Board of Directors

The A4U is an independent legal entity with a transparent, flexible and participative organizational structure. It has a Board of Directors and a General Assembly, which hold ordinary meetings at least once a year.

The Board of Directors is appointed for a two-year term, and the presidency rotates between the four partner universities. The A4U’s Board of Directors consists of a president, a secretary and a treasurer, all from the university holding the presidency, and three vice-presidents, representing each of the three remaining universities.

The General Assembly includes the members of the Board of Directors as well as representatives of the other A4U partners. The Alliance’s various working groups report to the General Assembly on their work and the status of their projects.

In 2018, UAB assumed the presidency of the A4U. Currently, the members of the Board of Directors are as follows.

Ángel Arias, rector of UC3M

An Industrial Engineer and a Doctor of Industrial Engineering from UC3M, Ángel Arias is a University Professor in the Continuum Mechanics and Structural Analysis Department. Author of numerous publications in internationally prestigious journals, he currently leads research projects focused on optimising 3D printing processes. He is a member of the Multibiostructures multidisciplinary team, part of a wide network of international collaborations.

He is its current rector since April 2023.

Rafael Garesse, rector of UAM

Prof. Rafael Garesse is the rector of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid since June 2017. Doctor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Universidad Complutense of Madrid (1981), he followed the training program in Clinical Biochemistry in the Hospital Puerta de Hierro (Madrid). He has been visiting professor at the Institute of Genetics of the University of Glasgow (UK) and the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Biology of the CNRS in Strasbourg (F). Full Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Medicine of the UAM, his line of research has focused on the study of various aspects of mitochondrial physiopathology.

Dr. Garesse was vice president of the committee of human resources of the Spanish Institute of Health from 2004 to 2007 and president from 2007 to 2009. He was vice-rector of research of the UAM since July 2009 to May 2017. He is the author of more than 100 scientific publications in the field of mitochondrial and metabolic diseases, PI of more than 30 projects funded by national and international agencies and supervisor of 20 PhD thesis.

Javier Lafuente, rector of UAB

Javier Lafuente is University Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He graduated in Chemical Sciences, specialising in Technical Chemistry, in 1982, and obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering with cum laude in 1988. He has carried out research stays at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of
California and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Dr Lafuente is director of the BIO-GLS Technology Centre for the Comprehensive Treatment of Gaseous Emissions, Liquid Effluents and Solid Waste, which forms part of the TECNIO network, and is head of the consolidated research group for the Biological Treatment of Liquid and Gaseous Effluents and the Elimination of Nutrients, Odours and Volatile Organic Compounds (GENOCOV).

Dr Lafuente has been director of the Department of Chemical Engineering (2004-2010) and Vice-Rector of Innovation and Strategic Projects (from 2016 to 2020). He has also been coordinator of the degree in Chemical Engineering and Rector’s Delegate at the Polytechnic University School of the Environment (EUPMA). He has also been a member of the Economy and Organisation and International Relations committees on the UAB Governing Council.

He is rector of UAB since the 13th of November 2020.

Laia de Nadal, rector of UPF

Laia de Nadal (Barcelona, 1972) graduated in Veterinary Science from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and subsequently completed her doctorate in the same discipline, specializing in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, in 2000. Later, she did postdoctoral research stays as a Ramón y Cajal researcher at the Pompeu Fabra University and the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich.

She is currently a professor at the Department of Medicine and Life Sciences (MELIS) at Pompeu Fabra University. He teaches the degrees in Human Biology and Biomedical Engineering, and also directs several doctoral theses.

In terms of research, she co-directs the Cell Signaling Research Group, affiliated to the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute, which studies how cells respond and adapt to changes in their environment. The group focuses on characterizing the signaling process, the biological targets and the regulation of physiological functions, such as the cell cycle and the expression of genes necessary for the organism’s adaptation to stress. In addition, she is a member of different scientific panels and has been awarded the ICREA Academy award in the 2012 and 2020 editions.

In the field of management, she has been deputy director of the Department of Health and Life Sciences, and since May 2021 she held the position of vice-rector of Knowledge Transfer at the UPF.

She is rector of UPF since March 2023.

Secretary: Antonio Perdices, Secretary General of UAM

Treasurer: Teodoro Conde, Executive Administrator of UAM

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