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  • Medicina Regenerativa
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  • Medicina Translacional

Round table: Career progression of women in the biomedical sciences

Round table organized by IDIBELL Seminars within the framework of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February).


Roser Nadal
Associate Professor, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain
Member of the Associación de Mujeres Investigadoras y Tecnólogas (AMIT), Spain



Roser Nadal is an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychobiology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). She obtained her PhD in Psychology in 1992 at the UAB, completed postdoctoral stays in 1996-1997 at Wake Forest University (NC, USA) and got a tenure position in 1998. In 2000, she was Visiting Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco (CA, USA), at the University of Colorado Boulder (CO, USA) in 2010 , and at the University of British Columbia (Canada) in 2013. Dr. Nadal obtained an ICREA Academia Award in Behavioral Sciences (2015-2019) and was awarded in the “LasTop 100” 2019 edition. She has co-authored more than 70 publications. She is a member of the board of Directors of the Institut de Neurociències at the UAB and she was previously the Vice-director (2010-2016). Dr. Nadal has been involved in a large number of outreach projects to disseminate public knowledge of Behavioral Neuroscience. She has been collaborating with several national and international funding agencies and scientific journals. Dr. Nadal has contributed to the formation of several researchers, supervising 13 PhD theses. She has been involved in several gender-related actions.


She has been studying in animal models: (1) the effects of acute and chronic exposure to stressors as putative animal models of post-traumatic stress disorders, and (2) the long-term effects of early stress (infantile and adolescent) on vulnerability to psychopathology (depression, anxiety, impulsivity, and drug addiction) and their intergenerational transmission. The ultimate goal of her research is to understand the factors that confer resilience or vulnerability to stress and the gender-related differences in those factors. Once identified individual differences related to resilience to the negative effects of stress it will be possible to find markers that may be used to identify populations at risk or “protected populations”.





Marga Frontera

Former Director General of Health Research, Government of the Balearic Islands, Spain



Marga Frontera was Director General of Health Research of the Government of the Balearic Islands from July 2015 until October 2019. During that period, her directorate led the definition of human resources in research policies for the Balearic Islands Health Research Institute, IdISBa. She previously served as Coordinator of Infrastructures and Laboratories in that same Institute, and as Scientific Office Manager at IDIBELL.

Prior to shifting careers into Science Management and Policy, she was a postdoctoral researcher in The Babraham Institute (Cambridge, UK) and in University Hospital Son Dureta (Palma, Spain), focusing in the study of energy metabolism and obesity and an associate lecturer at the University of the Balearic Islands. Frontera holds a Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and in Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Nutrition from the University of the Balearics Islands. 




Gisela Lorente

Head of Innovation Portfolio, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), Spain



Dr. Gisela Lorente is a PhD in Biomedicine by the University of Barcelona, she has been working as a scientist for more than 9 years in Spain and abroad. She has got also experience teaching in Spain and at the University of Leeds, UK. She acquired experience working in Tech Transfer at Medipex Ltd., a healthcare innovation hub connecting the NHS with industry and academia, sharing knowledge of the NHS and commercialization processes in the UK, for more than 2 years to come back to Barcelona and switch to the innovation field. She has been working at IDIBELL’s Business Development and Innovation Area for more than 3 years, where she is the Head of Innovation Portfolio.





Sonia Pernas

Associate Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain
Head of the Breast Cancer Unit, Medical Oncology Department, Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), Spain



Sonia Pernas is a breast medical oncologist with extensive clinical expertise and interest in clinical and translational research. After completing her Medical Oncology Internship at Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, in 2004, she joined the Breast Cancer Unit at the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), where she has been working as attending physician with full-time dedication during the past 15 years. Since 2013, she serves also as the head of the Breast Cancer Unit at the same institution. Recently, she was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Breast Oncology Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School in Boston from July 2017 through June 2019 to improve her skills in translational research. In addition to this, she has completed the 12-month Harvard Medical School High-Impact Cancer Research (HI-CR) program 2018-2019. 

Her main research interest is in HER2-positive breast cancer and gene expression. This interest is reflected in some of her publications and on the topic of her Ph.D. thesis, that she completed and defended in May 2017. Other areas of her interest include biomarkers of response/resistance to therapy in breast cancer and identifying novel actionable target genes in order to develop a rational combination of therapies. She has extensive experience in clinical research, being involved in many phases I-IV breast cancer clinical trials as principal investigator (PI) and co-PI. She is a member of the American Society of Oncology (ASCO), the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), the Spanish Society for Medical Oncology (SEOM) and serves as a member of the Executive Committee and of the Scientific Committee of the Spanish cooperative group of SOLTI.   




Moderator: Marina Rigau