Joan Xavier Comella Carnice
Doctor en Medicina y Cirugía por la Universidad de Barcelona. Profesor de Biología Celular en la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Barcelona. España
Doctor in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Barcelona and University Professor of Cell Biology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). His training also includes stays in various research laboratories (France and England) and managerial training (IESE). Since 2009 he is the Director of the Foundation Vall D'hebron Hospital - Research Institute (VHIR).
Dr. Comella began his scientific career as Director of the Research Group for Molecular Neurobiology(1991) and professor of Cell Biology - histology (2002) in the Department of Basic Sciences at the University of Lleida. In 2004 he moved with his group at the University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova de Lleida, to promote a new line of basic clinical collaboration on the translational level. To carry it out he was appointed Director of the research laboratory of this hospital that became the core of the future Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida. He held this position until 2007, then he was hired at the UAB (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) as Director of the Institute of Neurosciences at the University, a post he kept until 2009. This year became the Director of the Institute of Research of the Hospital Vall d'Hebron (VHIR), his current position.
As a researcher he has strong scientific experience with more than 90 articles published in international journals, more than 100 lectures and seminars in national and international academic institutions, directed 15 PhD-thesis, large number of projects funded by the Government of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Spanish and the European Union. His research has focused on understanding the mechanisms of neuronal survival and its relation with the development of neurodegenerative diseases, as in the case of Alzheimer's disease.
He carried out different actions of management in science policy at different levels, which include: Vice-rector research and postgraduate in the Universitat de Lleida; Director and Head of the national agency of evaluation and foresight (ANEP); Director of the Spanish Foundation for science and technology; Director of the Fundació Catalana per a the Recerca i la Innovació (FCRI). He was elected General Secretary of the Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain (COSCE) in 2011. In March 2012, he became a member of the Advisory Council of the national agency of research (MINECO AEI). From 2012, he is Chair of the National Scientific representatives of EATRIS (European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine) of the EU.
Dr. Comella has been adviser and evaluator of the European Commission in the V framework program; Advisor and evaluator of State funding agencies (ANEP, CICYT, FIS) and regional (DURSI); evaluator of the national program of research of the Argentina and French republics; permanent evaluator of more than 15 international journals; Organizer of various national and international congresses. He is a member of scientific committees of different organizations and entities.
In 2001 he received the distinction for the Research of Young Researchers, granted by the Generalitat of Catalonia as acknowledgment of his scientific career. He was awarded the Pfizer Foundation National Award for basic research in 2005. In 2008 he received the award Dr. Santiago Ramón y Cajal in basic research of the Spanish society of Neurology.