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Miércoles, 03 Marzo 2021 13:28

La Complutense logra su mejor participación hasta el momento en las becas individuales de las acciones Marie Skłodowska-Curie.

  • La UCM, con siete propuestas seleccionadas para recibir financiación en la última convocatoria de MSCA-IF, ha conseguido superar su mejor resultado de cinco proyectos establecido hace cuatro años.
  • La mejoría experimentada durante los últimos años ha permitido a la Complutense colocarse entre las instituciones españolas con mejores resultados en la convocatoria del 2020.

Esta convocatoria europea permite atraer a investigadores posdoctorales internacionales para desarrollar un proyecto en colaboración con un supervisor científico de la universidad. Los fellows beneficiarios de este año provienen de 6 países diferentes. Los siete proyectos que han sido invitados por la Comisión Europea a firmar el acuerdo de subvención suponen 1.138.527 € de financiación para desarrollar actividades de investigación.

En líneas generales los resultados de esta convocatoria han sido positivos porque se han superado todas las marcas anteriores. Por ejemplo, 17 propuestas han conseguido más de 85 puntos de 100 posibles siendo distinguidas con el “Seal of Excellence”. Entre ésas, 12 han superado la barrera de los 90 puntos y, finalmente, siete han sido invitadas a firmar el acuerdo de subvención.

Los buenos resultados obtenidos en esta convocatoria coronan una progresiva mejoría en la participación de nuestra universidad observable durante los últimos años. Esta evolución ha tenido lugar a pesar del incremento experimentado en la participación en este instrumento de financiación durante el transcurso de Horizonte 2020. En un periodo de siete años (2014 - 2020), el número de propuestas enviadas a MSCA-IF se ha incrementado un 35,5 % convirtiéndose en la convocatoria europea que más expectación despierta.

La iniciativa de Expressions of Interest implementada por la Oficina Europea de I+D, se ha consolidado con más de 200 ofertas de acogida de los grupos de investigación de la universidad, consiguiendo incrementar de forma sostenida la participación en los últimos años. Asimismo, el incremento en la oferta de servicios de asesoría que proporcionan los técnicos de la oficina a los investigadores solicitantes durante la fase de redacción de las propuestas (9 de las 12 propuestas que superaron los 90 puntos disfrutaron del servicio de revisión de la Oficina Europea de I+D) ha contribuido a que la universidad ascienda a la parte alta de la clasificación de instituciones nacionales con más propuestas financiadas en esta convocatoria europea.

Lista de propuestas invitadas a firmar el acuerdo de subvención con la Comisión Europea en la convocatoria de MSCA-IF-2020:

Supervisor Científico:

Luis Miguel Ortega Mora

Fellow:

David Arranz Solis

Acrónimo:

TOXOSHEEP

Título:

Study of the molecular mechanisms underlying Toxoplasma-induced early abortions in a pregnant sheep model of infection

Abstract:
Toxoplasma gondii is a major cause of abortion in humans and livestock, thereby producing a significant public health hazard and economic losses. Most of Toxoplasma’s virulence factors have been explored using mouse models; however, the murine immune response differs significantly from that of humans and farm animals. Despite Toxoplasma’s enormous economic and health implications, little is known about the factors that cause foetal mortality and vertical transmission in humans or livestock. The goal of this ambitious project is to close this gap in knowledge by studying the mechanisms involved in the early abortion during the acute phase of toxoplasmosis in a standardised animal model relevant for humans and livestock. We hypothesise that by using a pregnant sheep model, the molecular mechanisms underlying the parasiteinduced inflammation associated with early abortions can be identified. To this end, we will first characterize the early infection dynamics, lesions, parasite burden and peripheral immune response in the dams. This will provide valuable information as to the initial immune response elicited by the parasite and how it reaches the placenta. Subsequently, we will investigate the local molecular mechanisms involved in the parasite-induced pathogenesis of early abortions by combining novel immunohistopathological and transcriptomic approaches in order to identify alterations of gene expression and biological pathways in the materno-foetal interface. The results derived from this proposal will significantly advance the understanding of the mechanisms of Toxoplasma early abortions and help in the design of transmission-blocking vaccines or drugs. Because Toxoplasma has been associated with women who had spontaneous abortions, it is likely that these mechanisms are shared with humans. Thus, these results will not only produce economic savings in the livestock industry but will also directly improve human health.

Supervisor Científico:

Mauricio Suárez

Fellow:

Quentin Ruyant

Acrónimo:

SciRepMod

Título:

The Roles of Modalities in Scientific Representation

Abstract:
Modal discourse (about what is possible or necessary) is ubiquitous in science but it is not always easy to identify which kind of necessity (epistemic, natural, conceptual, ...) is involved in a piece of scientific reasoning. This difficulty is a source of debate not only among philosophers, but also among physicists, for example concerning the interpretation of probabilities in quantum mechanics. The aim of the project is to circumvent this problem by examining the representational status of various kinds of modalities: whether they are represented, or whether they play a role in the act of representing, for example, in assessing the credibility of a model. The purpose is to arrive at a means of distinguishing different kinds of modalities pragmatically, so as to provide tools for interpreting the modal aspect of scientific theories and scientific discourse more precisely. The project will focus on a case-study: non-relativistic quantum mechanics, because it offers a rich modal structure (possible states, observables, outcomes, model-parameters) with divergent interpretations. It will consist in developing a plausible ccount of the representational status of various kinds of modalities, with help from the competence of the host institution on the topics of scientific representation and the philosophy of probabilities, and applying this account to the case study by examining how various modal structures constrain, license or warrant inferences based on quantum mechanical models. It will take into account different scientific aims and activities (explaining, predicting, developing technologies). The project could be useful to scientists, by helping them to have a clear view of the concepts involved when they employ modal discourse. It could inform the way scientific theories are to be interpreted, in particular quantum mechanics. Finally, it could inform debates on the nature of scientific representation and on the relations between various kinds of modalities.

Supervisor Científico:

María Antonia Paz Rebollo

Fellow:

Charilaos Raitsinis

Acrónimo:

GUNPRESS

Título:

The Underground Press during the Greek Civil War

Abstract:
After the liberation of Greece the leftist publications experienced a short period of legality. From 1944 until 1946 more than 300 newspapers and magazines were published; but they were on the verge of a very thin and fragile legitimacy. This period did not last long: the eruption of the Greek Civil War pushed them back in illegality. On December 27, 1947 the Sofoulis government passed the “Obligatory Law 509” which banned the Communist Party and the pro-communist press. “The promotion of ideas which have the overt purpose to overthrow the regime by violent means, the overthrow of the detaining social system and the detachment of a part of the national territory” would be punished with imprisonment or death. If this offense was committed by the press, “the responsibility would lie with the author, the director or the publisher of the newspaper”. From the introduction of “Law 509” until the end of the civil war in 1949, the Communist Party, the Democratic Army of Greece, the Greek Agrarian Party and other pro-communist organizations published more than 130 newspapers and magazines in order to propagandize their political ideas and deconstruct the anti-communist propaganda. These publications were usually issued in mountainous areas controlled by the Democratic Army. The proposed project will use these newspapers in order to provide new elements and alternative interpretations on the “child abduction” and the “role of the women” which are two major and debatable issues of the Greek Civil War, it will compare for the first time some aspects of the Greek and the Spanish clandestine press and it will draw the image of Spain in order to discover and highlight new similarities and differences of the two cases.

Supervisor Científico:

Guillermo Orellana

Fellow:

Sandra Estalayo Adrián

Acrónimo:

PHOTOCATH 

Título:

Self-disinfecting Photodynamic Catheters to Prevent Nosocomial Infections

Abstract:
Catheter-associated urinary infections (CAUTIs) are among the most common nosocomial infections, leading to substantial morbidity and mortality. They prolong hospital stays and significantly increase the economic cost of the disease. Despite the many techniques that have been developed to prevent them, spanning from the training of health professionals to the intraluminal use of antibiotics or "classical" microbicide coatings, the problem is still largely unsolved. A smart strategy to address the problem would be the development of a universal microbicide coating that only exercises its effect on the indwelling catheter when activated with visible light travelling through the catheter itself, the latter playing as a hollow optical fibre if made of transparent polymer. In this context, we aim to prepare self-disinfecting photoactive (urinary) catheters using the advanced components that modern chemistry and technology provide us, namely, (i) low-power super-bright cheap LEDs and laser diodes, (ii) highly transparent biocompatible polymers (silicones), (iii) versatile surface functionalization techniques (plasma, silanisation) and (iv) tailored photosensitising dyes capable of generating large amounts of singlet oxygen upon illumination. This reactive oxygen species leads to the destruction of the microorganisms and, therefore, the incipient biofilm (antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation, aPDI), leaving unharmed any cell not contacting the catheter. The combination of the researcher knowledge (photochemistry, dye derivatisation and photodynamic effect), and some of the strongest areas of expertise within the host groups and collaborators (applied photonics, silicones and microbiology), provides all the necessary tools to tackle this challenging interdisciplinary proposal. The project success will benefit both the researchers involved and the entire society, as it contributes to overcome the problem of CAUTIs occurring in hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Supervisor Científico:

Luis Lorenzo Sánchez Soto

Fellow:

Jin Li

Acrónimo:

HoloWS

Título:

Large-field-of-view large-size 3D holographic displays using wave-front shaping of multiple light scattering fields (HoloWS)

Abstract:
Holographic display is considered the holy-grail of three-dimensional (3D) auto-stereo displays because it generates arbitrary wavefronts providing imagery with all the 3D visual cues. However, the information content of a hologram with a large optical extent (the product of area and field-of-view) is much greater than the display capabilities of current spatial light modulators (SLMs) due to these SLM’s low space bandwidth product (a small diffraction angle range and limited pixel number) limiting the viewing angle and size of a displayed 3D holographic image. Therefore, the SLM’s low display capabilities hinder the realization of dynamic 3D displays of holograms with a large optical extent. Here, the HoloWS project will develop a novel holographic display method based on wave-front shaping of multiple light scattering fields to augment both limited viewing angle and image size at the same time, without the aforementioned drawbacks. Using a volumetric light scattering field, generated by highly disordered turbid media mediums, in conjunction with actively controlled wavefront shaping, the HoloWS project will display dynamic holograms with significantly increased viewing angle and image size at the same time. As a result, the viewing angle and the image size are enhanced compared with the case of using the SLM only to solve the inherent trade-off between the display size and visual angle.

Supervisor Científico:

Jose Manuel Udías Moinelo

Fellow:

Mailyn Perez Liva

Acrónimo:

OCTOPUS

Título:

Oncological Concurrent Tomographic Optoacoustics, Pet and UltraSonography.

Abstract:
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. Noninvasive imaging of tumor hallmarks helps to combat cancer more efficiently. However, cancer is a complex disease and modern imaging of cancer should evolve to help exploring the interaction between different cancer hallmarks and to predict the evolution of some of them in relation to others. Besides, these new techniques should provide answers to the present unmet need for determining, precisely, how, which and when targeted therapeutic agents can be used for optimized efficacy. In this project we will build a new hybrid cancer imaging device: OCTOPUS (Oncological Concurrent Tomographic Optoacoustics, PET and UltraSonography), that will pioneer the intersection of molecular, vascular and tissue oxygenation information, three major hallmarks of cancer. OCTOPUS is a timely action to study tumor dynamics with a hybrid hallmark perspective in a longitudinal, simultaneous, quantitative, fully co-registered and in vivo manner. To reach this goal, I will develop cutting-edges technologies regarding multispectral tomographic optoacoustic using an arrangement of 3D ultrasound arrays, combined with actual 3D sequences of Ultrafast Ultrasound and a custom-made PET system for data acquisition and reconstruction. A deep learning framework will be created for advanced multiparametric analysis of OCTOPUS derived data to facilitate the interpretation of intra-tumoral processes in order to improve high-precision image-guided treatment and ultimately to guide in the design of targeted therapies.

Supervisor Científico:

Chantal Valeriani 

Fellow:

Emanuele Locatelli

Acrónimo:

ActBioPol

Título:

Computational Modeling of Active Polymers: Generic Multi-Scale Coarse-Grained Approach for Outof-Equilibrium Biophysical and Bio-inspired Systems

Abstract:

The research project ActBioPol aims at defining a novel theoretical framework for polymeric materials, powered by active elements: examples of such materials are of relevance for cell biology, physiology as well for materials science applications. We will first introduce and characterise a generic and versatile coarse-grained model, that takes inspiration from real world systems and that features realistic hydrodynamic interactions (HIs). We will test the performance of the framework by studying the rheological properties of suspensions of active polymers, comparing the results with recent experiments. We will further model two systems, active networks and a brush of active cilia. In the former case, we will investigate the elastic properties of polymeric networks, powered by randomly disposed active elements. We aim to characterize the system for future applications in materials science. In the case of active cilia we aim to study, in a coarse-grained fashion, the mechanism of fluid transport, aiming to identify the mechanisms that hinder such transport and to suggest pathways to restore optimal conditions.

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