IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

News

  • 14/10/2015 - Press release

    A step forward in obtaining blood stem cells in laboratory

    An international study led by researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) published in the journal Nature Communications has revealed that the intensity or efficiency of the activation of a protein called Notch, which is involved in the different phases of embryonic development, determines the fate of cells, i.e. if cells will form the aorta artery or blood (hematopoietic) stem cells. For artery cells, many Notch molecules need to be activated, whereas for hematopoietic cells many fewer are needed. According to Dr. Anna Bigas, the coordinator of the group on stem cells and cancer at IMIM “to reach these levels of activation, we have proven that there is a competition between two proteins that activate the Notch molecule, i.e. between two ligands, in a way that one limits the activation generated by the other to form hematopoietic stem cells”. Until now it was known, thanks to the studies conducted by this same group and others, that the Notch activation was essential to form arteries and hematopoietic stem cells. It was also known that the proteins responsible for this activation were ligands Delta4 and Jagged1, respectively. With this study, researchers have shown how this signal works to reach a certain level of activation and form the two different types of cells.

    Més informació "A step forward in obtaining blood stem cells in laboratory"

  • 09/10/2015 - Institutional news

    IMIM receives funding from the IOC to conduct innovative anti-doping research

    In its mission to protect and promote clean athletes, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is financing and backing seven innovative research projects in the fight against doping, which include a project by Dr Jordi Segura, coordinator of the research group on bioanalysis and analytic services at IMIM. The project is entitled ‘Developments for improving compliance with blood testing, a fundamental but minimally implemented tool in doping control (EASY BLOOD)’ and its purpose is to explore and validate the applicability of the use of new matrices (dried blood spot and capillary sampling) to replace the blood sample collection methods that are currently used to control doping (which are whole blood, plasma and serum). The seven projects funded are from Australia, Spain and the United Kingdom and were selected from among the applications received from throughout the world in the two calls opened by the IOC.

    Més informació "IMIM receives funding from the IOC to conduct innovative anti-doping research"

  • 21/09/2015 - Press release

    Novel gene implicated in osteoporosis

    An uncommon variant of the gene EN1 contributes to bone mineral density and osteoporotic fractures, according to a study recently published in the journal Nature. Daniel Grinberg, expert in the Department of Genetics of the University of Barcelona (UB) and member of the Institute of Biomedicine of the UB (IBUB), has participated in the study. Xavier Nogués and Natàlia Garcia Giralt, experts at the Service of Internal Medicine of the Hospital del Mar and the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) also participate in the study, which is led by Brent Richards, professor at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). The study is also part of a research line on bone pathologies developed by the Centre for Biomedical Network Research on Rare Diseases (CIBERER), led by professors Daniel Grinberg and Susana Balcells (Department of Genetics of the UB and IBUB) with the collaboration of experts on internal medicine from the Hospital del Mar and the IMIM.  

    Més informació "Novel gene implicated in osteoporosis"

  • 18/09/2015 - General information

    De novo genes, how are they originated?

    Some time ago it was believed that new genes originated, at least partially, from other genes; for instance, from the duplication of existing genes. But recently it has been seen that there are certain genes, those called de novo genes, that originate in genomic regions that didn’t contain any genes previously. A study published in arXiv.org, led by Mar Albà, the coordinator of the Group on Evolutionary Genomics from the Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB) from IMIM and the UPF and an ICREA Professor, and with the collaboration of scientists from different centres at the PRBB (Barcelona Biomedical Research Park), has revealed there are hundreds of de novo genes originated in humans, many of which where unknown until now. Some of these genes are coded through small proteins that are expressed in the brain or in germinal cells. 

    Més informació "De novo genes, how are they originated?"

  • 07/09/2015 - Press release

    New clues on the genetic basis of myocardial infarction

    The CARDIoGRAMplusC4D Consortium, an international project in which researchers from theIMIM (Hospital del Mar Medial Research Institute) participated as the only Spanish participants, has identified 58 DNA loci or regions, 10 of which are new, linked to the risk of experiencing an ischemic heart disease. These 58 loci, besides confirming the relevance of controlling cholesterol levels and inflammation, identify in a novel way the relevance of the functioning of the arterial wall in the origin of this disease. The study is published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics and is the first to have systematically analysed 2.7 million rare genetic characteristics. Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death in industrialised countries and can appear as an angina pectoris, a myocardial infarction and, sometimes, as sudden death. It is known that genetic factors account for 40 to 50% of the risk of suffering the disease, and this explains why great efforts are being invested to identify the genetic characteristics associated to this pathology, after 48 genetic characteristics have been identified in previous studies, some of which by this same research group.

    Més informació "New clues on the genetic basis of myocardial infarction"

  • 29/06/2015 - Institutional news

    IMIM is awarded by the European Commission with the “HR Excellence in Research” logotype.

    Dated June 2015, Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) has been recognized by the European Commission with the “HR Excellence in Research” award. This recognition highlights IMIM’s commitment towards adopting the general principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter&Code) and gives its full support to the improvement of human resources internal policies and procedures. This recognition of excellence is an opportunity to establish a global and cohesive human resources strategy which will allow for an international visibility provided by a stimulating work environment and favorable working conditions for research.

    Més informació "IMIM is awarded by the European Commission with the “HR Excellence in Research” logotype."

  • 18/05/2015 - Press release

    3.5 million euros to develop bioinformatics tools that facilitate translational research and personalized medicine in oncology and neuropsychiatry

    Under Horizon 2020, the EU has funded the 3.5 million project MedBioinformatics. This project aims to develop useful bioinformatics tools and applications, and autonomously usable for analysing the huge amount of data and knowledge generated in healthcare and biomedical research in order to facilitate translational research and precision medicine.The Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute of Barcelona (IMIM) coordinates the EU-funded MedBioinformatics research project. According to Prof. Ferran Sanz, director of the IMIM-UPF Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB) and coordinator of this project, "most potential users, i.e. translational researchers and health professionals, do not have adequate tools to efficiently exploit this large and heterogeneous amount of information. So far, efforts to develop bioinformatics methods and tools have not produced the expected impact in healthcare environments"

    Més informació "3.5 million euros to develop bioinformatics tools that facilitate translational research and personalized medicine in oncology and neuropsychiatry"

  • 13/05/2015 - Press release

    Key role of enzyme in the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells discovered

    Researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) have discovered the key role of an enzyme in the differentiation ability of embryonic stem cells. According to the study published in the journal Molecular Cell, enzyme LOXL2 would be involved in maintaining the balance between the pluripotency and the differentiation in this type of cells that can turn into any cell in the body. The study was coordinated by the researcher from the Cancer Research Programme Sandra Peiró, and explores in greater depth the knowledge on the specialization mechanism of embryonic stem cells, opening the door to a better manipulation. Researchers from the Experimental and Health Sciences Department at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra also participated in the study.

    Més informació "Key role of enzyme in the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells discovered"

  • 28/04/2015 - Press release

    Chemotargets launches easier-to-use, more intuitive graphical interface CTlink[GUI]

    Chemotargets, a spin-off company of IMIM, has launched CTlink[GUI] - a commercial version of the CTlink software that offers users intuitive, interactive graphical tools enabling them to more easily analyse results obtained using this software. CTlink can be installed on any Linux, Windows or Mac computer, desktop or laptop, and can predict how a small molecule will interact with thousands of different proteins. It is designed as a computational framework for linking different systemic entities - that is, for linking molecules, proteins, pathways, side effects, organs and diseases. It is a very important tool used by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. 

    Més informació "Chemotargets launches easier-to-use, more intuitive graphical interface CTlink[GUI]"

  • 21/04/2015 - Press release

    A new therapeutic target for a type of colorectal cancer with poor prognosis has been identified

    Researchers at the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) have identified a new way of treating colorectal cancer. In the study published in the journal Science Signaling, the team led by LLuís Espinosa, investigator of IMIM's research group into stem cells and cancer, have shown that inhibition of endosomal activity is a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancers with the BRAF mutated gene. This discovery is an important step in the personalisation of the treatment of colorectal cancer, as the presence of this mutation is associated with an increased resistance compared to standard therapies. Researchers from IDIBELL - the Catalan Institute of Oncology - and the Hospital de Bellvitge also participated.

    Més informació "A new therapeutic target for a type of colorectal cancer with poor prognosis has been identified"

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