IBEC opens a call to receive candidates to apply to the Tecniospring INDUSTRY programme
The candidates preselected by IBEC will be presented, together with the project proposals to the Tecniospring INDUSTRY programme launched by the Catalan Government.
What is Tecniospring INDUSTRY programme? Tecniospring INDUSTRY programme is ACCIÓ’s fellowship programme for experienced researchers at the postdoctoral level to join a TECNIO entity based on Catalonia, such as IBEC, or a company to develop applied research projects.
Tecniospring INDUSTRY fellowship programme is co-financed by the European Union through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND) .
Therefore, successful candidates will be Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows as well as Tecniospring INDUSTRY fellows.
Additional details : you can find additional information in
Skills / Qualifications
Project Reference Number : TECNIO1
Inhibiting mechanotransduction for pancreatic cancer (INCOMING)
Mechanical forces transmitted between cells and their microenvironment drive cell function and regulate tumorigenesis. In this context, we identified in the lab that the interaction between the cytoskeletal molecules vinculin and talin can be inhibited by a vinculin fragment (VD1) which blocks cell response to mechanical forces, and the activation of the major oncogene YAP that occurs in tissues with abnormally high mechanical stiffness.
Both increased tissue stiffness and YAP activation drive tumor progression in most solid tumors, and thus inhibiting talin / vinculin interactions has a major potential as a therapeutic approach in several solid cancer types.
We have designed and tested small molecule drugs reproducing the action of VD1. Among those, we identified one that specifically blocks the target interaction, and inhibits cell metabolism.
Our aim is to valorize these drugs in the specific case of pancreatic cancer, which is a clear unmet clinical need since it is the one with the least therapeutic alternatives and worst prognosis.
Project Reference Number : TECNIO2
Universal enrichment-free circulating tumor cell detection (INCOMING)
During the intravasation process of metastasis occurring in some cancers, the blood vessel within the tumor’s vicinity can provide a route for the detached cells to enter the circulatory system and metastasize to distant sites.
These cells known as Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) represent a transitory element between the primary tumor and metastasis.
Traditionally, it has been demonstrated that epithelial tumor cells exhibit epithelial properties and express on their surface molecules of epithelial origin.
The expression of EpCAM in epithelial tumor cells allowed to differentiate CTCs from blood cells. This is the principle of CellSearch® which is the standard method for CTCs enrichment and is the only blood test accepted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for detecting CTCs in patients with metastatic breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.
Nonetheless, the evidence suggests that consider EpCAM as a universal marker for CTCs detection seems inadequate, and new alternative methods are required for recognizing the broad spectrum of CTC phenotypes.
We are working on a microfluidic platform using micro and nanotechnology for isolating CTCs based on inertial focusing and affinity binding principle methods.
The proposal will be to apply these methods into microfluidic devices and an electronic system for its control.