ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences

ICFO ‐ The Institute of Photonic Sciences ( was created in 2002 by the regional government of Catalonia and the Technical University of Catalonia. The Institute was launched with the mission to become a world‐leading research center in Photonics. ICFO currently hosts more than 250 researchers organized in 23 research groups working in 60 state‐of‐the‐art research laboratories, equipped with the latest experimental facilities and supported by a range of cutting‐edge facilities for nanofabrication, characterization, imaging and engineering. The Institute is located in a specially designed, 14.000 m2‐ building situated in the Mediterranean Technology Park in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. ICFO is represented in the project by two groups/units: ICFO‐Medical Optics group (ICFO) and ICFO‐Knowledge and Technology Transfer unit (ICFO‐KTT).

Key Staff

Dr. Turgut Durduran , Project Coordinator for LUCA, is a professor/group leader at ICFO and the recipient of a Ramon y Cajal fellowship from the Spanish government. He has found the ICFO‐Medical Optics group in 2009 when he joined ICFO as an assistant professor/junior group leader. In 2014, he has received his tenure and became a professor/group leader. He also holds an adjunct assistant professor position in the Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, USA). He has led as a principal investigator or participated as a work‐package leader/CO‐PI in several collaborative research projects funded by national, regional and European institutions. He has coordinated two multi‐partner projects from the Spanish government and is a WP leader in two European projects‐ OILTEBIA and BabyLux. He has recently completed a project funded jointly by the Catalan autonomous government and the European Union which has led to the formation of a spin‐off company, HemoPhotonics (Spain). Over the years, he has participated in many grant review boards ranging from the National Institutes of Health to the review of the FP7 projects at the European Commission. He has authored 68 peer‐reviewed papers and delivered forty invited talks in international conferences and colloquia.

Dr. Silvia Carrasco heads Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) at ICFO. She also serves as vice‐president of the Spanish mirror of the European Platform Photonics21 since February 2009 and is also a Member of the Board of SECPhO, the Southern European Cluster in Photonics and Optics since 2013. She has a broad experience in IPR management. In particular she has built at ICFO a Corporate Liaison Program that serves as a bridge for ICFO and all types of industries and corporations to achieve common goals. Her experience in fostering collaborative projects between ICFO and all types of corporations includes the establishment of worldwide relationships with photonic manufactures, photonics distributors, and photonic users in different sectors. In LUCA, Silvia leads the exploitation and dissemination efforts from ICFO’s side.

Núria Charles-Harris is a European projects manager at the ICFO’s Project Managment Unit, where she is responsible for the administrative management and follow-up of FP7 projects coordinated by ICFO. Within LUCA, she is involvend in the contractual and financial management of the project.

Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS)

The Consorci Institut D'Investigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS) is a public research centre dedicated to translational research in the field of biomedicine. Its mission is to integrate state of the art basic research and qualty clinical research. Founded in 1996, IDIBAPS is formed by the Catalan Ministry of Economy and Knowledge (DEC), the University of Barcelona's Faculty of Medicine (UB), the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona (HCB) and the Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques de Barcelona of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (IIBB‐CSIC). As such HCB can be considered a third party of IDIBAPS. IDIBAPS/HCB is a leader in the Spanish and European research and it is very active in scientific research, with a number of publications in constant growth. In 2012 there were 1.026 original publications in high impact factor scientific journals. Moreover, IDIBAPS has a strong track record working in European and Transcontinental projects and with a dedicated European and International Projects Office.

Key Staff

Prof. Ramon Gomis de Barbarà is director of the IDIBAPS and Senior Consultant in Endocrinology. He has extensive experience in clinical, translational and basic research in endocrinology. As a researcher he has been especially involved in the study of type 2 diabetes and obesity but during his career he has gained important experience in the management and coordination of national, European and Intercontinental projects as well in clinical as in basic research. He is head of the “Laboratory of Diabetes and obesity” at IDIBAPS and at Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM) and, head of the Grup de Recerca Consolidat from Generalitat de Catalunya. His bibliography includes more than 250 original papers published in first quartile journals in endocrinology, he has conducted 29 doctoral thesis and been the principal investigator of more than 50 research projects granted by national and international public agencies, such as Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias, Comisión Asesora de Investigación Científica y Técnica, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Comisión Interministerial de Ciencia y Tecnología, and the European Union (several programmes). He has had significant positions in many national and international committees and societies and has received several awards, the most recent, the ‘Creu de Sant Jordi de la Generalitat de Catalunya’ in 2013. His role in this project is the coordination of the clinical part and to provide the group with the research experience required for this proposal.

Mireia Mora Porta is a clinical endocrinologist whose main field is related to screening, diagnosis and treatment of endocrine neoplasia (thyroid, hypophysis, adrenal and neuroendocrine tumours). Her main clinical focus is thyroid pathology and she is specialised in thyroid ultrasound (she has performed more than 270 ultrasounds/year and more than 100 FNABs/year in the last 4 years). In parallel to her clinical care activities, she has participated as a research collaborator in international studies of endocrine pathology (acromegaly, thyroid cancer and neuroendocrine tumours). Her experience in thyroid pathology and ultrasound will help in the project of the screening and evaluation of thyroid nodules and the differentiation between benign and malignant nodules with diffuse optics. Her involvement in the LUCA project is to select study subjects, evaluation of the subjects with the different techniques used in the study and to assess both present results and future perspectives of these techniques. As a member of the Catalan Endocrine Society (Societat Catalana d’Endocrinologia i Nutrició ‐SCEN‐), of the Catalan Consortium for the Study of Thyroid Cancer (Consorci per l’estudi del Càncer de Tiroides ‐CeCAT‐), Spanish Endocrine Society (Sociedad Española de Endocrinología y Nutrición ‐SEEN‐) and the American Endocrine Society, she will contribute to the dissemination of the project’s results.

Mattia Squarcia has been working as radiologist in the Neuroradiology and Head and Neck Radiology Section of the Radiology Department of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (HCB) since January 2006. He is especially dedicated to cervical and thyroid ultrasound (from January 2006 until today he has performed about 960 cervical ultrasounds/year) and to interventional procedures guided by ultrasound (from January 2006 until today he has performed about 400 FNAB of cervical lesions: thyroid, salivary glands, lymph nodes and soft tissue.) I am member of the Endocrinology Committee of the HCB, as representative of the Neuroradiology Section, in the diagnosis, the stratification and assessment of response to treatment of endocrine tumours by different imaging techniques (ultrasound, CT and MRI). He is dedicated to teaching cervical ultrasound to radiology residents of the Radiology department and to medical students of the Medicine school of the University of Barcelona.

He has collaborated with the endocrinologist of the hospital in different publications on thyroid imaging and he has been professor of thyroid ultrasound at the Congress the Spanish Society of Endocrinology for 5 years. His involvement in this project is to select study subjects, evaluation of the subjects with the different techniques used in the study and to assess both present results and future perspectives of these techniques.


HemoPhotonics S.L. is a private company (, founded in April 2013 in Castelldefels (Barcelona), Spain as a spin‐off from ICFO ‐ The Institute of Photonic Sciences. The company is dedicated to the development of near infrared spectroscopy devices for non‐invasive optical measurements on hemodynamic parameters with special expertise in diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS). HemoPhotonics has launched the first commercially available device based on DCS, the diffuse optical Neuro‐Monitor Hemo‐FloMo for research applications. In the first years of existence, several units of the Neuro‐Monitor have been sold. As a young company, a team of three engineers/physicist offers professional expertise in diffuse optics, software and electronic development and works with a network of local providers specialized in fabrication technologies according to its mission “Light Advances Medical Technology”.

Key Staff

Dr. Udo Michael Weigel is the co‐founder and CEO of HemoPhotonics S.L. After his PhD in experimental physics, he started as postdoc/research associate at the Max‐Planck‐Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2009, he joined theMedical Optics Group at ICFO with its focus on medical applications of diffuse optics. Within the “DocNeuro” project funded by the Catalan autonomous government and the European Union in 2011, the possibility opened up to work on and co‐lead the development of the pre‐commercial prototype. A careful evaluation of its research market potential allowed for the foundation of HemoPhotonics pursuing the present commercialization of the technology and taking the exciting path towards the medical device market. In LUCA, Udo Weigel is involved in the development of sub‐systems, the integration of the photonics technologies and working with other partners to carry out the exploitation activities.