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The 3rd edition of Comas i Solà contest has its winners

The winners of the 3rd edition of Comas i Solà contest: Yoran Beldengrün, Nekane Terrades and Jaume Taura.

The winners of the 3rd edition of Comas i Solà contest: Yoran Beldengrün, Nekane Terrades and Jaume Taura.

The Director of the Doctoral School, Xavier Roigé, and all the members of the jury and the contest participants attended the award ceremony.

The Director of the Doctoral School, Xavier Roigé, and all the members of the jury and the contest participants attended the award ceremony.

14/06/2017

Recerca

Yesterday, the name of the winners of the 3rd Comas i Solà Contest was revealed: Nekane Terrades for  L' arteritis de cèl·lules gegants; Yoran Beldengrün for Functional food: smart microgels against lactose intolerance, and Jaume Taura for Optopharmacology.

The 3rd Comas i Solà Contest is jointly organized by the Doctoral School and the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit (UCC+I) of the University of Barcelona and it aims to bring people closer to the research carried out at the UB, through a dynamic and visual channel, as well as to give visibility to PhD students as a research motor for the University. When selecting the winners, the jury assessed the originality of the videos, as well as the scientific rigour, capacity of synthesis of the concepts and the clarity of the message so that the videos are understandable for a non-expert audience, not used to the scientific language.

The contest encourages researchers in training to talk about their research to a non-expert audience using an audiovisual format, and the winners are given an iPad, a personal and free registration to any of the intensive language courses organized by the School of Modern Languages (EIM) in the course offering for the 2017 summer, and a pack of merchandise by the University of Barcelona.

The award ceremony, chaired by Xavier Roigé, lecturer from the Department of Quantum Physics and Astrophysics, and member of the group of scientific monologists Big Van, counted with the attendance of all the members of the jury: Estrella Montolío, Vice-Rector of the School; Anna Marquès, lecturer of the degree in Audiovisual Communication; Olga Giralt, representing the Audiovisual Service, and Marga Becerra, head of the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit (UCC+i) of the University of Barcelona. During the event, all the submitted videos in the third edition of the contest were screened.
 

Awarded videos

L’arteritis de cèl·lules gegants, by Nekane Terrades, from the doctoral program in Medicine and Translational Research.

The aim of the video is to tell about the research carried out in the IDIBAPS group of Vasculitis, in particular, the study of giant cell arteritis. In this disease, an inflammation in the blood vessels occurs, with the appearance of several symptoms.  At the moment patients are treated with drugs called glucocorticoids, but these have important adverse reactions and do not work properly in all patients, which makes research on alternative therapies even more necessary. The objective of the thesis of the author of the video is to study the impact of using a new drug with this disease: the tocilizumab.

 

 

Functional food: smart microgels against lactose intolerance, by Yoran Beldengrün, from the doctoral program in Drug Research, Development and Control.

A 75% of the world population suffers from some type of lactose intolerance. This means they are missing the enzyme lactase and must get it externally. Delivering the lactase to the intestine is a real challenge, especially when trying to ensure the survival of the enzyme during the digestion. This video shows in a simplified way, how this researcher from the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia tries to develop a system to protect the lactase in its journey from dairy products to the intestine: smart microgels!


 

Optopharmacology, by Jaume Taura, researcher of the Institute of Neurosciences of the University of Barcelona and the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL).

In this video, the researcher tells how to use optopharmacology to treat Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease caused by a lack of dopamine in the striatum. This pathology was treated by giving the patient levodopa (L-dopa), but this treatment loses its efficacy over time. It has been recently proved that this anti-Parkinsonian therapy can improve by blocking A2A-dopamine receptor. However, this receptor is also expressed in other parts of the body, in which we do not want to block the receptor. Optopharmacology, a technique based on the use of drugs that act when they are activated by light in a specific wave length, allowed researchers to design an active photo-drug that blocks this receptor when it receives the appropriate light and can stop unwanted adverse reactions.



Josep Comas i Solà, a model scientific disseminator

The contest is named after the Catalan astronomer Josep Comas i Solà(1868-1937), who was interested in astronomy since he was young, and became a great scientific disseminator. When he was fifteen, he studied a meteorite that fell near Tarragona, and the results of the study were published in the journal Astronomie. He outstood for his studies on asteroids –he found eleven- and developed a new research method to calculate their orbit. Apart from the scientific research on astronomy, he experimented with photography and cinema applied o astronomical observation and developed studies in seismology. He was the director of the Fabra Observatory of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of Barcelona since its creation. He also contributed to the founding of the Spanish Society of Astronomy and was its first President.


All the submitted audiovisual pieces can be seen in the University of Barcelona Youtube channel.

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