In October 2023, Stanford University updated the science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators. These databases includes the list of most relevant researchers worldwide, according to citations in 2022. Universitat Rovira i Virgili was ranked as the third university in Spain and Catalonia, with TecnATox as the URV research center with more investigators.


The report includes a double analysis: on one hand, it takes into account the activity of the last year (citations received in 2022) and, on the other, data from the entire academic career (citations received until 2022). In the first case, the 2 former co-Directors of TecnATox, Prof. José Luis Domingo and Prof. Marta Schuhmacher, were ranked in the 1st and 16th positions. Additionally, Prof. Mònica Bulló, current co-director of our institution was also included as the 14th most influential researcher according to the number of accumulated citations in 2022


Furthermore, all of them were also included in the ranking according to the number of citations received in 2022, a list which also adds Dr. Montse Marquès, co-director of TecnATox and current Marie Curie Research Fellow at Columbia University (New York).


As abovementioned, TecnATox is the URV technological center with the highest rate of researchers: 4 in the fist list and 5 in the second one, as Dr. Martí Nadal has been also ranked there (21st and 15th, respectively)


The conclusion is clear: the fact that not only the former co-directors of TecnATox but also the current ones are in the databases of standardized citation indicators is a clear indication that TecnATox future is in good hands.

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Nerea Carrión and David Mateo, postgraduate students of TecnATox, presented their posters at the 10th Annual World Meeting on Targeting Microbiota between October 17-19 in Venice, Italy. Hosted by the International Society of Microbiota, the event has covered the latest breakthroughs in this evolving and fascinating field.

Both Nerea and David conduct their research in the framework of the official project entitled DEM-BIOTA (DEMentias and microBIOTA composition: Microbiota in dementias. Is possible to revert the dementia symptoms reverting the microbiota composition?), which is led by their PhD supervisor Dr. Marga Torrente.
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Dr. Montse Marquès will be chairing the session entitled “Unveiling the chemical exposure: Insights from human biomonitoring and its influence on adverse health outcomes” announced within Track 3 “Environmental Chemistry and Exposure Assessment: Analysis, Monitoring, Fate and Modelling” at the SETAC Europe 34th Annual Meeting. We encourage all exposome enthusiasts to submit an abstract before 29 November 2023.

We hope to see you in Seville from 5 to 9 May 2024!

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Microplastics filtered by sewage treatment plants re-enter the environment through soil fertilizers.
This is the main conclusion of a research team of TecnATox, led by Dr. Joaquim Rovira and Dr. Nora Expósito, who analyzed several samples of water and sludge from different units at a wastewater treatment plant. The results showed  that, although 96% of the microplastics disappear from the treated water, these are deposited in the sewage sludge, which is often used as fertilizer in agriculture and can pose significant risks to to health and ecosystems.
In every kilogram of sludge, the researchers estimated an approximate amount of 100,000 microplastics. As they highlighted, "these particles can help to accumulate and transport heavy metals and other chemical pollutants, thus increasing environmental and human health risks". In addition, "microplastics can be ingested by terrestrial microorganisms and enter our food chain".


Pollution by microplastics is a global environmental problem, present in all natural ecosystems (water, soil and air) and which concerns not only the scientific community, but also society in general. Microplastics are non-biodegradable synthetic particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm, which can enter natural ecosystems in several ways, one of the main ways being water treatment plants.


More information from this study can be found at the following scientific paper:

Lara Dronjak, Nora Exposito, Jordi Sierra, Marta Schuhmacher, Karin Florencio, Beatriz Corzo, Joaquim Rovira, Tracing the fate of microplastic in wastewater treatment plant: A multi-stage analysis of treatment units and sludge, Environmental Pollution, Volume 333, 2023,122072, ISSN 0269-7491,


TV3, the Catalan public television, echoed this news at TN Comarques:

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Nerea Carrión and David Mateo, postgraduate students of TecnATox, attended the 36th ECNP Congress, which took place in Barcelona between October 7-10. The annual ECNP Congress is Europe’s largest meeting in applied and translational neuroscience, and it is organized by the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Both Nerea and David conduct their research in the framework of the official project entitled DEM-BIOTA (DEMentias and microBIOTA composition: Microbiota in dementias. Is possible to revert the dementia symptoms reverting the microbiota composition?), which is led by their PhD supervisor Dr. Marga Torrente.

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On 3-5 October, we have been in Malta learning and sharing experiences about circular economy education and entrepreneurship at the LTTA hosted by the MECB in the framework of the DISCERN Erasmus Plus Project. The training was focused on:

  • Industry Green transformation – circular design of products
  • Resource-intensive sectors transformation – Plastic
  • Towards biodiversity and ecological transformation of companies
  • Disruptive innovation management for monitoring and optimizing circular economy Performance
  • Rethinking companies’ business model for sustainable development & business plan
  • Public and private start-up financing opportunities for sustainable growth.

More information about the project:

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Dr. Vikas Kumar and his team will be involved in a new EU project, which is named MERLON (Merging scientific evidence with regulatory practices and leveraging identification of endocrine disruptors using new approach methodologies) and will be coordinated by the Technical University of Denmark [DTU].


There will be 11 prominent EU institutions participating: (1) Technical University of Denmark, Denmark DTU, 2) Vrije Universiteit, Netherland VUA, 3) Karolinska Institute, Sweden KI, 4) Research Institute For Environmental And Occupational Health, France IRSET, 5) The Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark REGIONH, 6) University of Lieg, Belgium ULIEGE, 7) Pere Virgili Institute for Health Research, Spain IISPV, 8) National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Netherland RIVM, 9) University of Cordoba, Spain UCO, 10) Health and Environment Alliance, Belgium HEAL, and 11) Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Norway NIVA).


The project will last 5 years and it will start from December 2023. MERLON is focused on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) by developing the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework, especially quantitative AOP networks, and increasing the availability of human-relevant new approach methodologies (NAMs) to bridge the gap between science and policy needed to advance regulatory decision making and reduce health impacts of EDCs. Therefore, the focused endpoint will be reproductive toxicity after exposure to EDCs.
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The Erasmus + Project “DISCERN-A customised Digital Space to Foster Circular Economy Entrepreneurship with SMEs” has released the fourth newsletter. We invite you to read it in Spanish or English by clicking on this news.

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EUROTOX Congress 2023, which took place in September 10-13, was the scenario where Prof. José L. Domingo, Emeritus Professor and co-Founder of TecnATox, received the 2023 EUROTOX Merit Award.

This Award, created by the Federation of European Toxicologists and European Societies of Toxicology, is presented annually to recognize professionals with a distinguished career in European toxicology. In this particular case, it was based on his professional career and his contributions in the field, as well as his extensive list of European and International publications.

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