The course

Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB)

The Biomedicine course from the Crazy about Science programme of the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation is a course developed by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) for A-Level students who want to explore some of the fascinating discoveries currently being made in the life sciences. Through this course, students will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of scientific theory and techniques in the field of biomedicine. They will work together with young researchers to experience how science is done at an international research institute, gain practical experience in the latest cutting-edge methodologies, and position themselves for a possible career in the life sciences.

The course will be held on different Saturdays between January and November 2020 at IRB Barcelona's facilities.

This course combines theory sessions and hands-on experimental activities, which will be held over 18 Saturdays a year. The course will cover 12 current scientific topics, from cellular and molecular biology to structural and computational biology and chemistry, presented by young researchers at IRB Barcelona. The course will be divided into two semesters (January-April and September-November) and each will cover 6 different topics. Each semester will have the same structure: during the first three Saturdays theoretical sessions will be held to examine each of the six research projects, and during the following six Saturdays the participants will be divided into groups of 4 people who will go into the laboratories for the practical sessions. So the groups will rotate and every Saturday a different practical session will be based on a real research project of IRB Barcelona and with the help of a young researcher who will tutor them for that particular experiment.

Participating students must commit to attending all course sessions throughout the year.

Registration for the Biomedicine course of the Crazy about Biomedicine programme will be open from 16 September to 24 October 2019 and among all those enrolled there will be 24 students selected from the 1st year of A-Levels who will participate in the 8th edition of the course within the 8th edition of the Crazy about Science programme that will take place in 2020.

Specific objectives

Academic studies

  • To foster among young people the scientific vocations linked to the world of biomedical sciences, helping to guide their academic and professional future.
  • It provides the opportunity for your A-Level Research Project to be tutored by a leading research centre.


  • Bringing students closer to biomedical research.
  • Understand the importance of basic research and its benefits to society.
  • Understand the importance of multidisciplinarity.
  • Discover the operation of the research centres linked to biomedicine.

Personal skills

  • Working in teams.
  • Promote critical thinking.
  • Learn to present and communicate science in an understandable way.


Semester 1

1. Interacting is living, living is interacting (structural biology).

2. Targeting cell signaling pathways to treat cancer (part 1).

3. Identifying new genes involved in brain size regulation.

4. Mirror, mirror on the wall… who’s the most helpful insect of them all? – Getting to know tumorigenesis through the fly (Drosophila).

5. Proteins: powerful tools in biomedicine.

6. Dealing with stress (in yeasts).

See detailed information in this link.

Semester 2

1. How pro-metastatic fats impact the proteome?

2. Ageing and senescence.

3. Organic chemistry.

4. Microtubules: The cytoskeletal biopolymers essential for the cell division.

5. Unraveling the molecular structure of life.

6. Targeting cell signaling pathways to treat cancer (part 2).


See detailed information in this link.

11 January from 10 am to 2 pm
2 talks on two different topics
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)