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Dr. Patricia Garcia-Cañadilla, Dr. Ignasi Barba and Sergi Sayols are the three young researchers that have been chosen for the Daniel Bravo grants, with a €3,000 monthly stipend to do a 3 to 9-month stay abroad to continue their postdoc training at some of the most prestigious centers in the world in cardiovascular research.

Patricia Garcia-Cañadilla, who is currently working as a biomedical engineer in the Pompeu Fabra University Department of Information and Communication Technology, will join the Institute of Cardiovascular Science in the Cardiovascular Morphology Unit at University College London (United Kingdom).

She works on processing images and implementing computational models of the cardiovascular system and her stay will focus on analyzing high-resolution images and providing tools for cardiologists to measure the macroanatomy and microstructure of the cardiac muscle in fetal hearts and the later correlation with cardiac function, according to a press release from the Daniel Bravo Foundation.

Dr. Ignasi Barba, of the Experimental Cardiology Laboratory at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), will be in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University (United Kingdom). Since he joined the VHIR in 2003, Barba has studied aspects of cardiovascular metabolism associated with coronary diseases and myocardial ischemia in the research group led by professor David Garcia-Dorado, one of the leading researchers in ischemia-reperfusion in the world.

Barba has been in charge of the nuclear magnetic resonance platform, an essential tool for this new stage of his career, as the team at Cambridge is headed up by Dr. Kevin M. Brindle, a leader in the application of hyperpolarization in nuclear magnetic resonance studies in the life sciences. The researcher will focus on studying the ALDH2 enzyme.

The third grantee, Sergi Sayols, is in his second year of predoc study in the group led by Dr. Roberto Elosua Llanos at IMIM. He has chosen the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (United States) for his stay abroad, joining a group that participates in international consortia to study the impact of genetics on coronary disease.

Sayols is studying the relationship between coronary disease and environmental factors, lifestyle and DNA methylation. “I want to focus on discovering whether or not the association between DNA methylation and cardiovascular phenotypes is random,” explains the researcher. His stay in Alabama will not only reinforce Sayols’ training in epigenetic studies to diagnose cardiovascular disease but will also promote synergies between the Catalan and US research groups.

The Daniel Bravo Andreu biomedical research grants are awarded each year by the private foundation of the same name to researchers working in Catalonia. This is the third edition and the deadline for this year's call for proposals was 25 April.


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