IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

Childhood and Environment Óscar García Algar

The Childhood and Environment Group is a clinical and basic research group that mainly carries out its work in the field of prenatal and postnatal exposure and the different abuse substances, including tobacco and alcohol, pesticides and heavy metals, and in the field of markers of injury from exposure, including 2 animal models, as well as clinical projects relating to its clinical activity: paediatric emergencies, asthma, immigration and ethnic minorities, prenatal exposure to prescription drugs, etc.

The Group is engaged in considerable scientific production, as well as in activities to give greater visibility to science, popular science activities and translating research (clinical practice guidelines) through more than 10 collaboration agreements with research institutions and a collaboration agreement for research with a patients’ association (AFASAF: The Association of Families Affected by Foetal Alcohol Exposure Syndrome).

The Group’s main goal is to maintain the active lines of research, whilst diversifying its activity through collaborations in and outside its networks of interest, both national and international; maintaining the training activities in and outside the group; promoting and encouraging the mobility of group members; the level of scientific production and accessing competitive funds; and maintain its impact on society (popular science, clinical practice guidelines, patients’ associations and dissemination), exploring the possibility of collaborating in the establishment of some patents.

Main research lines:

Research line on fetal and paediatric tobacco exposure

  • In utero and neonatal nicotine exposure in pregnant women and the health of their offspring.

Research line on effects of maternal consumption of drugs of abuse and alcohol during pregnancy and effects of postnatal exposure to drugs of abuse on children

  • Effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol and drug abuse during pregnancy.
  • Follow-up of children exposed passively to abuse drugs and alcohol.
  • Preparation of resources for parents of children exposed.
  • Validation of FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) diagnostic tools.
  • Prevalence of fetal exposure to drugs of abuse and alcohol biomarkers analysis in meconium and other alternative matrices.

Research line on HIV infection in newborns and children

  • Prevention of HIV vertical transmission.
  • HIV infection in children.Antiretroviral therapy in paediatrics.
  • Follow up until adult age of prenatally infected children.

Research line on paediatric emergency

  • Prevalence of postnatal exposure to alcohol and drugs of abuse in children and adolescents who visited the emergency department for other reasons.

Research line on pediatric pulmonology

  • Complete the project on changes in exhaled and nasal concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) in asthmatic children exposed to passive smoke.

Non commercial clinical investigation with prescription drugs in children

  • Begin implementation of therapeutic drug monitoring and effectiveness assays in paediatrics.

Environmental toxins research

  • Study of passive exposure to environmental toxins in pediatric populations.

SAMID (Red de salud materno-infantil y del desarrollo) project

  • Translational research program, multidisciplinary and multicenter, focusing on the prevention of brain damage and metabolic syndrome from fetal age (fetal programming) to adolescence.

Biomarkers of damage on the neurodevelopment of prenatal exposure to alcohol

  • Identification of new biomarkers of exposure, susceptibility and damage associated with prenatal exposure to alcohol (an approach to pharmacotherapeutic intervention): (a) cell cultures, (b) epigenetic markers of central nervous system damage in cells exposed prenatally to alcohol in animal models, (c) animal models (pregnant rat and zebra fish) of deleterious effects on neurodevelopment of prenatal exposure to alcohol, (d) therapeutic targets.

Research line on immigration and ethnic groups

  • Continue the Neonatal Unit and Pediatric Service database of (a) the Hospital del Mar (Barcelona) and (b) the emergency visits.

Research line within the project Asthma Multicentric Infant Cohort Study (AMICS)

  • Estimate the association between passive exposure to tobacco during pregnancy, the levels of domestic allergens, passive smoking, the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) domestic and the viral infections. In addition make a model for forecasting the prevalence of asthma.
  • Contact

    Óscar García Algar

    93 316 04 13

    93 316 04 10

    Doctor Aiguader, 88
    08003 Barcelona

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