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Autonomous University of Barcelona
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445 Projects, page 1 of 89
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101109833
    Funder Contribution: 285,141 EUR

    Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a highly prevalent and disabling condition experienced by ~6% of the population worldwide. Interestingly, women are twice as likely as men to suffer from MDD, and the specific mechanisms contributing to such difference are only starting to be elucidated. Chronic mild stress has been shown to reproduce in rodents some of the main traits of MDD, such as anhedonia or anxiety-like behaviour. Chronic stress has been shown to interfere with prepronociceptin (Pnoc) expression in the anterior BNST (amBNST) in rodents. Interestingly, it has been established a functional antagonistic role of Pnoc neurons over corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)-expressing neurons, which mediate the stress response in mammals. Moreover, amBNSTPnoc neurons have been shown to support rapid arousal responses toward motivationally salient stimuli in mice. Preliminary data has demonstrated sex differences in amBNSTPnoc distribution across compartments, indicating possible sex-dependent effects of stress on amBNSTPnoc function. We aim to explore sex differences in amBNSTPnoc neurons in rapid arousal responses upon sucrose presentation and its relationship with chronic stress-driven anhedonia. To that end, rapid arousal responses in male and female mice will be studied after chronic stress in mice, and related to anhedonic-like behaviour, and Pnoc and CRH expression in compartments of the BNST. To further understand the effects of chronic stress in Pnoc neurons, calcium transients using 2-photon calcium imaging in amBNSTPnoc neurons will be studied before and after chronic stress. Chemogenetic activation of amBNSTPnoc after stress will be used to functionally test that low Pnoc expression drives hypoarousal states related to anhedonic behavior. The proposal aims to elucidate sex differences in the pathophysiology of chronic stress-driven depressive-like behaviour and provide new perspectives and ideas on the higher prevalence and treatment resistance in females.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 272763
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101107208
    Funder Contribution: 165,313 EUR

    The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) suggest a useful framework; however, they lack well-defined indicators, failing to account for resource interlinkages. Resource nexus thinking has gained traction recently since it targets synergies and helps avoid competition of resources. Additionally, decoupling economic growth from emissions and resource use has been sought after, and attempted through 'sustainable growth' and 'green growth' within the SDGs. This is a paradox since growth and climate mitigation are not compatible; growth has significant environmental and social costs. Consequently, critics of green growth (and subsequently the SDGs) are gravitating towards degrowth (which is not mentioned in the SDGs), whose goal is to reduce economic activity, reaching a level that is ecologically sustainable. Although degrowth has the virtue of recognising the concrete limits of global growth, it is still under development and has faced criticism, since it rarely presents implementable actions, with most research concentrating on conceptual essays. This project will integrate the postgrowth and resource nexus literatures to construct an analytical framework of indicators, to improve on existing SDG indicators (regarding water, energy, land, and materials), in a move away from green growth and decoupling principles, and towards principles of equity and sufficiency. The framework will consist of critical indicators accounting for embodied resource use to help towards an equitable downscaling of resource throughput. The extent of North and South’s “unequal exchange” will be quantified, critical resources and degrowth potential for different countries will be identified, while the limits to growth will be tested. Finally, this project will inform a meaningful discussion around green growth/postgrowth within the SDGs and elaborate specific and practical policy recommendations for the improvement of SDG indicators for both 2030 and beyond.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101064225
    Funder Contribution: 181,153 EUR

    NEARCOAST will advance our understanding of Neanderthal behavioural and foraging ecology, and the role of coastal environments to Neanderthal adaptive capacity and resilience through the Middle Palaeolithic. The project will apply a suite of bioarchaeological and molecular techniques on faunal remains recovered from key Neanderthal coastal sites (Figueira Brava, Complejo del Humo, Los Aviones and Üçağızlı II) located between the eastern Mediterranean and the Atlantic Europe. NEARCOAST will test the hypotheses that i) investment in shellfish procurement responded to a longitudinal gradient in intertidal profitability; ii) intertidal resources were mostly secured in colder months of the year, in response to the seasonally controlled altitudinal mobility of large ungulates, as proposed for Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolihic groups in these region. The fellow (Asier García-Escárzaga) is an archaeologist who integrates malacology, trace elements and shell stable isotopic analysis to study Mesolithic coastal adaptation. With NEARCOAST he will expand his research portfolio to the Middle Palaeolithic and receive training in vertebrate zooarchaeology, palaeoproteomic and on recent developments in trace elements. The project will elevate our scientific and public knowledge on Neanderthal coastal adaptation. It will expand the fellow’s transferable and specific skills in bioarchaeology, while placing him in a unique position for a career independence. NEARCOAST will make an impact in the field of Middle Palaeolithic Archaeology, and so doing will enhance the visibility of the fellow and institutions involved. The fellow will be supervised by Colonese (PI of the ERC-CoG project TRADITION), and will be part of the new generation of biomolecular archaeologists trained at the Department of Prehistory and the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 703966
    Overall Budget: 158,122 EURFunder Contribution: 158,122 EUR

    Historically, intersexuality has been a paradox for scientific, biological and sociological interpretation of sex. A body that does not correspond to normal parameters imposed by the medicalization process has been elusively understood by patriarchal and feminist discourses alike. Despite the importance of the sex/gender dichotomy for second wave feminism, this false dichotomy needs to be reviewed in light of the new queer and poststructuralist theories. Such an approach works to deconstruct the traditionalist boundaries constructed between nurture and nature and to rebuild a new concept of identity that includes our bodies’ sovereignty. The aim of this proposed project is to trace a postcolonial genealogy of intersexuality in the second half of Colombia’s twentieth century. Since the late 1950, Colombian medical discourses about sexuality and gender have been influenced by John Money’s (1921-2006), and Gregorio Marañón’s (1887–1960) theories. These two endocrinologists have been decisive in the consolidation of a worldwide concept of gender in the twentieth century. By doing a historic assessment of the theories of these two renowned scientists and studying their impact on Colombian medical discourses, we expect to unveil the network of postcolonial knowledge that has contributed to building the concepts of sex and gender in the Colombian context, as well as the historical construction of the medical and juridical concept of intersexuality as a disease. Currently, we know that at least one percent of the population is born as intersexual, and Colombia is the only country where the Constitutional Court has intervened and ruled in a case of a sex assignation. Today, diverse ways of being have to be defended; the denaturalization of patriarchal and heteronormative scientific discourses will contribute to the democratization of science and to greater inclusiveness in relation to gender diversity.


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