URV – Spain

Universitat Rovira i Virgili
Avinguda Països Catalans 26
43007 Tarragona, Spain

d-LIVER Contact:

Ciara O’Sullivan
ICREA Researcher – Chemical Engineering
Tel: +34 977558740
E-mail: ciara.osullivan(at)urv.cat
Website: www.etseq.urv.cat/nbg/

ATIC Applied Biotechnology Innovation Centre is a technology transfer and research organisation that belongs to the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. The centre is focused on research and innovation in industrial and biomedical biotechnology. It works as an independent unit within the University structure and its personnel belong both to the University and the University’s foundation. The centre has facilities for microfabrication, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, materials research and electrochemistry. It shares facilities with the University in the areas of microscopy and chemical analysis. The centre’s recent applied research resulted among other achievements in the development of equipment for fast detection of pathogens, the development of new analytical methods for gluten detection, microsystem concepts for lab-on-a-chip applications. Two research groups working on bioelectrochemistry and nanotechnology are related with the centre. About 40 scientists are affiliated with the centre including administration, graduate students, technicians, post doctoral fellows and researchers.

The main role of URV in d-LIVER is the development of electrochemical sensors for small molecules and albumin detection as well as electrochemical monitoring of clotting. As previous experience related to these tasks, the Group has coordinated 3 EC projects based on the development of biochips for the detection of stroke markers (SMILE; QLK6-CT-2002-02583), the detection of gluten in food (CD‑CHEF; QLK1-CT-2002-02077) and for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (SAFER, NEST-2004-4977). The group also participated in a NoE focused on pre-natal diagnostics (SAFE, LSHB-CT-2004-503243) and is currently leading an integrated project for the diagnosis of coeliac disease (CD-MEDICS, ICT-2007-216031).

Ciara K. O’Sullivan is the group leader of the Nanobiotechnology and Bioanalysis Group. She is an ICREA (Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies) research Professor who established the Nanobiotechnology and Bioanalysis Group at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, having obtained her degree in Analytical Sciences at Dublin City University in 1992 and her PhD in Biotechnology at Cranfield University in 1996. Her research interests lie in the development of electrochemical biosensors exploiting advances in tailored biocomponents and integrating these sensors with microsystem technology. Presently, her work focuses on reducing to practise ultrasensitive immuno- and geno-sensors exploiting the properties of nanoparticles and liposome nanobioconjugates to enhance and amplify signal. She has published/presented over 70 papers/communications in the area of biosensors.

Alex Fragoso was born in Havana, Cuba. He obtained his B.Sc. (1993) and Ph.D. (1999) degrees from the University of Havana, Cuba, working on cyclodextrin-based superoxide dismutase mimics. He was a Research Associate (2000-2002) and Assistant Professor (2003-2004) at the same university working on applications of cyclodextrins in sensing and biotechnology before joining Prof. Javier de Mendoza’s group at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2004-2006) as a postdoctoral fellow. Since 2006 he has been a Ramon y Cajal Research Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili working on the development of novel biosensing platforms. Among other distinctions, he has received the Cuban National Award of Chemistry for Young Researchers (1999) and the Third World Academy of Sciences Prize for Young Chemists (2002) and has published over 50 papers in international journals. He coordinates a national project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology and has actively participated in several FP6 and FP7 projects (SmartHEALTH, CD-CHEF, CD-MEDICS).