Aboutus slide 1

Ikerbasque Awards

This is the first edition of the awards to women researchers organized by Ikerbasque, and three women at different stages of their scientific career have been awarded: a whole scientific trajectory, the leadership in a field of research and an outstanding contribution of a young researcher.

  Tuesday, 01 OCT
19:30 - 20:30 Ikerbasque Awards imagen ponente

Victoria Eugenia Theatre, San Sebastian


Maia GARCIA VERGNIORY Condensed Matter Physics, Ikerbasque Researcher in the DIPC

Radical paradigm shifts have almost always been triggered by the development of a material that proved so game-changing that the entire ensuing period was named after it: from the Stone Age we progressed to the Bronze Age, and from there to the Iron Age, until we come to the present day, which could well be dubbed the Silicon Age. But alarm bells have been ringing out a two-fold warning for some time now, warning of both the depletion of the sources underpinning the amazing transformation undergone by society during this technological era, and the dramatic repercussions our activities are having on the environment. In short, we are on the verge of a crisis of civilisation that will require major life-style changes. The search for new materials that may help us come up with solutions to problems such as energy, data storage and environment protection is a vital one. The discovery a decade ago of what are currently known as topological materials may represent the start of a new technological revolution. Although the inside of these materials are insulating, on their surface they conduct electrical current through electronic channels that are extremely robust in the face of perturbations and do not depend in any way on the size of the material or the ambient temperature. In this lecture, I will focus on the importance of materials in the progress made by different societies throughout history, right up to the most cutting-edge research being conducted today.

Aitziber LÓPEZ-CORTAJARENA Bionanotechnology, Ikerbasque researcher in CIC biomaGUNE

Proteins are the basic molecules of life. This talk goes beyond the concept of proteins in nutrition. We will talk about how proteins are both building blocks and essential active molecules that guarantee the survival of living systems. We will explore the structural and functional diversity of these elementary molecular units and will analyse how proteins are used to build materials with surprising properties, such as spider's webs, how they help catalyse chemical processes that are fundamental to our daily lives and how, moreover, they are the linchpin of new therapies. Finally, we will discuss the mystery of how the same elements can form proteins with very diverse shapes and functions and how we are just beginning to learn how to generate à la carte proteins in our laboratories. We will look at the myriad of possibilities which will open up once we finally crack the 'protein code' and explore the potential of 'protein engineering'.