LOGO WHITE Colloquium-05Worldwide scientific leaders on trending topics at INL




Free entrance. Attendees that are not INL members have to do a previous registration. Please click here in order to register for the next speaker session: REGISTER HERE

March 21st, 12h00 – 13h00 | 2019

Director of the Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

May 16th | 2019

IBM Research Scientist, Zurich

June 14th | 2019

General Director of the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO), Spain

“Role of Telomeres in cancer and aging”

July 18th | 2019

Researcher director in the CNRS/Thales lab in France CNRS/ThalesPalaiseau, France

“Neuromorphic computing: overview and challenges”

November 26th | 2019

Director of the Nano/Pico Characterization Laboratory, the California Nanosystems Institute,
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA

“The evolution of Scanned Probe Microscopy to atomically precise manufacture from 1983 to 2019”

Director of the Center on Nanotechnology-Enabled, Water Treatment
Rice University, USA

Arben Merkoçi

December 12th, 11h00 | 2019

Institut Català de Nanociencia i Nanotecnologia (ICN2), Barcelona

logo color Colloquium-03

Meet our delightful panel of speakers

Get direct contact with inspirational speakers and leaders, who will talk about cutting-edge challenges in contemporary research.
Leo Gross

Leo Gross
Head of the atom and molecule manipulation group,
IBM Research scientist, Zurich


María Blasco
General Director of the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO), Spain


James Gimzewski

Director of the Nano/Pico Characterization Laboratory, the California Nanosystems Institute,
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA


Pedro Alvarez

Director of the Center on Nanotechnology-Enabled, Water Treatment
Rice University, USA


Arben Merkoçi

ICREA Research Professor and Group Leader,
Institut Català de Nanociencia i Nanotecnologia (ICN2), Barcelona


Join us each monthly talk with new ideas & discussions



Dr. Leo Gross, is the head of the atom and molecule manipulation group at the IBM Research – Zurich Laboratory (  He and his team study on-surface reactions by scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). His previous research includes some of the most important breakthroughs in the imaging and manipulation of single molecules and atoms using Atomic and Scanning Force Microscopy Techniques. Among other prizes he has been recognized with the Gerhard Ertl Young Investigator Award in 2010 and the Feynman Prize for Nanotechnology in 2012.  He is since 2016 the principal investigator of the  ERC Consolidator Grant AMSEL  for the study of molecular structure using AFM.

Maria A. Blasco

Scientific Director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO)
Head of the Telomeres and Telomerase Group
Maria A. Blasco is a molecular biologist devoted to the study of telomeres and telomerase and their role in cancer and aging. Maria contributed to identify the mammalian telomerase genes and generated the first mice without telomerase. These mice were instrumental to demonstrate that short telomeres are sufficient to induce aging. Maria´s Group also demonstrated that it is possible to delay aging and age-related diseases by activating the telomerase enzyme.
Since 2011, she is also the Director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid.  Among other awards, Blasco has received the Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award, the Körber European Science Award, the  EMBO Gold Medal, and the National Science Award Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Blasco has received three Doctorate Honoris Causa in Spain: Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, Spain (2014), Universidad of Alicante (2017) and Universidad of Murcia (2018).

In the last five years, Artificial Intelligence has made striking progress, now defeating humans at subtle strategy games, such as Go, and even Poker. However, these algorithms are running on traditional processors which have a radically different architecture than the biological neural networks they are inspired from. This considerably slows them down and requires massive amounts of electrical power, more than ten thousand times what the brain typically needs to function. This energy dissipation is not only becoming an environmental issue, but it also sets a limit to the size of neural networks that can be simulated. We are at a point where we need to rethink the way we compute, and build hardware chips directly inspired from the architecture of the brain. This is a challenge. Indeed, contrarily to current electronic systems, the brain is a huge parallel network closely entangling memory and processing.


In this talk, I will review the current efforts at building neuromorphic chips of the future, which imply redesigning CMOS circuits, and inventing novel nanodevices for synapses and neurons. I will present recent achievements in neuromorphic computing, highlight current challenges, as well as the fascinating perspectives of this emerging field.

Prof. Jim Gimzewski is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also the Director of the Nano & Pico Characterization Core Facility of the California NanoSystems Institute and the Scientific Director of the Art|Sci Center and Principal Investigator and Satellites Co-Director of the WPI Center for Materials NanoArchitectonics (MANA) in Japan. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society. Dr. Gimzewski pioneered research on mechanical and electrical contacts with single atoms and molecules using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and was one of the first persons to image molecules with STM. His past accomplishments include the first STM-based fabrication of molecular supra structures at room temperature using mechanical forces to push molecules across surfaces, the discovery of single-molecule rotors. He also developed new micro-nano sensors based on nanotechnology. His current interests are in the nanomechanics of cells and bacteria where he collaborates with the UCLA Medical and Dental Schools.

Prof. Pedro J.J. Alvarez is the George R. Brown Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University and also the Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center on Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT). His research interests include environmental implications and applications of nanotechnology, bioremediation, fate and transport of toxic chemicals, water footprint of biofuels, water treatment and reuse, and antibiotic resistance control. He is the 2012 Clarke Prize laureate and also won the 2014 AAEES Grand Prize for Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science. Past honours include President of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP), the AEESP Frontiers in Research Award, the WEF McKee Medal for Groundwater Protection, the SERDP cleanup project of the year award, the Brown and Caldwell lifetime and Achievement Award for Site Remediation. Prof. Alvarez was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2018.

Arben Merkoçi is currently ICREA Professor and director of the Nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group at Institut Català de Nanociencia i Nanotecnologia (ICN2), part of Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST). After his PhD (1991) at Tirana University (Albania), in the topic of Ion-Selective-Electrodes (ISEs) Dr Merkoçi worked as postdoc and senior researcher/invited professor in the field of nanobiosensors and lab-on-a-chip technologies in Italy, Spain, USA and since 2006 at ICN2. Prof. Merkoçi research is focused on the design and application of cutting edge nanotechnology and nanoscience based cost/efficient biosensors. The paper/plastic-based nanobiosensors involve the integration of biological molecules (DNA, antibodies, cells and enzymes) and other (bio)receptors with micro- and nanostructures/motors and applied in diagnostics, environmental monitoring or safety and security. He has published around 300 peer review research papers (H index: 61 WOS; 74 GS), supervised 30 PhD students and has been invited to give plenary lectures and keynote speeches in around 200 occasions in various countries. Prof. Merkoçi is Co-Editor in Chief of Biosensors and Bioelectronics and member of Editorial Board of other journals. He is the co-founder of two spin-off companies, PaperDrop dedicated to nanodiagnostics and GraphenicaLab to electronic printing.