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BIST Board of Trustees, presided over by Andreu Mas-Colell (Photo: BIST).

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia joins BIST Foundation

The Board of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) has approved the incorporation of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) –based at the Barcelona Science Park– as a new member. At its annual meeting held today in Barcelona, the Board has also appointed Gabriel M. Silberman as a new BIST general director, replacing Miquel A. Pericàs, director of the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).


IBEC will bring its expertise and excellent research in the confluence between biology and engineering to BIST, an initiative of six of Catalonia’s research centers of excellence to build a joint scientific project together: the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the Institute for High Energy Physics (IFAE), and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). BIST’s strength is based on the research capacity of its centers and its potential to promote cutting-edge research projects in multidisciplinary research.

IBEC -which, like all other BIST members, is accredited as Center of Excellence Severo Ochoa – has 11 grants from the European Research Council, which were received by its researchers between 2007 and 2016.

With the addition of IBEC, the BIST community now comprises 2,347 people, including 147 group leaders, 565 postdocs and 588 predoctoral students. 40% of them are of international origin, and 43% are women.

Gabriel M. Silberman replaces Miquel A. Pericàs 

The meeting of the board has also introduced new BIST director general Gabriel M. Silberman, previously vice president and scientific director of the company Cerebri AI, and assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of Texas. He brings with him extensive experience in the intersection between public and private research.

Silberman replaces Miquel A. Pericàs, director of the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ), who was responsible for the management of the BIST throughout the past year.  Pericàs has presented to the Board of Trustees an exhaustive report on the work carried out during the last 12 months, highlighting the deployment of the organic structure of the BIST, with the incorporation of a high-quality team, the institution s strategic projects in the fields of chemical biology and advanced microscopy, and the promotion of collaborative multidisciplinary research between the BIST centers. 

“We’d made only a few first steps so far, but they’ve been firm and in the right direction. The challenges that I leave on the table of the new director are ambitious and complex, but the exciting and committed BIST Community now grows in capacity and potential with the incorporation of a new center of excellence”, said Miquel A. Pericàs.

At the meeting the BIST board has also approved the incorporation of a new scientific member, Professor M. Carme Calderer physicist and mathematician with a PhD from Heriot-Watt University (Scotland), who currently teaches at the University of Minnesota in Twin Cities. BIST’s Board of Trustees is made up of researchers Ignacio Cirac (Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics), Joan Massagué (Sloan Kettering Institute), Miquel Salmeron (University of California- Berkeley), Sergi Verdú (Princeton University), Sylvia Daunert (Nanotech Institute of the University of Miami) and Rolf Tarrach (European University Association); the directors of the BIST centers: Luís Serrano (CRG), Miquel Àngel Pericàs (ICIQ), Pablo Ordejón (ICN2), Lluís Torner (ICFO), Ramon Miquel (IFAE), Joan Guinovart (IRB Barcelona) and, from today, Josep Samitier (IBEC ); representatives from five private foundations (Fundació Bancària “la Caixa”, Banc Sabadell Foundation, Fundació FemCat, Fundació Cellex,Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera) and Jordi Baiget, minister of Business and Knowledge of the Government of Catalonia.