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14 Sep 2018

News: CRAG’s director, José Luis Riechmann, awarded with the Narcís Monturiol Medal for the scientific and technological merit

José Luis Riechmann, ICREA research professor and director of CRAG, has been recognized this week with the Narcís Monturiol Medal. This annual award, instituted by the Catalan Government in 1982, honours individuals and organisations that have made an outsanding contribution to the development of science and technology in Catalonia. Riechmann is part of the group of nineteen personalities and an institution that have been distinguished by the Government of Catalonia with this award this year.


CRAG’s director, José Luis Riechmann

CRAG’s director, José Luis Riechmann

The scientific career of José Luis Riechmann in Catalonia began in 2007, when he joined the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) as an ICREA Research Professor. Riechmann had previously developed his scientific career in the United States (1993-2007), where he worked at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the start-up company Mendel Biotechnology.  His scientific career has covered the areas of plant virology (PhD, 1988-1992, Centre for Molecular Biology, Madrid), plant developmental biology and transcriptional regulation (1993-1998, Caltech); and genomics (since 1998; Caltech, Mendel Biotechnology, CRAG). Currently, his research focuses in the characterization and understanding of gene regulatory networks underlying plant development. In 2013, Riechmann was appointed director of CRAG, a Centre that was recognized as "Severo Ochoa" Centre of Excellence by the Spanish Ministry in 2015. Among the most significant contributions of his scientific career, there are the characterization of the molecular mechanisms of flower development and the comparative analysis of transcriptional regulators across the three eukaryotic kingdoms (Science, 2000), a seminal work that have received more than 1000 citations. More recently, other contributions have included the characterization of the floral development regulatory network (Science, 2010).


The organisation awarded with the Narcís Monturiol this year is the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), a public foundation created for the recruitment of the most talented and extraordinary scientists and academics. Currently, ICREA has 255 researchers from all fields of knowledge, who conduct research in universities and research centres in Catalonia, four of them at CRAG. 


With this new recognition, CRAG has now three researchers distinguished with the Narcís Monturiol Medal: Pere Puigdomènech (1992), Pere Arús (2003) and José Luis Riechmann (2018).