03.05.2017

Ferran Nadal-Bufí, PhD student of the DCEXS, wins the Rin4' competition

Rin4' finalists - UPF

Summarizing four years of doctoral thesis in just four minutes is not an easy task, especially if it is done before a jury and in language understandable for all types of public. This is the challenge proposed by PhD students in the competition Rin4 '(Research in 4 minutes), whose third edition concluded yesterday with a close final held on the campus of Ciutadella.

Ten finalists, of the 39 participants who took part in the knockout stages, presented their research in four minutes and before a non-specialized audience. Five were from the doctoral program in Biomedicine, three from the doctoral program in Information and Communications Technologies and two from the doctoral program in Translation and Language Sciences.

Ferran Nadal-Bufí - UPFFerran Nadal-Bufí, PhD student of the Proteomics and Protein Chemistry Unit of the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences led by David Andreu, won the first prize, consisting of € 900, and the special prize of the public, of € 200 . In his presentation "Everything Blood Can Say", he showed a great ability to make such a complex subject as the blood composition an attractive and visual matter. "For researchers and scientists, frustration is the daily bread: experiments do not come out to the first or the second, with luck to the third. The recognition I received today for my work and research gives me great satisfaction, "said the award-winner, who is currently in his first year of doctoral thesis.

Nadal-Bufí's research revolves around proteins in the blood. By using a mass spectrometer, researchers can determine all molecules that are in a liquid. This sophisticated device measures the size of the particles according to their mass and electric charge and allows to classify the proteins present in the blood. However, some proteins are very rare and are often not detected by the mass spectrometer. With his research, Nadal-Bufí aims to find a way to detect all the proteins in the blood. "Our body holds some 100,000 proteins in total. If we get the list of all of them, we can get biomarkers, proteins that in case of disease, are altered. "

Mireia Ortega Rin4' - UPFThe second prize, valued at € 600, was for Mireia Ortega, a PhD student in the Research Group on Cellular Neurobiology and Systems at the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG), directed by Mara Dierssen. In his research, Ortega struggles to find out how a drug discovered in green tea works for treating Down syndrome. As it explained in the presentation "How does it? A drug that improves memory and learning in people with Down syndrome", "a few years ago it only mattered that a drug worked to commercialize it. Mechanism of action to be able to safely prescribe it and avoid side effects as much as possible".

Toni Bassaganyas, from the doctoral program in Translation and Language Sciences, won the third prize, endowed with € 300, with the presentation "Two politicians walk into a bar". His work investigates the variation between language and reality, giving special importance to the interpretation of possessive verbs. "It is difficult to establish the relationship between the different components of a sentence, but also between the reality described in the sentence and the language used," explains Bassaganyas, who is currently investigating the Formal Linguistics Research Group (GLIF) of the Department of Translation and Language Sciences of the UPF.

Toni Bassaganyas Rin4' - UPFThe jury, formed by Enric Vallduví, Vice-Rector of Research and Doctorate of the University Pompeu Fabra; Carme Martinell, Director General of the Foundation for Continuing Education, and Pere Torra, Deputy Manager of the Pompeu Fabra University Teaching Area, assessed, among other things, the academic significance of the presentations, the clarity of the exhibition, and the capacity And the ability to convey and capture the audience in general. The winners of the previous editions, Carlos Toscano (2016) and Cristina Galusca (2014), and the director of the Doctoral School, Núria Sebastián, were in charge of awarding the prizes. Emma Rodero, professor of the Department of Communication of the UPF, participated in the act as host of the final.

The competition Rin4 'is an initiative of the PhD School of Pompeu Fabra University. With it, the UPF seeks to promote the importance of communicative skills in the dissemination of science.