24 August 2016 - Press release
A study coordinated by researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and involving 12 groups from across Spain has, for the first time in this country, described the fact that diabetes mellitus not only increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular problems (myocardial infarction, stroke or heart failure), but also significantly increases mortality linked to cancer, infection, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hepatic and renal illnesses. The results have been published in the prestigious journal Diabetes Care.
16/08/2016 - Press release
An international project, The Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC), involving researchers from the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) as the only Spanish participant, has analysed the DNA that encodes proteins in 60,706 individuals from different ethnic groups and has presented the international scientific community with a catalogue that contains the mutations identified, their frequency and their arrangement on the DNA.The study has been published in the journal Nature and involved the analysis of ten times more individuals than in any previous study. DNA is the molecule within our cells that contains the information for making proteins, in the form of a sequence of four letters or bases [adenine (A), guanine (G ), thymine (T) and cytosine (C)]. In recent years we have developed technologies to sequence, i.e., read the order of these bases in a person's DNA. Changing one of these bases can sometimes alter the protein that the cell makes and lead to illness. For this reason, it is important to know what the normal sequence of bases in DNA is, the frequency of mutations (changes in the sequence of these bases), and where these changes take place, by making a catalogue and map of DNA mutations in humans.
02/08/2016 - Press release
A study including the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), the Duke Lemur Center, and Duke University has, for the first time, been looking at gene regulation in hibernating primates. They studied the fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius). This is a very little-studied species and exceptional as it is the only primate capable of hibernating, subsisting on the lipids it has stored in its tail over the rest of the year. The project is also one of the few works on hibernation that uses a modern technique known as RNAseq which provides a global view of which genes are expressed and quantifies these. This is the first genomic data on this species.
29/07/2016 - Press release
The prestigious journal PLoS Pathogens has just published an article on the results of the Malaria Box project, an initiative of the Medicines for Malaria Venture that has given free, open access to new families of antimalarial molecules to 200 laboratories from 30 countries. The purpose of the project is to encourage new pharmacological discoveries that make it possible to fight neglected diseases and other illnesses and, for the moment, it has already initiated more than a dozen projects aimed at developing new drugs for various diseases. The Systems Pharmacology research group at the IMIM was the only Catalan participant in this extensive study that also involved three other Spanish centres, in the Basque country (BIOBIDE), Galicia (University of Santiago de Compostela) and Madrid (GlaxoSmithKline R&D).
28/07/2016 - Press release
Cardiologists at the Hospital del Mar and researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) have developed a new tool that enables them to estimate atrial fibrillation risk using electrocardiogram indicators, basic clinical data, and parameters obtained through Holter monitors (small electronic devices that record and store a patient's electrocardiogram for 24 hours). The results of the project have just been published in the International Journal of Cardiology. Atrial fibrillation is a disease characterised by uncoordinated and disorganised atrial beats that produce a rapid and irregular heart rate. It is estimated that it affects between 1.5 and 2% of people in the developed world and the percentage increases with age.
20/07/2016 - Press release
Lung cancer is the most deadly cancer in the world, causing more than one and a half million deaths a year. The most common subtype of lung cancer is adenocarcinoma. The presence of other underlying conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is also responsible for a high mortality rate in industrialised regions, increases the risk of developing it. Despite recent progress in therapeutic strategies for combatting this disease, the majority of patients who are diagnosed do not survive for more than five years. It is a cancer that can develop silently for many months and, in some cases, the symptoms can be confused with other diseases, such as the already-mentioned COPD. This is why it is usually diagnosed in very advanced stages. To all these impediments, it is necessary to add the difficulty of finding an appropriate treatment for each patient, since there is a high level of resistance to currently-used drugs.
15/07/2016 - General information
Recently, Dr. Jordi Mestres, coordinator of the Systems Pharmacology research group at the IMIM was elected to the Scientific Advisory Board of the Chemical Probes portal, a free internet-based tool that allows researchers to look for the most appropriate chemical probe for their project, before they start their research.Chemical probes are very small molecules that interact with multiple proteins and they have had a huge impact in biomedical research as, if they are low quality, they can generate erroneous results. Understanding the interactions of these small molecules is key in the development of safer, more efficient drugs.
06/07/2016 - Press release
ICS Girona primary healthcare is carrying out a cardiovascular risk self-screening study (ACRISC), in which a thousand people are participating, for the self-management of cardiovascular disease risk. Through software developed specifically for this project, the users take part in the collection and processing of their health data (e.g., blood pressure, lipid profile, weight, and eating habits) and the system, based on the principles of empowerment and interactivity, offers each person tailor-made recommendations, particularly with regard to their diet and physical activity. The study is a collaboration between the Mar Institute of Medical Research (IMIM), the Primary Healthcare Research Support Unit in Girona (IDIAP Jordi Gol) and the Institute of Biomedical Research in Girona (IdIBGi). The first patients, who have been taking part since March and who are aged between 35 and 74, are from the EAP Montilivi and it is expected that they will soon be joined by further participants from the EAP Celrà, to provide profiles of both urban and rural populations.
20/06/2016 - Institutional news
The Research Programme into Epidemiology and Public Health now incorporates the "Healthy Cities and Environmental Justice" research group coordinated by Isabelle Anguelovski. This group at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), attached to the IMIM, focuses on the social determinants of healthy and fair cities and as well as the social and health impact of environmental inequality resulting from urban planning decisions and action. The group's coordinator joined the IMIM in early June and it is planned that the rest of the team will be incorporated in September. Isabelle Anguelovski is a senior researcher and principal investigator in the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) at the UAB. A social scientist specialising in urban and environmental planning (PhD, MIT, 2011), her research takes place at the meeting point between urban planning and politics, social inequality, and development studies.
15/06/2016 - Press release
Bioinformatics Barcelona Association (BIB) launches its websitewww.bioinformaticsbarcelona.eu, which aims to be a reference in the bioinformatic sector at national and international level, and to become the platform for communication and interaction among BIB's partners. Through this website, the association has enhanced its digital presence to become a meeting-point facilitator of initiatives and a think tank for the bioinformatic community. The portal contains sections on the BIB partners and their research groups in the bioinformatic field, and on education and training, job offers and internships, news, activities and news clipping, as well as a section with specific information on the association itself. The website aims to boost the international visibility of our ready-and-available bioinformatic strength, which, through collaboration among partners and together with external agents, can extend current limits to achieve increasingly ambitious goals.