ICREA Academia

Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo

ICREA Academia UPC 2009 & UPF 2014

Universitat Pompeu Fabra · Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo obtained his PhD in statistical physics at the University of Barcelona in 1995. He did postdoctoral work at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in 1996, working on laser dynamics, and at the Humboldt University of Berlin in 1998 as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, studying noise effects in excitable media. In 2003 he was IGERT Visiting Professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, at which time he began working in the field of systems biology. In 2008 he became Full Professor at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, where he had been teaching applied physics since 1991. He is Visiting Research Associate in Biology at the California Institute of Technology since 2006, and joined the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in October 2012.

Research interests

We are interested in the dynamics of living systems, from unicellular organisms to human beings. We use dynamical phenomena to identify the molecular mechanisms of cellular processes, such as bacterial stress responses, spatial self-organization in bacterial biofilms, cellular decision making, and the immune response to cytokine signaling. Using a combination of theoretical modeling and experimental tools such as time-lapse fluorescence microscopy and microfluidics, we investigate dynamical phenomena including biochemical pulses and oscillations, and study how multiple instances of these processes coexist inside the cell in a coordinated way. At a larger level of organization, we use conductance-based neural models to explain the emergence of collective rhythms in cortical networks. We also work on developing a global description of brain activity by means of mesoscopic neural-mass models, which allows us to link the structural properties of brain networks with their function.


Nonlinear Science, Systems Biology, Systems Neuroscience, Statistical Physics, Complex Systems