Jan 14

Achucarro has a new Scientific Director

Prof. Ignacio Torres Alemán joins Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience to strengthen the trajectory of the Basque Center for Neurobiology Research

Prof. Carlos Matute, the founding Scientific Director of ACHUCARRO, one of the BERC research centres fostered by IKERBASQUE and the UPV/EHU, passes the baton of the scientific directorate to Prof. Ignacio Torrés Aleman, since the beginning of this year.

After founding ACHUCARRO in 2012 and directing the establishment the centre during the last 8 years, Prof. Carlos Matute, Full Professor of the UPV/EHU communicated to the Board of Trustees his desire to give way to a new scientific direction, at the beginning of last year. To fill the position, an international call was published, with a selection committee made up of experts appointed by IKERBASQUE and UPV/EHU. This committee evaluated and interviewed various candidates and finally proposed the name of Dr. Ignacio Torres Alemán.

Prof. Torres Alemán was appointed in July 2020 and joined Ikerbasque as Research Professor in October. During these months he has been establishing his research group in the Basque Country and learning about the ins and outs of the Basque Science, Technology, and Innovation system, to undertake his work in the Scientific Directorate of ACHUCARRO, and to guide the definition of the new Strategic Plan, for the period 2022-2025. Trained in research centers in Spain, United States, France and Italy, Dr Torres Aleman directs a laboratory dedicated to the study of the neurobiology of hormones of the insulin family with the ultimate idea of developing new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. He has directed numerous research projects as principal investigator, published more than 140 research papers in international journals, and invited to lecture in more than 30 countries.

Ignacio Torres Alemán in his lab at ACHUCARRO (January 2021)

Prof. Matute will continue to be linked to ACHUCARRO, and contributing to the strategic objectives of the center, which is still in the expansion process that began in 2012. During this time, the center has doubled its size in staff of the 51 people who joined in 2012, to the more than 100 with which 2020 ends. In the period 2012-2020, the center has signed more than 360 scientific articles, which have received more than 38,600 citations to date. In 2017, the new headquarters were inaugurated within the Science Park of the UPV/EHU in Leioa. All of this has been possible, in part, thanks to the mobilization of 16 million euros which, being a modest budget for a center of this type, has made it possible to position the neurosciences that are made in our environment, in the world panorama, in an emerging scientific area, such as brain research, and the diseases that affect it.