The researcher from the University of Girona Xavi Ribas, awarded with ICREA Academia award

This is a recognition to the scientific career of Dr. Ribas during the past five years, especially in the field of organometallic chemistry of copper. The ICREA is a foundation promoted by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Business of the Catalan Government whose aim is to encourage research in Catalonia.

Xavi Ribas, a researcher in the Department of Chemistry of the University of Girona yesterday received the Academia Award ICREA from the minister of the Catalan Government Andreu Mas-Colell. This recognition is awarded by the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), and this year reaches its third edition. ICREA is a foundation promoted by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Business of the Catalan Government in order to boost research across Catalonia.

The award is a recognition of the research work of twenty-five lecturers in Catalan universities for the past five years and its main goal is to further enhance its scientific work. With the award of Dr. Ribas, Girona University now has three ICREA Academia (Miquel Solà, Miquel Costas and Xavi Ribas), in addition to three other researchers hired by the ICREA Senior program. Out of the six researchers honoured with one of the ICREA modalities, five belong to the field of chemistry and the last one to that of ICT (information and communication technologies).

Dr. Ribas has received this award mainly for his work in the field of organometallic chemistry of copper. His study focuses on the design of catalysts based on transition metals for functionalization reactions of organic substrates, ie it tries to find the ideal structure of a catalyst (usually a metal compound that acts as a reactor) so that a molecule is transformed into a different one during the manufacturing process of, for example, drugs or new materials. It also works with iron and manganese catalysts inspired in enzymes for hydrocarbon oxidation, and also in the design of nanoreactors based on supramolecular chemistry.

From Basel to Girona
Xavi Ribas was born in 1974 in Santa Coloma de Farners and in 1996 he graduated in Chemistry at the University of Girona. He submitted his PhD thesis in 2001 under the direction of Dr. Llobet, from the Inorganic Chemistry Research Group at the University of Girona. During this period he made two trips abroad to learn from two top researchers. He collaborated with Professor Zuberbühler at the University of Basel (Switzerland), and shortly after that, he traveled to the USA to work with Professor Stack, at Stanford University (California). When he returned to Catalonia he did postdoctoral studies at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona, ??under the supervision of professors Veciana and Rovira. In 2005 he received the Juan de la Cierva research grant and returned to Girona, where he became assistant professor of the University of Girona a year later. Shortly before that, together with Dr. Miguel Costas, he founded the QBIS (Bioinorganic and Supramolecular Chemistry) research group, with which he has led several research projects. He is coauthor of about fifty scientific articles and two book chapters.

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