IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

News

  • 13/09/2017 - Press release

    40 Million EUR European project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research.

    The five-year project, Enhancing Translational Safety Assessment through Integrative Knowledge Management (eTRANSAFE), aims to develop an advanced data integration infrastructure together with innovative computational methods to improve the security in drug development process and is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (IMI 2) together with the pharmaceutical industry. The eTRANSAFE consortium is a private and public partnership of 8 academic institutions, 6 SMEs and 12 pharmaceutical companies, and is coordinated by the Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) and led by the pharmaceutical company Novartis and Bayer AG. The eTRANSAFE project aims at improving the safety assessment across the drug discovery and development process by applying bioinformatics approaches to shared preclinical and clinical data to systematically analyse the translatability of effects. Thus, enabling the optimisation of resources and the development of safer medicines.

    Més informació "40 Million EUR European project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research."

  • 29/08/2017 - Press release

    Autoimmune diseases increase cardiovascular and mortality risk

    Researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and IDIAP Jordi Gol have just published an article showing that autoimmune diseases significantly increase cardiovascular risk as well as overall mortality. This is particularly pronounced in people suffering rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus. In addition, it has been seen that inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, increase the risk of stroke and death through any cause. The article is published this month in the journal Heart. The 6-year study followed a cohort of nearly 1 million people aged between 35 and 85, with no history of cardiovascular disease. The large sample size allowed the estimation of cardiovascular event incidence and mortality in people diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. Some of these diseases are relatively frequent, so their impact is quite significant. It is estimated that rheumatoid arthritis affects between 150,000 and 200,000 people in Spain, and somewhere around 100,000 people suffer Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

    Més informació "Autoimmune diseases increase cardiovascular and mortality risk"

  • 11/07/2017 - Press release

    Key immunological mechanism for regulating intestinal flora discovered

    Researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) have shown for the first time that immunoglobulin M, secreted by the human intestine, plays a key role in maintaining the diversity of intestinal flora by including and maintaining microorganisms that are beneficial to our health. These results have been published in the prestigious scientific journal Immunity. "We have discovered that, in addition to immunoglobulin A, (IgA), immunoglobulin M (IgM), secreted by the human intestine, interacts with the intestinal microbiota and actively participates in maintaining its diversity. In addition, we have demonstrated that this immunoglobulin is part of an immunological memory system through which our organism is able to recognise and adapt to its microbial environment", explain Giuliana Magri and Laura Comerma, researchers from the B Cell Biology research group at the IMIM and first authors of the article.

    Més informació "Key immunological mechanism for regulating intestinal flora discovered"

  • 23/02/2017 - Press release

    New role of cholesterol in regulating brain proteins discovered

    A study led by researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics at the Faculty of Medicine in Charité Hospital, Berlin, published in the journal Nature Communications, demonstrates that the cholesterol present in cell membranes can interfere with the function of an important brain membrane protein, through a previously unknown mode of interaction. Specifically, cholesterol is capable of regulating the activity of the adenosine receptor, by invading it and accessing the active site. This will allow new ways of interacting with these proteins to be devised that in the future could lead to drugs for treating diseases like Alzheimer's. The adenosine receptor belongs to the GPCR family (G Protein-Coupled Receptors), a large group of proteins located in cell membranes, which are key in the transmission of signals and communication between cells. GPCRs are therefore involved in the majority of important physiological processes, including the interpretation of sensory stimuli such as vision, smell, and taste, the regulation of the immune and inflammatory system, and behaviour modulation.

    Més informació "New role of cholesterol in regulating brain proteins discovered"

  • 20/02/2017 - Press release

    Immunotherapy shown to be more effective than chemotherapy for treating bladder cancer

    An international multicentre study led by cancer specialist Joaquim Bellmunt, director of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and coordinator of the IMIM's Genitourinary Oncology research group, has demonstrated the effectiveness of immunotherapy in treating advanced bladder cancer when the initial chemotherapy using cisplatin no longer works. It is the first time patient survival has been significantly prolonged in this kind of situation. The treatment also improves the quality of life of patients with respect to chemotherapy. This phase III study published in the highly prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, a benchmark for advances in applied medicine, becomes a reference work as until now there had been no significant breakthroughs in bladder cancer treatment that could be applied when the first option was no longer effective. These results provide evidence supporting the use of Pembrolizumab, an immunotherapy drug, as a new standard treatment for advanced bladder cancer, as has also been demonstrated for other types of tumour such as melanoma and lung cáncer.

    Més informació "Immunotherapy shown to be more effective than chemotherapy for treating bladder cancer"

  • 19/12/2016 - Press release

    Pregnancy Leads to Changes in the Mother’s Brain

    A study directed by researchers from the UAB and IMIM are the first to reveal how pregnancy causes long-lasting alterations in brain structure, probably related to improving the mother’s ability to protect and interact with the child. The research was published in Nature Neuroscience. Pregnancy involves radical hormone surges and biological adaptations, but the effects on the brain are still unknown. In this study a team of researchers compared the structure of the brain of women before and after their first pregnancy. This is the first research to show that pregnancy involves long-lasting changes – at least for two years post-partum – in the morphology of a woman's brain. Using magnetic resonance imaging, the scientists have been able to show that the brains of women who have undergone a first pregnancy present significant reductions in grey matter in regions associated with social cognition.

    Més informació "Pregnancy Leads to Changes in the Mother’s Brain"

  • 3/10/2016 - Press release

    More than 10% of the US population has high concentrations of 10 or more persistent organic pollutants (POPs)

    A study led by researchers at the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) has analysed the number of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) detected at high concentrations in the population of the US and found relationships with socioeconomic factors, including gender, race, body mass index, education and poverty. More than 10% of the US population has 10 or more POPs, each and all of them at a 'top 10' concentration; that is, at a concentration above the 90th. percentile. POPs are a group of chemical contaminants that humans can barely excrete and that degrade very slowly, therefore accumulating in our bodies and environment. Most POPs have been used as pesticides or are industrial residues; most POPs contaminate animal and human food webs.

    Més informació "More than 10% of the US population has high concentrations of 10 or more persistent organic pollutants (POPs)"

  • 24 August 2016 - Press release

    Diabetes increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases

    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.

    Més informació "Diabetes increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases"

  • 16/08/2016 - Press release

    Catalogue described of genetic mutations, their frequency and arrangement on the DNA

    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.

    Més informació "Catalogue described of genetic mutations, their frequency and arrangement on the DNA"

  • 02/08/2016 - Press release

    Gene regulation in a hibernating primate studied for the first time

    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.

    Més informació "Gene regulation in a hibernating primate studied for the first time"

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