We, iCONM and Universidad Internacional de Cataluña, Spain signed a MoU, regarding the acceptance of international students and an internship student is conducting research at our center.

In April 2022, we and the Universidad Internacional de Cataluña ("UIC Barcelona"), Spain, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) for exchange in the areas of exchange students, academic and research. Since 2019, our Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Sabina Quader and Associate Professor Rosalía Rodríguez-Rodríguez of UIC Barcelona have been conducting joint research through the Open Partnership Joint Research Projects (JSPS) and AMED projects. They are currently collaborating on the research and development of nanomachines that can selectively be taken into the brain and improve obesity by promoting lipid metabolism in peripheral tissues. This agreement has been reached in order to accelerate joint research and continue strong collaboration.

As part of the collaboration, Mr. Jesús García, a member of the research team from UIC Barcelona, has been participating in research at iCONM as an internship student since this May. Associate Professor Rodríguez provided the following comments;

Jesus is on the last stage of the PhD, and this stay with Dr Quader's lab will allow him to accomplish important skills not only in terms of experiments in the field of nanotechnology in iCONM, but also in terms of acquisition of maturity as an independent researcher in an international atmosphere. During this period, Jesus will have the opportunity to work with well-recognized experts, such as Dr. Quader, in the development of polymeric nanomedicines for targeting specific brain cells. This stay will also reinforce the collaboration between iCONM centre and UIC Barcelona that we had in the last 3 years, progression in the current bilateral project Japan-Spain, and importantly to bring new ideas for future collaborations between both institutions.

Below is a message from Mr. Jesús García;

I am a Biotechnologist graduated at the Universitat de Barcelona. My early research interest was protein structure functionality and prediction. As such, I carried out my undergraduate thesis in Carl Gahmberg’s lab, at the University of Helsinki, studying how different mutations in the neuronal adhesion protein ICAM-5 affect its interaction to integrins, an important process for synaptic maturation.
Later, I became interested in nanotechnology and drug delivery, and their application to cancer and genetic diseases. For my Nanotechnology master’s thesis, I worked at the Institut de Química Avançada de Catalunya (IQAC) in the development of 5’-Fluorouracyl (5’-FU)-conjugated G-quadruplexes, nanocarriers that have shown improved cellular cytotoxicity than free 5’-FU and could become an interesting tool in the treatment of colon cancer. For my Biomedical Research master’s thesis, I worked at the Institut Josep Carreras, where I developed a diagnostic gene panel to identify potential for relapse in adult T-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
I am now pursuing a PhD at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, where I collaborate with iCONM in the development of polymeric nanoparticles that can deliver anti-obesity drugs to the Central Nervous System.
In the context of this collaboration, I am now in the midst of a research stay in iCONM, aiming to learn techniques related to nanomedicine and to strengthen the relationship between Spanish and Japanese research.

【Mr. Jesús García at iCONM entrance】

Due to the COVID-19, it took two years to invite Mr. Garcia, and we sincerely hope that this internship program will be meaningful for him as well as accelerate our joint research, even though it is only for a short period of two months.

Link:UIC Barcelona Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Science

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