Junior Leader grants from “la Caixa” Foundation are intended for excellent researchers to carry out their projects at universities and research centers in Spain and Portugal. This program promotes an independent scientific career as an option for a professional future and encourages innovation and leadership. Among the 557 applications received, Dr. Albert Antolín has been one of the 40 selected, which has allowed him to establish his laboratory at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and at the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) as principal investigator from the breast cancer research group.
The “la Caixa” Foundation scholarship program is one of the most important promoted by private entities in Spain and Europe, both for the number of scholarships offered and for the variety of disciplines. In total, the entity will allocate 20.2 million to this promotion. The program has been co-financed by the European Commission through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Action in the context of the Horizon 2020 framework programme.
Albert Antolín has a PhD in Pharmacoinformatics from Pompeu Fabra University. After getting his doctorate degree, he was awarded a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship to join the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR, London, UK). Subsequently, the Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship allowed him to carry out a stay in the Department of Systems Biology at Columbia University (New York, USA) and later Dr. Antolín established his Chemical Systems Biology Laboratory at the ICR in July 2021 thanks to an ICR grant. Finally, in September 2022, his laboratory moved to IDIBELL and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) thanks to the support of this Junior Leader grant from the “la Caixa” Foundation.
The goal of his research is to develop public chemical biology resources to improve reproducibility in biomedicine, discover how drugs work on a system scale to expand their use in personalized medicine, develop new strategies based on Big Data and artificial intelligence for the multitarget drug design, and discover new, safer and more effective cancer treatments. Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry and academia, he is particularly interested in translational research by building bridges between applied drug discovery and understanding fundamental questions yet to be resolved in chemical and systems biology applied to disease resolution.
The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).