Antonio Del Sol Mesa, head of the Computational Biology group, receives the Outstanding Scientific Publication Award from National Research Funds, Luxemburg

Each year, the National Research Funds (FNR) presents awards in four categories highlighting both outstanding researchers and institutions, and promoting science-related activities.

During the 2019 FNR Awards ceremony, one researcher from CIC bioGUNE was rewarded. Prof. Antonio Del Sol Mesa, head of the Computational Biology group at CIC bioGUNE, received an Outstanding Scientific Publication Award for a research article entitled “Transcriptional synergy as an emergent property defining cell subpopulation identity enables population shift” published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications.

This paper presented a new computational method, developed by the team of Prof. Del Sol, that can accurately predict how one subpopulation of cells can be converted into another.

The identity of a particular cell subtype is characterized and maintained by a few interacting regulatory genes. Yet, the differences between the subtypes are subtle and difficult to detect using the existing analytical methods. In order to address this problem, the team developed the computational platform “TransSyn”.

Experimental tests showed that based on the predictions made through TransSyn, stem cells from the brain could be reprogrammed and converted into the desired subtype of neurons.

The method has a lot of potential for regenerative medicine when it comes to replacing cell subpopulations that have been lost in the course of disease for example” explains Prof. Del Sol. “This award is a great incentive for our team to keep developing important computational tool such as this one. We are honored by this acknowledgement of our work.

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