  With the hope that, the only barriers for our children's future careers and happiness will be the effort they put it, their ambition and imagination: not their gender.


Name: Olalla Bagüés
Nationality: Spanish
Member since: November 2018
What is your role at the CRG: I’m the Head of Human Resources Department. I am responsible for designing, developing and implementing HR policies and procedures aligned with the strategy of the organization and ensuring a quality and timely HR services, offering a supportive, encouraging and challenging working environment, that promotes career development, equal opportunities, ethical integrity and work-life balance. 
I am a part of the GBC because... personally I believe that our society should be founded on the idea of fairness, equality, diversity, and hence, our research centre. From my professional view, the HR Department can contribute actively to promote and develop a culture of equality and diversity as we strive to attract a greater range of talent, not just the talent that belongs to a particular world-view. Therefore, promoting a diverse and inclusive environment and welcoming applicants regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation is one of our main priorities.


Name: Sara Ramos 
Nationality: Spanish 
Member since: 2019 
What is your role at the CRG? I work at the Human Resources Department as a Recruitment and Development Specialist 
I am part of the GBC because… I believe that equality and diversity is necessary in all kind of organizations due to the value it can provide us. By being part of the Gender Balance Committee, I would like to contribute in the implementation of the gender perspective and diversity in all the areas of the organization, so we can create a more inclusive environment not only at the CRG but also in our society.


Name: David Castellano
Nationality: Spanish
Member since: May 2020
What is your role at the CRG? I am a Postdoc in the Evolutionary Processes Modeling Lab, leaded by Donate Weghorn at the Bioinformatics and Genomics programme. My research focuses on analyzing population genomic and functional molecular data, to answer pertinent questions in evolutionary genetics.
I am part of the GBC because... I believe that talent is uniformly distributed across genders, ethnic groups, and economic or social classes, but opportunities and privileges are not. For example, first generation students like me have had to learn how to thrive in academia by themselves, by trial and error. This puts us in a precarious situation. Meritocracy only works if everyone has access to the same opportunities – otherwise, we just perpetuate historical background inequalities. I am part of the GBC to give more opportunities to those who are more in need: racial minorities, disabled people, women, parents and first generation students.


Name: Sonja Reiland
Nationality: German
Member since: 2016
What is your role at the CRG? I am a Scientific Project Manager in the office for International and Scientific Affairs. My key responsibilities are: Prepare and manage collaborative projects coordinated at the CRG; Promote Gender Equality and Open Science at the CRG; Identify and promote new funding opportunities.
I am part of the GBC because... I want to build a bridge between the activities in LIBRA and the CRG. LIBRA is a collaborative project funded by the European Commission with the goal to achieve gender equality in 13 EU-LIFE research centers, which is coordinated by the CRG (Isabelle Vernos) and of which I am the project manager. By participating in the GBC I want to maximize the exchange between CRG and LIBRA and ensure a mutual benefit from the collaborative work of the LIBRA members. That’s for the formal part. For the more personal part, I like it a lot to work with the mixed team (senior, junior, different gender, scientists, administrators, managers), that we challenge each other and the institute’s direction, and plan very concrete actions. I find it quite satisfying to implement a Gender Equality Plan, where we see what we have done, what we achieved, and also what is still ahead of us. 

Name: Gloria Lligadas
Nationality: Spanish
Member since: January 2019
What is your role at the CRG? I am the Head of Communications & PR. I develop and execute an institutional communications strategy that establishes and enhances CRG’s reputation as a centre of excellence in biomedical research, advanced training, innovation and public engagement. I'm responsible for the development, integration, and implementation of a broad range of public relations and communications activities in a manner consistent with institutional strategies and priorities.  
I am part of the GBC because... it is very important to work towards achieving real gender balance within our institution and within society at large. From my professional perspective, I think our department can positively contribute to the dissemination of all actions and initiatives developed regarding gender balance through all communication channels at our disposal.
Name: Renée Beekman
Nationality: Dutch
Member since: May 2020
What is your role at the CRG? Junior Group Leader of the Single-Cell Epigenomics and Cancer Development Team. 
I am part of the GBC because... I believe that boys and girls should have equal chances to follow the career path they choose for their future. Throughout the last decades, many improvements have been made in this respect. However, we are not there yet. To be able to provide more equal opportunities to the future generation, we should keep implementing changes. Importantly, to face the gender-balance problem we first should get to understand all its different facets. The diverse expertise of the members of the gender balance committee and the motivation for change is an important aspect that will help to address the many different aspects of this problem. As a member of the committee, I aim to improve my understanding of what is needed to address this issue and to contribute to create equal chances for men and women in science and beyond.

Name: Montse Díaz
Nationality: Spanish
Member since: January 2019 
What is your role at the CRG? Executive Assistant to Managing Director (Bruna Vives)
I am part of the GBC because... Let´s keep working together to improve our work environment and provide equal opportunities to everybody. My main role is to give administrative support and provide management more information, help keeping track and follow-ups of the GBC actions.














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