ICREA – the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, founded in 2001 with the support of the Catalan Government, has recently appointed Laura Soucek, Principal Investigator of VHIO´s Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group, as one of its newly contracted Professors. ICREA is an internationally renowned virtual research institute of excellence which today incorporates a total of 244 scientists of the very highest caliber, now totaling three from within VHIO Faculty — with Joaquín Arribas, Director of Preclinical Research at VHIO, and Joan Seoane, Director of VHIO´s Translational Research, previously contracted by ICREA in 2007 and 2004 respectively.
The ICREA Professorship annual Call is as selective as it is competitive, involving stringent criteria through which to evaluate the scientific merit of each and every candidate from a global pool of researchers. Concerning her recent appointment, Laura says “I am truly honored to have been selected for an ICREA professorship. My role as an ICREA Research Professor represents both a privilege and a responsibility, providing me with additional support to contribute to groundbreaking science at both regional and international level”.
While ICREA´s contractual stipulations are purposely devised to allow the selected researchers to focus on the science and deliver on their respective research goals and objectives, ICREA professors undergo periodic assessment to ensure that they all continue to meet the mark by producing top-drawer science. They must also participate in annual interdisciplinary meetings that, observes Laura, “help to formulate new perspectives across disciplines, create synergies and foster collaboration that otherwise would not be possible”.
“Testament to the talents we attract, as of today ICREA holds 67 European Research Council grantees and each of our Professors create and maintain an average 7,1 jobs as well as secure around 250k euros in funding annually. These factors translate in an important contribution to the stimulation and growth of research of excellence,” comments Emilià Pola, ICREA´s Executive Director.
Over the past fourteen years ICREA has contracted a total of 313 researchers across a wide variety of specialties: 28% from life sciences and medicine, 26% from experimental sciences and mathematics, 14% from social and behavioral sciences, 15% from humanities, and 16% from technology and engineering.