VHIRhttp://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_paginacio.asp?page=1&mv1=5&mv2=3es-esIRHUV15VHIR coordinates the implementation of a diagnostic tool for Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency screening (24/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=168&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0168\2014_0168_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The Catalan Center of AATD, associated to the Pneumology Service and the research group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), is one of the coordinators of an international study for the implementation and validation of a diagnostic in vitro tool for Alpha-1 antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) screening. The technique, called AlphaKit QuickScreen, provides information about the presence of the most frequent deficient mutation by capillary blood obtained from the fingertip in the outpatient clinic and within 15-30 minutes. The study is also coordinated by the Marburg Hospital in Germany and also participate the Biochemistry laboratories at Vall d’Hebron. The aim of is to allow the diagnosis of this rare disease to physicians who work in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). With the new technique, Dr. Marc Miravitlles, coordinator of the Catalan Center of AATD, is convinced that "we will help with the prevention and treatment of lung emphysema, which is the most severe complication of the disease”. AATD is an inherited disease characterized by low levels of AAT and an increased risk of developing liver disease and emphysema at an early age. Despite it is one of the most common genetic diseases, it has an important underdiagnosis:&nbsp; to the Spanish registry estimates that only 4% of the cases in Spain have already been diagnosed. The laboratory diagnosis is performed by the quantitative determination of AAT in serum and the determination of the corresponding phenotype. Scientific societies and the World Health Organization recommend to perform a determination of AAT to every patient with COPD. However, Dr. Miravitlles alerts that “factors such as the lack of knowledge about the disease or methods and diagnosis paths can contribute to not perform”. The Catalan Center of AATD launched a new website with more information about the disease and their projects. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Gámez obtains funding for two projects in the "Retos-Colaboración 2014" call (22/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=167&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0167\2014_0167_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The Peripheral Nervous System group, led by Dr. Josep Gámez at the VHIR, obtained funding for two collaborative projects with the biotech industry, awarded by the National Program for Reseach, Development and Innovation for 2014-2016. The granted amount was of 142,805 euros and 92,563 euros each. Dr. Gámez underlines the fact that ¨VHIR received support for two projects, despite the call being highly competitive”. He also highlights “the great importance of establishing collaborations with private industry for the advancement of biomedical research and the development of new treatments”. The first project involves the VHIR, Minoryx Therapeutics, Ascil Biopharm, Reig Jofre laboratories and the University Clinic of Navarra, and its goal is to develop a drug derived from pioglitazone for the treatment of x-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a genetic neurodegenerative disease without cure for the moment. ALD is due to the accumulation of very long chain fatty acids in plasma and tissues (in particular the brain), and symptoms include behavioural, visual and auditive disorders, epileptic fits and dementia. Thus, it is a potentially lethal and debilitating disease on the long term, due to the damage in brain and nerves. Pioglitazone, already used for treating diabetes, has been explored in ALD and other neurodegenerative diseases, but with little clinical effect. According to the consortium, this is due to its low circulating levels in the central nervous system. They propose innovative strategies to design an analog or a new formulation of the molecule that allows increasing such levels and that represents a better overall risk/benefit than the currently commercialized form used for diabetes. This will also permit the generation of considerable intellectual property concerning the new formulations and their use. The goal of the second project, that involves VHIR, SOM Biotech, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), is to develop a drug for the treatment of amyloidosis by transthyretin (ATTR), an irreversible and fatal orphan disease caused by the aberrant accumulation of the transthyretin protein (ATTR) in different organs.&nbsp; ATTR belongs to the family of amyloid diseases, characterized by protein aggregation and accumulation of insoluble deposits in tissues and organs, with often fatal consequences. They have a total incidence of 3.3 for each million persons in Spain. The project´s aim is to take to the clinical phases a drug whose activity in ATTR treatment was detected by SOM Biotech via a virtual screening technique capable of identifying new therapeutic activities of existing drugs. Studies performed by the company show that, in different experimental settings, the drug can stabilize the </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT'La soledad del abecedario' tells the story of a patient with chronic fatigue (21/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=166&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0166\2014_0166_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> “I was the athletics runner-up in Spain when I was 18 and now I can hardly find the words to describe the pain that people with chronic fatigue feel”. With this message, Fernando Novalbos presents ‘La soledad del abecedario’, a novel about the story of a patient with chronic fatigue. The 30% of the profits will be donated to the research in this syndrome, led at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) by Dr. José Alegre. The main character is diagnosed by chance in a moment of his life in which “he has to deal with things related to love”, the author reported. It is a positive story in which the disease is not an impediment to achieve his challenges. Dr. Alegre recommends this book to all the society and especially to the patient’s families because it explains how this disease not only produces fatigue, but also induces a severe cognitive impairment. In this sense, he acknowledges the merit of the author because “the chronic fatigue syndrome presents serious reading and learning difficulties”. The book, edited by Ara Llibres, can be ordered from La Casa del Libro and other online sales platforms. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTThree undergraduate students share their experience at VHIR (18/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=165&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0165\2014_0165_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Carla Rossell, student of the first year of the Human Biology Degree at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and winner of the Catalan awards of excellence in high school: “I’ve seen at first hand the routine of a scientist and I love it! I chose the Vall d’Hebron because it is very renowned, very big, with many research areas and a lot of publications. I didn’t know which group to choose for the one-week traineeship, because I liked all of them, so I asked for advice to Núria Prim (lab coordinator). She introduced me to the Cell Signaling and Apoptosis group. I am very happy. I've done a lot of things! Honestly, I didn’t expect that I was going to do such an amount of techniques... Every member of the group told me about their projects and I participated in some of their tasks. It was very useful because I practiced different things that I learned on my first year in college, but I hadn’t practiced yet. All things considered, I would definitely repeat the experience! Daniel Villodres, student of the first year at the IES Banús high school in Cerdanyola del Vallès and participant of the 6th edition of the ‘Joves i Ciència’ programme of the Fundació Catalunya la Pedrera (watch the video): “I participated in the 6th edition of the ‘Joves i Ciència’ programme. They offered me a two-week traineeship at VHIR in order to learn the daily routine in a lab. To sum up, it’s been a great experience. I’ve learned new techniques, how do they work, and who is behind the outstanding research carried out at Vall d’Hebron… Great people! I also learned the aim of the research and the differences between clinicians and researchers. The work environment is great and I have realized that without clinicians, researchers wouldn’t have samples. And samples are essential to investigate proteins and find the cure of cancer, which is the main mission of the endometrial cancer research line conducted at the Research Unit in Biomedicine and Translational Oncology”. <span style=" font-size: 8pt; font-family: 'Verdana', 'Geneva', sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: bold; color: #555555; background-color: transparent; text-decorati</td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTMeeting on nanomedicine, personalized medicine and biomarkers (14/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=160&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0160\2014_0160_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Nanomedicine is no longer a commitment to the future, but a reality more and more extended. Among its applications, researchers use it to obtain early diagnosis of different diseases, more efficient drugs and alternative therapies to the most aggressive treatments. Expoquimia, the reference event in the chemical industry, will have a space dedicated exclusively to nanomedicine, as in the last successful edition. The Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), which comprises and area dedicated to nanomedicine, is the organizer of this debate about the present and the future of nanomedicine, led by outstanding scientists and pharmacists. The meeting will take place on October 2 at Expoquimia and will deal with the current state of nanomedicine, personalized medicine and biomarkers. Participants will also focus in the perspectives of translation of the results to the society. Chaired by VHIR’s director, Dr. Joan Comella, three lecturers will participate in the meeting: Dr. Josep Tabernero, head of the Oncology Service at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Dr. Víctor Franco, ICREA professor and researcher of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), and Dr. Artur Palet, director of Business Development in Spain of Roche Diagnostics. <p style=" text-align: le</td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTVall d'Hebron improves burn scars by injecting adult stem cells from the patients (14/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=162&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0162\2014_0162_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The Plastic Surgery and Burns Service at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital has successfully improved the treatment of burn scars, especially the ones that affect a considerable amount of skin surface, with the application of regenerative techniques using adult stem cells derived from the patient's adipose tissue. By now, the technique has been used in 2 patients, even though it can be applied in a wide number of patients, especially when they have consequences in large areas on the body. The patient’s tissue is obtained performing small precise incisions, from which the adipose tissue is extracted to isolate adult stem cells and the mesenchymal fraction. Once prepared, they are injected again into the scars and in the new tissue using tools of extremely small diameter that allow the introduction of a very small number of cells in each treated area. Thus, the mesenchymal stem cells create a microenvironment in the tissue that stimulates the growth of new vessels, secrete growth factors and promote new molecular structures that regulate the collagen deposition (part of the scar) and increase the elastic elements, which create, in long term, a new physical structure more alike to normal tissue. The aim of this innovative treatment is to improve the elasticity, flexibility and vitality of the scar tissue and diminish the unsightly consequences. The cells and implanted tissue can settle in the tissue and create a new structure inside the scars, which allows a better architecture of the new dermis, increasing its functional ability. This leads to a significant improvement in the quality of life of the patients, thanks to an increase in tissue flexibility, better hydration and improvement in the outlines of the scars. The benefits of this kind of therapy, which can be transferred to any other atrophy on soft tissue, are evident in a few months' time, as the stem cells regenerate and optimize the quality of the tissue after a reasonable time from the implant. Dr. Joan Pere Barret, head of the Plastic Surgery and Burns claims that “this is an innovative technique because we give biological treatment to the burns. Through the injection of cells and tissue we alter the biological structure of the tissue, performing a regenerative treatment that contrasts with the usual surgical techniques, which alter its form and function but not its quality, as we create new scars. With the new technique, we minimize the damage of the same surgery and provide benefits”. This technique goes in line with the new repair and plastic surgery, which aims at performing highly individualized and minimally invasive specialized treatments. In this regard, 5 years ago the Plastic Surgery and Burns service, through its team at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), started conducting clinical research on the application of new techniques of regenerative surgery. An example of this is the use of stem cells in the reconstruction of serious facial disfigurement in children with Parry-Romberg syndrome, a pathology that produces severe malformations in the facial features. Thanks to a surgery performed at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital, the appearance and clinical evolution of these children is greatly improved. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTEls Amics de les Arts gave a benefit concert for research in child cancer at VHIR (12/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=157&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0157\2014_0157_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The Catalan pop band Els Amics de les Arts offered, on Friday 11, a benefit concert at the Bullring located in Olot, to present their last album ‘Només d’entrar hi ha sempre el dinosaure’. The A. Bosch foundation organized this performance with the aim to contribute to research in children’s cancer at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), led by Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo. All proceeds of the concert go to support the studies of the Translational Research in Child Cancer group. Specifically, the A. Bosch foundation is already collaborating in three projects to improve the therapies for child cancer, investigate the myelomeningocele (spina bifida) and the lupus erythematosus. The foundation was created in 2004 by Noel Alimentaria, with the aim to promote research and clinical solutions to childhood diseases.  The Olot city council, Natrus, La Fageda, Sant Aniol, Moritz and B-Crek sponsor the concert and the party that started two hours before with the performance of CyBee. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTA research team in VHIR reveals unexpected functions for a ribosomal protein in embryonic cells (10/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=156&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0156\2014_0156_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> A study published in PlosOne by the Molecular Pathology and Oncology group of the VHIR, directed by Dr. Matilde Lleonart,&nbsp; has revealed a crucial —and unexpected— role of a ribosomal protein, called P1, in the embryonic development of the nervous system. The project started 8 years ago, when the group led by Dr. Lleonart was seeking genes that could induce proliferation. They identified the P1 protein whose expression turned out to be increased in human tumors. In this study, performed in collaboration with researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Age Research, Jena, Germany, the authors wanted to understand the relevance of P1 in vivo. In other words, what happens when the protein is absent? They found that mice completely deficient for the protein (because both P1 alleles were inactivated) died before birth, while mice with one inactivated allele survived after birth but presented many defects such as reduced size, brain atrophty, an arrest in cell proliferation and an increase in cell death. The ribosome is a complex cellular factory where all new proteins are formed. Thus, defects in ribosomal proteins should lead to defects in protein synthesis. However, explains Dr. Lleonart, “the most surprising thing is that we did not find a defect in protein synthesis” Rather, P1 deficiency led to an increase in stress proteins that in turn results from an accumulation of mis-folded proteins. “This suggests that the protein has an extra-ribosomal function associated to protein folding” says Dr. Lleonart. Another unexpected result, according to the investigator, is that P1 disturbance particularly affects proliferating cells, very likely as a strategy to detect cellular stress and ensure their integrity as stem cells. “The role of the protein may depend on the tissue” concludes Dr. Lleonart, “since its deficiency </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT"ISHR Best Poster Award" for a study by the Cardiovascular Diseases group (08/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=155&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0155\2014_0155_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Celia Fernandez-Sanz, a pre-doctoral student of Dr. Marisol Ruiz-Meana in the research group on Cardiovascular Diseases of Vall d’hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) has won the ISHR Best Poster Award in the recently concluded joint meeting of the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR) and the Council of Basic Cardiovascular Science of the European Society of Cardiology (Barcelona 3-6 of July 2014). The awarded work, conducted in collaboration with CNIC under the direction of Dr. Ruiz-Meana, describes a new mechanism of altered function in cardiac cells in advanced age, consisting in an alteration of the communication between two important organelles within those cells, the mitochondria and the sarcoplasmic reticulum, and used sophysticated analyses of cell physiology with in vivo confocal microscopy and advanced proteomic methods. In fact, the research groups in cardiovascular diseases have been the local hosts in this congress, the 32nd meeting of the European Section of the ISHR - a success well above the expected assistance: more than 250 participants on the 3rd of July and more than 700 total considering the joint meeting between ISHR and FCVB (Frontiers in Cardiovacular Biology), where the prized poster was also exposed. The goal of this international society is to promote the exchange of ideas between scientists and clinicians in the field of cardiovascular biology and medicine. Besides the award, it should be noted that Drs. Ruiz-Meana and Dr. García-Dorado, coordinator of the cardiovascular disease area, chaired some of the congress sessions, and Dr. Ruiz-Meana is member of the European Council of the ISHR. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 8 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTNew species detected in intestinal microbiota that make the difference between healthy and unhealthy individuals (06/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=154&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0154\2014_0154_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> A team of researchers from the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), headed by Dr. Francisco Guarner, are the only Spanish participants in two studies that extend the MetaHIT Project. Both studies, published this Sunday July 6 in the Nature Biotechnology journal, represent one more step towards the knowledge of the intestinal microbiome. The first article provides an integrated catalog of gut microbial genes, which has increased from 3 to 10 million.&nbsp; Such a catalogue will allow scientists to determine the genetic and functional repertoire of a given gut microbiome and to understand how it is affected by geographical, temporal and physiological factors. Interestingly, the study reveals contry-specific gut-microbial signatures, as well as the presence of genes associated to antibiotic resistance. The second article explains how, thanks to a new approach in the analysis of complex metagenomic samples, more than 500 species have been identified in the human microbiome that were completely unknown until now. There is another landmark to add: not all the studied samples display such a high amount of unknown species. The intestinal flora of some individuals shows a smaller amount of unknown species and, in further analysis, it has been found to correspond to samples of patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. “This brings up new data which we have to explore in detail”, explains Dr. Francisco Guarner, “these species, unknown until now, will possibly make the difference between healthy and unhealthy people”. These data are highly relevant because they open the door to new strategies aimed at recovering all these species through nutritional interventions: administering probiotics or fibers and other prebiotics that help the selective growth of some species. These unknown bacteria are most certainly the “good bacteria”, as they are not the typical strains that produce an infection and this is the reason why they weren’t isolated never before. “In these cases the stool transplant is not useful because they are most likely labile species, strictly anaerobic and dependent of the environment and,most certainly wouldn’t survive outside the colon during the transplantation. The risk is that the transplant would favour the proliferation of non desirable species”, continues Guarner. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Sun, 6 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Ferran Morell captains the Catalan team in the World Medical Football Championship (04/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=153&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0153\2014_0153_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The 20 doctors that take part in the Galens Catalonia team are ready to demonstrate their level and retake the title of the World Medical Football&nbsp; Championship, won five times, the last one in 2011. This year’s edition is special, because it takes place in Natal, Brasil, at the same time of the FIFA World Cup, and because it is the 20th edition of this championship created by Dr. Ferran Morell, head of the Pneumology Research group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR). The Galens Catalonia will participate in the tournament from the 6th to the 12th of July coinciding with the last week of competition of the World Cup. The team was also founded by Dr. Morell in 1974 and they quickly participated in first level international competitions, until the creation of the World Medical Football Championship in 1995. Barcelona hosted for 10 years this Cup –also called Dr. Ferran Morell’s Cup– and since then, the competition has been hosted in countries such as Australia, Lithuania, South Korea, Sweden, Great Britain and Austria. In the last edition, that took place in Hongria, the German selection triumphed among the 15 participant countries. The Spanish-Catalan team comprises 10 doctors from the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, and clinicians from the Hospital del Mar, Hospital Esperit Sant, Hospital Clínic, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Hospital de Terrassa, Hospital Meritxell from Andorra, Hospital Son Llàtzer and Clinica Miramar from Mallorca, and the Hospital Insular from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. For the captain, Dr. Morell, “all these years of the championship have represented a major benefit for the relationship between doctors at the hospital and to create many friendships here and abroad”. Besides the physical exercise, the football players always celebrate a symposium where they explain what they do with the T-shirt that they wear the rest of the year, the doctor’s coat. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Fri, 4 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTVHIR and the Probitas Foundation install in Angola the first automatic system to diagnose multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (03/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=152&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0152\2014_0152_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) and the Probitas Foundation implemented in the Nossa Senhora da Paz Hospital in Cubal, in the east central part of Angola, a fast and automatic genotypic test that will, for the first time in the country, diagnose tuberculosis and determine whether is multidrug-resistant. The Xpert MTB/RIF (GenXpert Cepheid) equipment can identify the disease with sputum samples in 1 hour 45 minutes. With the incorporation of this technology, the diagnostic time of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis will be remarkably reduced: until now the diagnostic was done by clinical suspicion or after microbiological failure in the 5th month of the treatment. Dr. Israel Molina, director of the International Health Programme of the Catalan Institute of Health (PROSICS) and researcher of the Infectious Diseases group at VHIR, is convinced that “the patient’s survival rate will improve because the treatment will be administered sooner, and for that reason, the time of contagiousness will be also reduced”. The researchers of the Microbiology group at VHIR, led by Dr. Tomàs Pumarola, will receive over 500 samples from the hospital in Cubal in order to undertake a pioneer study on the prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the area. They will analyze the drug sensitivity through conventional means, following the recommended flow chart. The epidemiological knowledge of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis will help to establish therapeutic guidelines with the aim to reduce the morbidity and mortality rate of the disease within the area. The World Health Organization have recommended since 2010 the GenXpert system to diagnose tuberculosis; a disease that in Angola affects 300 out of 100.000 inhabitants and has a cure rate of the 70%, one of the worst in Africa. With the arrival of the technology to the hospital, the equipment and the knowledge of the professionals from Vall d’Hebron and PROSICS will be transferred and kept by the local partner that will integrate the system in the national public health network. The project is a part of the collaboration with the national program against tuberculosis. The Angolan government will provide the second-line drugs which are needed for the treatment of the patients diagnosed.&nbsp; </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Thu, 3 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTNew games for children with pediatric cancer (01/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=150&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0150\2014_0150_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Bernat and his friends with pediatric cancer treated at the Pediatric Oncology Service at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital are playing this week with the new games donated by Gargamel Joguines, a toy shop located at Vic. The owners of the store are relatives of a researcher from the Translational Research Unit in Child Cancer, led by Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo. The donation is not punctual; they will renovate the games according to the interaction of the children. With this action, the manager of the store, Miquel Molist, aims to “participate in an integrative and transversal long-term project with different children”. All toys donated are pedagogic and written in different languages. Gargamel Joguines promotes the games as a relational and learning method. Since 2012, they have organized activities with games in neighborhoods, entities, associations and schools. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 1 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTDiscover what researchers see and create (01/07/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=109&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0109\2014_0109_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> “Research in the forefront: discover what researchers see and create”; this is the title of the exhibition hosted at Els Lluïsos de Gràcia and&nbsp; the Pavelló Docent that the 4th of July comes to the Maternal-pediatrics at the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital until August 31, with the best pictures taken from the last three editions of the scientific photo competition of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR). The exhibition features 18 stunning pictures, most of them obtained by the state-of-the-art microscopes that reveal impressive hidden parts of our body, such as the peculiar shape of the intestinal surface and the cells which allow heart contractions. This exhibition is one of the events organized by the VHIR for its 20th anniversary. Don’t miss it, admission is free! </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 1 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMTIdentified a new mechanism that could be involved in the etiology of ADHD (26/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=147&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0147\2014_0147_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> A study led at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) and the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) has concluded that the ubiquitination machinery could be a new mechanism involved in the etiology of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Dr. Marta Ribasés, researcher of the Psychiatry, Mental Health and Addictions research group at VHIR, presented at the XV Symposium of the Marató de TV3 Foundation the results of this study funded with 350,000 euros in the 2008 edition. For this study, researchers carried out the first case-control genome-wide association study (GWAS) and a copy number variation analysis in adults with ADH and controls. The results also revealed that structural variants may also contribute to adult ADHD, which is the genetic burden of the disease and that there is a genetic relationship between the five most common psychiatric disorders. These results have been published in papers such as Nature Genetics and Journal of Psychiatric Research. Thanks to this research, Dr. Ribasés assures that “new therapeutic drugs could be designed in the future, as well as individualized and intensive programmes”. The 2008 edition of La Marató was dedicated to severe mental health disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and bipolar disorder. A total of 6.9 million euros funded 25 research projects that today have been presented at the Institut d’Estudis Catalans building. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Thu, 26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Aasen reveals the internal translation of a protein associated to cancer and other pathological conditions (25/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=146&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0146\2014_0146_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Dr. Trond Aasen, principal investigator of the Molecular Pathology group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), has identified how is regulated connexin 43, which is the most widely expressed gap junction protein, and how several protein isoforms can be translated from a single mRNA transcript. The study has been recently published in Cell Communication and Signaling. Direct communication between adjacent cells is mediated through gap junction channels, a process critical for embryonic development and tissue homeostasis. Connexin 43 has been implicated in a number of important diseases including cancer, cardiac disease and neuronal disorders and its mutations also causes oculodentodigital dysplasia, a multifaceted rare syndromic disease. Connexin 43 is generated from a single mRNA transcript and normally resides in the cell membrane but protein expression levels and subcellular localization are frequently altered in many pathological conditions. The study demonstrates that internal translation of the gene transcript occurs, generating smaller protein isoforms that do not target to the cell membrane. “Surprisingly, we have shown that translation is cap-dependent and not due to a classical IRES-dependent mechanism”, reports Dr. Aasen. He has also demonstrated that the kinases Mnk1/2, in addition to the mTOR kinase, can regulate the ratio between full-lenght protein and the smaller isoforms. The Molecular Pathology group, led by Dr. Santiago Ramon i Cajal, is now correlating the activation of these pathways with the subcellular reorganization of connexin 43 that frequently occurs during cancer development. The lab is also continuing to elucidate how internal translation is mediated, which may answer key questions on how increased protein divesity is generated from a single RNA transcript. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Wed, 25 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTVHIR: twenty years of research committed to people's health (20/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=144&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0144\2014_0144_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The blog of the Institut Català de la Salut published on Friday a report about VHIR’s history, coinciding with the 20th anniversary: “Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) celebrates this year a special anniversary: twenty years ago was founded the Fundació per la Recerca i la Docència Vall d’Hebron –since 2011 called VHIR–, which has become one of the most important biomedical research institutions of our country. However, many years before its foundation, doctors from Vall d’Hebron University Hospital were already investigating. It is the case of the Department of Internal Medicine that in 1970 began to investigate despite the few resources available. Since that year, many initiatives started to rise inside the hospital and eventually converged in a single project. In that time, the main research activity was concentrated in the laboratory of Dr. Simó Schwartz’s father, who created the Center for Biomedical Research in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (CIBBIM) in 1995. Dr. Schwartz also headed the Santiago Grisolía Metabolic Research Unit, founded in 1992. Another laboratory that played an important role in the foundation of the Institute was the Unit in Experimental Cardiology, located at the manager’s garage of the Ciutat Sanitària. The creation of the foundation was very welcome among the professionals of the hospital. Before 1994, many projects received regular funding from the Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias (FIS), the Spanish National Plan and the European Comission. When the Foundation was born, the groups quickly transferred their calls and projects to the new entity, which demonstrated their confidence in the amazing project that had just started". </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Fri, 20 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Study of the Catalan government concludes that VHIR generates the double of its budget (19/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=142&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0142\2014_0142_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> For each euro that the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) spent in 2012, generated 2, according to a monographic study of the Chamber of Comerce and the Central de Resultats about the two biggest research institutes of health in Catalonia. The Catalan government presented this study and another one that concludes that for each euro that they invested, the Institute raised 19. The monographic compared the results of the VHIR, excluding the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), with the&nbsp; August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS) and the Clinic Foundation for Biomedical Research, both associated to the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona. The study highlighted that both centers generated an economic impact equivalent to the double of their budget in 2012. Specifically, VHIR generated in the short term 68.1 million euros of economic activity, from the 32.2 millions of its budget. On the other side, the centers of the Hospital Clínic received from the Catalan government 5.6 million euros, whereas VHIR, 1.5 million euros. Nonetheless, both centers returned to the public administration the 80% and the 50% respectively of the funds obtained through public calls. Regarding the study of the 19 centers and institutes of biomedical research in Catalonia, the first conclusion is that for each euro that the Catalan government invested in 2012 in these centers, they managed to raise 3 additional euros. In the case of the VHIR is higher because from the 1.5 million euros that the Generalitat invested, they raised 28,5 million euros through competitive calls and other resources, which represents 19 euros raised for each euro granted by the Catalan government. The study also remarked the leadership of Vall d’Hebron in clinical trials: in 2012 there were in Catalonia 2,853 active clinical trials, from which one third where conducted at VHIR, with a great participation of the VHIO in the oncology treatments. Thanks to the resources obtained from the clinical trials and the agreements with the industry, VHIR obtained 18 million euros, which is much more than the rest of the Catalan research institutes of health. <span style=" font-size: 8pt; font-family: 'Verdana', 'Geneva', sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; color: #555555; </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Thu, 19 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTUsing game mechanics to achieve healthier lifestyles (18/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=141&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0141\2014_0141_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The PRECIOUS project (PREventive Care Infrastructure based On Ubiquitous Sensing) aims to solve the challenge of motivating individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles using a combination of motivational interviewing and gamification principles, and taking advantage of the advances in technology. Dr. Pilar Lusilla, researcher from the Psychiatry, mental health and addictions at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), is part of the project and has spoken about it this week at the International Conference on Motivational Interviewing (ICMI). PRECIOUS project aims to develop a preventive care system to promote healthy lifestyles, which is comprised of three components. First of all, transparent sensors for monitoring user context and health indicators (food intake, sleep and activity), that deliver ambient data about current user behavior. Secondly, users are represented by individual virtual models, which infer health risks and suggest behavioral changes. Finally, state-of-the-art motivational techniques originating from gamification and motivational interviews to trigger a set of feedback tools to change the user habits toward more healthy behavior. The main challenge of the project is motivating people to make lifestyle changes; this is the reason why the design is shaped around the concept of gamification, an approach that has been shown to be successful in various contexts, placing the individual at the centre of the action. The initial game design has been completed and programming of the first version is underway; pilot tests have started on May and the first laboratory experiments will take place this June. PRECIOUS is a european project, with the final objective of improving the health of the users and delivering cost savings in the public health sector. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Wed, 18 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTVHIR signs a collaboration agreement with the association of patients with Dent's disease (16/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=137&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0137\2014_0137_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) has signed a collaboration agreement with the association of patients with Dent’s disease, chaired by Eva Giménez, mother of a 4 year-old child with this rare disease of the kidney. The agreement will direct through the VHIR’s fundraising website 'Yo Investigo' all the donations addressed to research projects, studies and clinical trials at VHIR. Another goal is to spread the fundraising activities of the association and to improve the comprehension and knowledge of this disease. Dent’s disease is a rare X-linked recessive inherited condition that exclusively affects the kidney. It causes the loss of essential proteins for the organism and the expulsion through the urine of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and glucose. There is not any treatment available to cure the disease and the future of these patients is uncertain. Nacho is a champion and his parents are true fighters. During Eva’s pregnancy, doctors from Vall d’Hebron found neurological problems in her fetus and she suffered several complications (iron deficiency, Toxoplasmosis infection and excessive amniotic fluid). Nacho was born in the week 35, with respiratory problems and a small hemorrhagic stroke. After several visits to the hospital, he was eventually diagnosed with Dent’s disease at the age of 18 months. Since then his parents have raised more than 100.000 euros organizing all kind of activities: collecting plastic bottle caps, organizing concerts, benefit events and even participating in the Titan Desert! Now with this agreement that they have signed together with Nacho’s doctor and head of the Nephrology Service, Dr. Gema Ariceta, they look forward to advance in the research of this disease that in Spain affects 38 people. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Mon, 16 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTThe 4th Eurocondor Annual Meeting reviews the clinical trial started in 2013 (13/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=135&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0135\2014_0135_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The Military Hospital in Padova hosted a few weeks ago the 4th General Assembly of the Partners of the EUROCONDOR EU-funded research project, coordinated by Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), headed by Dr. Rafael Simó, leader of the Diabetes and Metabolism group. This EUROCONDOR project aims to improve the lives of people with diabetes by developing a new treatment of diabetic retinopathy, a neurodegenerative disease of the eye. The therapeutic strategy of the EUROCONDOR project is based on neuroprotection to prevent or arrest retinal neurodegeneration in early stages of the disease. It is a prospective and randomized study in 450 type 2 diabetic patients of two neuroprotectors therapeutic agents (somatostatin and brimonidine), administered topically through eye drops. During this meeting, in which participated 37 researchers, there has been a review of the basic research that supports this clinical trial that started in February 2013 and a depth debate about the whole clinical protocol and the way of implementing it in all the participant countries. Much emphasis has been done in the safety topics, possible adverse effects, therapeutic fulfillment, and analysis of efficiency and dissemination of the results. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Albert Pahissa's retirement (13/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=136&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0136\2014_0136_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> More than one hundred clinicians, researchers, colleagues and friends attended the homage to Dr. Albert Pahissa, head of the Infectious Diseases Service and the group with the same name at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), because of his retirement. “He is a great professional in all aspects: he is an excellent doctor, professor, researcher and manager”, pronounced at the beginning of the session Dr. Joan Comella, VHIR’s director. Dr. Jaume Roigé, director of Patient Care at the hospital, and Dr. Benito Almirante, who has worked with Dr. Pahissa since the beginning and now is the new head of the Infectious Diseases Service and the research group, also agreed with Dr. Comella’s statement. Dr. Pahissa graduated in Medicine in 1972 at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and got his PhD in 1979. He started his career at Vall d’Hebron in 1978 and ten years later he was promoted Head of Section and professor of Medicine at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). In 1990 he created the first Laboratory of Experimental Research applied to Infectious Diseases. Eight years later he was promoted head of the first Infectious Diseases Service at Vall d’Hebron. Since then, thanks to his leadership skills he has encouraged distant research lines as well as projects of International Health that are not only conducted at VHIR, but also in Drassanes (Barcelona), Angola and many other regions around the world. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTVHIR researchers receive a grant to investigate about DMD (12/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=134&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0134\2014_0134_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The Duchenne Parent Project Association has awarded 1 of the 3 grants for research projects about Becker and Duchenne Muscular Distrophy (DMD) to a team participated by Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR) researchers, for the project “Study of the efficiency of drugs capable of restoring the dystrophin expression in myoblasts of patients suffering from DMD with nonsense mutations, analysis of the causes that condition the variability in the response and evaluation of strategies to increase this efficiency in human myoblasts and in the mdx mouse”. The project lasts 2 years and the aid amount is 25,000 euros for the first year and the same for the second, after evaluating the results from the first year. From the VHIR, the team counts on the Drs. Francina Munell (Pediatric Neurology Unit), Jordi Barquinero (Advanced Therapy Unit) and María José Pérez (Pediatric Neuromuscular Unit), and also the project will be developed together with the Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron (HUVH) and the IQS’ Grup d’Enginyeria de Materials (GEMAT). The project focuses in the variability of the response of the new therapies destined to reestablish the dystrophin expression in patients suffering from DMD, specifically the one focused on correcting the nonsense mutations with PCT124 (Ataluren). The aim is to understand why this segment of patients responds less to these treatments and to design new strategies destined to solve these problems. Describing the project, the researchers point that “the best way to approach it is through the collaboration of centers that have experience in neuromuscular diseases in a clinical and translational level with centers that have experience in disciplines that allow to address new mecanisms and strategies”. The DMD is considered a rare disease, diagnosed during childhood, that limits significantly the living years of the affected. It affects 1 of every 3,500 children in the world, with nearly 20,000 new cases every year. It is a progressive disorder of the muscle that causes the loss of its function, which translates in a final loss of independence for the affected and serious medical problems due to the muscle weakness. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Thu, 12 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTPractical sessions from the Master in Science and Welfare of Laboratory Animals will be taught in VHIR's experimental operating rooms (10/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=132&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0132\2014_0132_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Several practical sessions of the module “Reduction and Refinement of the Design and Experimental Method”, from the Master of Science and Welfare of Laboratory Animals will be taught in the experimental operating rooms of the Animal Experimentation Service (SEA) from the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR). Veterinarians Marielle Esteves and Carla Fonseca will coordinate this collaboration and will give some lectures about image techniques in experimental animals, as well as practical sessions about ecoguided vascular access. Other professionals will participate on the sessions, Drs. Joan Sánchez de Toledo, César G. García Fontecha, Anna Server Salvà and Iván Villaverde Castillo, from the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR). The practical sessions will be taken in simulators and in big animals (pigs and sheep), with the objectives of showing the students some techniques of ecoguided vascular access, and start their training. The purpose of these kinds of techniques is to perfect (“refine”) the experimental handling of laboratory animals, which affects directly in animal welfare and the quality of the studies. The SEA includes a Big Animal Area and 3 operation rooms in its facilities, one for rabbits and two for pigs and sheep. They are provided with all the basic and specific equipment for a great variety of experimental procedures: inhalatory anesthesia equipment, monitoring, laparoscopy and endoscopy tower, fibroendoscopy and scopy arch or ultrasound scanner. The researchers and doctors of VHIR use the facilities to develop projects of translational research in the surgical field, and for training in general and specific techniques, highly sophisticated, such as endoscopic surgery or interventionist radiology. This specialization master is the only one in Spain where you can obtain the qualification of animal welfare consultant, required for animal facilities responsible, and also counts on the accreditation of the European Federation of Associations for the Laboratory Animal Sciences (FELASA). There are only two master degrees in Europe with this accreditation, being a great appeal for professionals in this field, also in an international level. Besides this master’s degree, the VHIR also teaches the module of Molecular Pathology from the Official Master's Degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine from UAB, and next academic year (2014-2015) will teach the VIHR’s </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 10 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTThe new statement on the use of the term 'probiotic' includes beneficial bacteria (10/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=133&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0133\2014_0133_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Nature Reviews Gastroenterology &amp; Hepatology published today the new statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic, approved by the group of experts convened by the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics. Dr. Francisco Guarner, researcher from the Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Digestive Tract group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), participated in this new consensus that define probiotics as bacteria or microorganisms with their functions well characterized&nbsp; that can be applied into medicine for their beneficial impacts on health. The previous consensus on probiotics was endorsed 12 years ago by experts convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). They stated that “probiotics are live microorganisms that are thought to benefit health if administered properly”. Since then, Dr. Guarner explains that “science has advanced in the field of probiotics”, especially in the field of food, “but with little impact in clinical medicine because of the fact that most of the products developed have been food or nutritional supplements”. In November 2013, the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics brought together this new group of experts from different countries, in order to bring up to date the acquired knowledge in this area and propose a new consensus. The new document is based on the progress in the knowledge of the composition and biological characteristics of human microbiota. These findings have revealed the beneficial functions of number of bacteria that are not from the diet field, but may be useful in clinic medicine. For Dr. Guarner “there are reliable hopes that the use of bacteria could be useful in certain metabolic or immune system conditions”.&nbsp; </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 10 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Ferran Morell is awarded ex aequo with the ICS Research Career Prize (06/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=131&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0131\2014_0131_IMATGE.JPG" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Dr. Ferran Morell, head of the Pneumology group at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), has been awarded with the Research Career Prize of the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS) in the hospital category, together with Dr. Antoni Dávalos, researcher of the Health Sciences Research Institute of the Germans Trias i Pujol Foundation (IGTP). Dr. Ferran Morell is a clinician specialized in Pneumology, PhD in Medicine and Surgery and head of the Pneumology Service at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, where he started the first and the only programme available in lung transplantation in Catalonia. In the academic field, he is professor of the Medicine Department of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Regarding research, he has driven several initiatives to improve the study of respiratory diseases such as the creation of a unit of reference in the study of occupational diseases and another unit dedicated to the study of respiratory manifestations of patients with immunodeficiencies. He is also coordinator of the Research Unit in Pneumology and, among his discoveries, he found that the asthma epidemic between 1987 and 1987 in Barcelona was caused by the soya discharge at the port. He has been the chair of prestigious medical societies and the author of more than 240 articles published, many of them on pulmonary fibrosis. Besides Dr. Morell and D. Antoni Dávalos, the ICS has also awarded Dr. Rafel Ramos, researcher of the Primary Health Care Research Center Jordi Gol (IDIAP), during the 6th Research Meeting of the ICS, dedicated to cardiovascular diseases. Dr. David Garcia Dorado, head of the Cardiocirculatory Pathology group has also participated in the session, with a lecture about prevention of ischemic heart diseases and the limitation of its effects in type 2 diabetes.&nbsp; VHIR’s director, Dr. Joan Comella, has also attended the meeting, together with the coordinator of research at the ICS and VHIR’s researcher, Dr. Ricard Pujol, who has presented the excellent results of the seven research centers affiliated to the ICS. More information </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Fri, 6 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTResearchers identify a new gene associated with haemorrhagic stroke (05/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=130&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0130\2014_0130_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Researchers from the International Stroke Genetics Consortium (ISGC), among them scientists from the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), and the Research Foundation MutuaTerrassa (FMT) of the University Hospital MutuaTerrassa (HUMT) have identified a new gene, PMF1, involved in intracerebral haemorrhage. The finding, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, was possible thanks to the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) on this disease. The researchers performed a meta-analysis on the genetic information obtained in six genome studies carried out in the US and Europe on 1,545 patients of European ancestry with one of the two types of haemorrhagic stroke –lobar and non-lobar– and on 1,481 healthy patients in the control group. Until then, they knew that common genetic variations played a substantial role in the two types of haemorrhagic stroke, but there had never been a study analysing all the genes in such a comprehensive way. Thanks to this work, the researchers have been able to detect a genetic variation in chromosome 1q22 associated with patients with non-lobar haemorrhagic strokes. For Dr Israel Fernández, member of the Neurovascular Diseases research group of the VHIR and head of the Pharmacogenomics and Neurovascular Genetics laboratory of the FMT, “the gene identified (PMF1) may constitute a new risk factor for this disease because it may be related to the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier associated with this type of haemorrhagic stroke”. There is currently no effective treatment for intracerebral stroke, which is the most common type of haemorrhagic stroke. It is not known how the mechanisms that cause its appearance function but it is known that there are many risk factors such as hypertension, amyloid angiopathy and the use of anticoagulant drug treatments. “Furthermore, we have found that different genetic variants are associated with haemorrhages in specific locations in the brain. This can help us to characterise and better understand the different causes of the disease and, therefore, provide us with clues to prevent it or to treat it”, adds Dr Jordi Jiménez, researcher of the IMIM Neurovascular Research Group and a neurologist at the Hospital del Mar. With this discovery, Dr Fernández states that “the door has been opened to the analysis of new metabolic pathways to develop future drugs for this disease and reduce the heavy strain that it places on society”. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Thu, 5 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTVHIR launches 10 grants of 3,000€ to attend the Master in Translational Biomedical Research (03/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=128&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0128\2014_0128_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) launched this week a new call for grants to attend the Master in Translational Biomedical Research at VHIR, affiliated to the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. With the ten grants of 3,000 euros each offered in this edition, VHIR aims to attract international talent and highly qualified students seeking advance research training in all areas of biomedicine and clinical medicine at Vall d’Hebron. Until September 30, applications are open for graduate students enrolled in the master and with a minimum average mark equal to or greater than 2. The aim of the master is to generate excellent young researchers by providing them with the necessary combination of scientific and medical knowledge and skills to contribute successfully to the future of translational medical research. It is addressed to research career, providing access to a PhD programme related to the biomedicine area that the students had previously chosen for their training programme and internship. Requirements More information about the master </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 3 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Gámez and Dr. Munell participated in a meeting for patients with neuromuscular diseases (03/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=129&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0129\2014_0129_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Dr. Josep Gámez, head of the Peripheral Nervous System group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), and Dr. Francina Munell, researcher from the Pediatric neurology group, participated in the meeting for patients with neuromuscular diseases organized by the Catalan association of patients with these diseases (ASEM Catalunya) on Saturday at Sant Andreu (Barcelona). Dr. Gamez conducted the workshop entitled “State of the art in health care attention to patients with Steinert dystrophy”, which is the most common muscular dystrophy among adults. He called for the need to establish multidisciplinary units of experts and agreed that medical guidelines are needed as well as psychological services to the families. On the other side, Dr. Munell presented the workshop “State of the art in health care attention to children affected with dystrophinopathies”, with an active participation of the patients’ parents and physiotherapists. In her speech, she explained why the dystrophin deficit causes the Duchenne and Becker diseases, which are the current treatments available and the multidisciplinary health care attention that these patients receive. Besides these workshops, there were discussions and conferences carried out by Catalan researchers and clinicians with deep expertise in these pathologies. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 3 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTNew drug reduces by 81% the risk of prostate cancer progression (02/06/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=127&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0127\2014_0127_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> An international phase III study, conducted in 1717 patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, demonstrates that the use of a new drug, called enzalutamide, before chemotherapy reduces the risk of death caused by the disease and slows down its progression. In this group of patients the tumor does not respond to the hormonal therapies aimed at reducing the male hormones (androgens) that make cancer cells grow. This study demonstrated that the administration of enzalutamide before chemotherapy in patients with metastasis who rarely had symptoms, blocks these hormones, so the start of the chemotherapy can start until 28 months later. Researchers from the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) participated in this clinical trial, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, that reduced by 81% the progression of the cancer, as compared with 14% among patients receiving placebo. Besides, the new drug is less toxic, with only side effects such as fatigue and hypertension.&nbsp; </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Mon, 2 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Carmen Espejo is awarded with the Merck Serono Research prize in Multiple Sclerosis 2014 (30/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=126&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0126\2014_0126_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Dr. Carmen Espejo, researcher of the Clinical Neuroimmunology group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) and the Catalan center of Multiple Sclerosis (Cemcat), has been awarded with one of the 7 grants of the Marck Serono Research prize 2014 for the project “Bone morphogenetic proteins as possible biomarkers in multiple sclerosis: expression in injuries and cerebrospinal fluid in patients with multiple sclerosis”, endowed with 25,000€. Bone morphogenetic proteins are thought to inhibit the precursor cells of the oligodendrocytes and differentiate into myelin oligodendrocytes, which are the responsible of creating the substance –myelin– that cover the neurons to enhance the quickly and efficient transmission of the impulses. As multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory and demyelianating disease of the nervous system, Dr. Espejo aims to investigate whether these proteins can be diagnostic and/or prognostic biomarkers of multiple sclerosis. According to Dr. Espejo, “to dispose of such biomarkers is crucial because doctors would select the most effective treatment for each patient”. In other words, patients would receive the treatment with a greater prospect of success and that slow down as much as possible the development of the disease, taking into account the lack of a curative treatment on multiple sclerosis. The Salud 2000 Foundation awarded 7 projects with a total amount of 175,000€ in the ceremony hosted in the National Academy of Medicine in Madrid, in which participated the responsible of the public health care system in Madrid, Francisco Javier Rodríguez, and the director of Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Antoni Andreu. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Fri, 30 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Colobran composes a song dedicated to patients with multiple sclerosis (28/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=124&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Coinciding with the World Multiple Sclerosis Day, the GAEM foundation of patients with multiple sclerosis launched a song which identifies these patients, with music and lyrics written by Dr. Roger Colobran, researcher of the Immunology group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR). The Catalan pop-rock group Boxets, in which Dr. Colobran is the guitarist, composed “A prop meu” with the aim to bring closer the problem to the society and to work together to tackle the challenges of both patients and researchers. The Catalan singer Lídia Pujol also participates in this song with the oldest Spanish gospel choir, Cor Carlit Gospel. On this May 28 the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital held an informative meeting on multiple sclerosis, conducted by Cemcat researchers, led by Dr. Xavier Montalban, and researchers from Bellvitge Hospital in Barcelona, Arnau de Vilanova hospital in Lleida and J. Trueta hospital in Girona. In the meeting also participated the responsible of the public health care system in the Catalan government, Dr. Boi Ruiz, the director of health care service at the Servei Català de la Salut, Dr. Àlex Guarga i Rojas, and the executive director of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation in Catalonia, Rosa Masriera. Cemcat researchers recently presented a study at the 32 congress of the Spanish society of medical radiology which "demonstrated that magnetic resonance imaging in multiple sclerosis has higher diagnosic and prognostic quality than other aspects such as demographic criteria or the study on oligoclonal banding in the cerebrospinal fluid", reported Dr. Àlex Rovira to the newspaper IM Médico<span style=" font-size: 8pt; font-family: 'Verdana', 'Geneva', sans-serif; font-style: normal;</td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Wed, 28 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Rafa Simó talks about the association between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease at BCN-Pittsburgh (27/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=123&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0123\2014_0123_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> More than 40 international experts on Alzheimer’s disease participated at the IX Biennial Conference Barcelona-Pittsburg, hosted in La Pedrera building in Barcelona from the 21st to the 23rd of May, to discuss the latest advances and the on-going clinical trials on this disease. Dr. Rafa Simó, head of the Diabetes and Metabolism group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), was the chairman of a session on new biological approaches and talked about type 2 diabetes as an accelerator for Alzheimer’s disease. Since the beginning of this year his group leads the European Project “Retinal neurodegeneration in type 2 diabetes as biomarker for&nbsp; Alzheimer’s disease”, funded by the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes. The tissue of the eye’s retina is very similar to the brain; for that reason, VHIR researchers work with the hypothesis that the neurodegeneration progress advances simultaneously in both locations. In that sense, the project aims to detect early stages of Alzheimer’s disease with just an examination of the retina. At the conference, organized by the ACE Foundation and the Alzheimer Research Center at Pittsburgh University, were also presented the latest clinical trials that include passive immunotherapies based on antibodies, as well as active immunotherapies vaccines developed by Grifols through Araclon Biotech. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 27 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTVall d'Hebron presents two innovation projects at the MIHealth (23/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=122&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0122\2014_0122_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The prevention and the quickly integration of high-impact technologies were two of the most discussed points of the MIHealth Management &amp; Clinical Innovation Forum, in which participated more than 700 professionals in May 21 and 22. Vall d’Hebron presented two innovation projects related to this topic: a new continuous automatic bladder irrigation system and a new system of telemedicine and rehabilitation. The project on bladder irrigation led by Montserrat Llinàs, nurse and responsible of Quality and Patients’ Safety at the hospital, was selected finalist of the innovation capsules in the health care sector. The continuous bladder irrigation system is a manual procedure indicated for patients who suffer moderate or severe haematuria, caused by a surgical operation or any disease of the genitourinary system. The project aims to automate this system in order to avoid the complications caused by the current technique such as the obstruction of the urethral catheter due to clots, the reabsorption and the urine infection. On the other hand, the project on telemedicine is a joint initiative of Vall d’Hebron and Vodafone Foundation that consists in a series of personalized exercises that patients must follow in order to improve their mobility after suffering stroke. The system records the exercises to ease the control of the evolution of the treatment and allows programmed videoconferences between doctors and patients. Dr. Marc Ribó, researcher of the Neurovascular Diseases group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) presented the project on a poster at the congress. VHIR’s director, Dr. Joan Comella, is member of the scientific committee of this forum which aims to join clinicians and professionals from the fields of healthcare management and industry. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Fri, 23 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTChildren, smiles and a trip to Menorca (19/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=119&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0119\2014_0119_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> One Saturday morning in May was not any Saturday morning for the 25 children who are fighting against an oncology disease. It was during that morning when it was presented a supportive initiative through which, with the help of over 50 partner companies, all of them will spend a week in Menorca, between 4 and 10 of July. The children are patients of Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo, Head of the Oncology and Child Hematology Department and Head of the Group in Translational Research in Child Cancer at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR). 'A child, a smile' is the name of the initiative, led by Susana Ramos, an activist of the happiness of these children. Marc is a tall and intelligent boy. His speech perfectly expresses the feeling of all these boys and girls about of what they are going to live this summer. An opportunity to have a good time and to forget, for a few days, all the bad things they are going through. An opportunity to smile with their mates, to discover an incredible island and to charge batteries to keep fighting. Marc gives his speech in front of relatives and the companies and organizations that support this initiative, like VHIR. Marc and his 24 mates are the reason why VHIR do research, to improve people live, and what better to star with the children without their smiling we could not live, nor do research. Marc and his 24 mates sang Fabio Canu’s songs with the music of Frank Mercader that will accompany all of them during their trip to Menorca and the rest of their life. Saturday morning ended in Barcelona, at the headquarters of the employees of La Caixa, one of the supporters of the initiative, but now starts the countdown for the trip to Menorca, always with a smile.&nbsp; </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Mon, 19 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Comabella has been awarded by the Spanish Society of Neurology (16/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=117&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0117\2014_0117_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Dr. Manuel Comabella, Coordinator of the Neuroscience Area at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) has been awarded with the Neurologic Diseases 2013 Prize granted annually by the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN). With this award, the SEN wanted to recognizes the work of Dr. Comabella in the study and the popular science of neurology. Dr. Comabella is currently working on the research for causal genetic variants and the study of their implications in patients with multiple sclerosis. The SEN prizes represent the recognition of the Spanish Society of Neurology and the Spanish neurologists to those who have contributed decisively to develop neurology, to the knowledge of neurological diseases and to the social awareness of patients who suffer neurology diseases. The awards ceremony took place on May 14 at the Royal Academy of Medicine of Madrid, in a ceremony attended by some of the best Spanish neurologists. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Fri, 16 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTVall d'Hebron leads the first clinical trial to test a new drug for Chagas Disease (15/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=114&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0114\2014_0114_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The New England Journal of Medicine published on May 15 the results of the first clinical trial to test a new drug for Chagas Diseases. Researchers from Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) and the international health program of the Catalan Health institute (PROSICS) led this study which has demonstrated that a new anti-fungal drug, posaconazole, is less effective to heal the disease than the classical treatment with benznidazole. The clinical trial was conducted in two PROSICS centers (Vall d’Hebron-Drassanes and Metropolitana Nord) between September 2010 and August 2011 in 78 patients in the chronic stage of the disease, most of them were originally from Bolivia. These participants were randomly assigned in equal numbers to receive 100-mg posaconazole twice daily, 400-mg posaconazole twice daily, or 150-mg benznidazole twice daily for 60 days. They were followed for 40 weeks after the conclusion of treatment. All patients responded to all the drugs during active treatment, showing negative results on assays to detect T. cruzi DNA from serial blood samples by day 14. However, parasitic DNA began to be detected in many participants after treatment ended, by day 60, and continued to be found throughout follow-up. "Posaconazole has shown considerable activity in murine models of acute and chronic Chagas’ disease, and this effect was expected to be reproducible in humans; unfortunately, however, only suppressive activity was shown", said Dr. Israel Molina, head&nbsp; of PROSICS and researcher from the Infectious Diseases group. At present, there are only two agents available for treating the chronic form of the disorder – benznidazole and nifurtimox – and both have daunting toxicity profiles. Up to 30% of patients withdraw from these drugs because of adverse events, and their cure rates are unsatisfactory at only 15%-35%. In this first clinical trial participated researchers from the Infectious Diseases Service and research group, led by Dr. Albert Pahissa, and from the Microbiology Service and research group, led by Dr. Tomàs Pumarola. After this clinical trial, they will carry out more through the BERENICE international project. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Thu, 15 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTVHIR principal investigators discuss the key issues of the present and the future of the Institute (14/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=113&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0113\2014_0113_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> On Friday 9Th of May took place, at the Hotel Barceló Sants of Barcelona, the first Faculty Retreat of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR). From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. over 100 people (more than 90 PI plus the heads of the unit of support of the administrative structure) met to discuss the key issues of the present and the future of the Institute. The goal was, based on the conclusions of recent evaluations of the Scientific Expert Committee, from CERCA institution and the Health Institute Carlos III, to improve the scientific content of the present Strategic Plan 2011-2015 and establish the bases for the future Strategic Plan 2016-2020. The conference, led by VHIR's director, Dr. Joan Comella, and with the participation of Dr. José J. Navas, director of the University Hospital Vall d’Hebron (HUVH) for the closing speech, was organized into three thematic blocks: scientific activity, organization and instruments, and impact and results. Each block was coordinated respectively by Dr. Rafael Simó, vice-president of the Scientific Intern Committee (CCI), Dr. Joan Genescà, associate to clinical research, and Dra. Anna Meseguer, associate to basic research.&nbsp; Every block was divided into three working groups, supervised by the same coordinators with the help of Fatima Nuñez, head of the scientific and technical area. Each block discussed about these topics: SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY -Scientific Organization: areas and groups. -Relations with the HUVH, Catalan Heath Institute (ICS) and Primary Care. -Scientific career: emerging groups and young researchers. ORGANIZATION AND INSTRUMENTS -Scientific and technical services. -Infrastructures and sustainability. -Teaching and relations with the UAB. IMPACT AND RESULTS -Innovation. <span style=" font-size: 8pt; font-family: 'Verd</td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Wed, 14 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTLeading experts in chronic fatigue syndrome will present at Vall d'Hebron the latest advances in research (12/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=112&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0112\2014_0112_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Vall d’Hebron will host on May 14 the XII Meeting on Advances in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), in which Spanish leading experts will discuss the latest advances in this disease that causes both physical and intellectual limitations. Dr. José Alegre, head of the Chronic Fatigue group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), is the coordinator of this meeting that will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the diagnostic criteria established in Atlanta in 1994. From Vall d’Hebron will also participate Dr. Francisco Guarner, researcher of the Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Digestive Tract group, Dr. Jesús Castro, researcher of the Chronic Fatigue group, and Dr. Jordi Petriz, researcher of the Research Unit in Biomedicine and Translational Oncology group. On May 15, VHIR has organized a seminar that will be led by Dr. Esther Crawley, researcher of Bristol University (UK), who will talk about CFS in childhood and youth. The seminar will also foster collaboration among both institutions. Dr. Alegre’s group has also collaborative research projects with the European-Wide&nbsp; EUROMENE network for CFS, the FINTA European Consortium – Fibromyalgia, the FF Foundation, the Center for Genomic Regulation, the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, the Universidad de Sevilla, and the Irsi-Caixa Institute. Furthermore, in the last Biennial International Conference IACFS/ME, hosted on March in San Francisco (USA), Dr. Alegre was appointed lifelong member of the American Association in CFS. Beside these activities, the Chronic Fatigue group has also organized two events for fundraising: the humor night on May 15th at Vall d’Hebron’s Pavelló Docent and the humor night on June 6th at the Can Rigoler theatre in Parets del Vallès. All the donations collected will fund the research of this group that has achieved more than 40 donors through the VHIR’s fundraising site Yo Investigo. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Mon, 12 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTBread and chocolate for Ovarian Cancer (07/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=111&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0111\2014_0111_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Coinciding with Ovarian Cancer Day, the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) and the Gynecological Cancer Unit at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital have launched a campaign to raise awareness of this disease in a different way. The organizers asked the collaboration of two  creative masters from Barcelona, bakery chef Daniel Jordà (Panes Creativos) and confectioner Oriol Balaguer, who joined the campaign recreating a classic Catalan snack, bread and chocolate, to be sold in at the symbolic price of 1€. The creation of the bread and chocolate was inspired in the teal color that represents the symbol for Ovarian Cancer Day. Daniel Jordà’s bread is an interpretation of the delicate recipe of the French brioche with more balanced ingredients (virgin olive oil instead of butter) and the teal color obtained by a vegetable edible dye.  On the other hand, Oriol Balaguer’s chocolate is built as a delicate petit four topped by a macaroon, specially confectioned for this campaign. The bread and chocolate has been sold in the shops of Oriol Balaguer and Daniel Jordà, in Vall d’Hebron University Hospital coffee shops and Petit Sarrià pastry shop. Through the VHIR’s fundraising platform ‘Yo investigo’, it is also possible to contribute to ovarian cancer research buying one of the 50 bracelets designed by ‘Cositas con Alma’. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Wed, 7 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTTwo short educational interventions reduce health care requirements in asthma patients (06/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=110&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0110\2014_0110_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Researchers from the Pneumology group, led by Dr. Ferran Morell, at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) have coordinated a multicenter study which demonstrated that two five-minute sessions on asthma and its treatment, carried out in the pneumologist’s consultation room, reduced the visits to hospital emergency rooms among the asthma patients who received the educational interventions. In the study participated nearly 500 asthma patients from Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, the Primary Care Center Sant Rafael in Barcelona, the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Salamanca, the Hospital de Galdakao, the Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla and the Hospital Universitario Insular de Gran Canaria. After adjusting treatment according to Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines (GINA), doctors explained in five minutes to half of the participants in the study the inflammatory process of the bronchial tube that causes the disease, and how they have to detect and act when the symptoms of asthma attack do appear. For this educational intervention doctors explained the contents of the Diaryflow booklet, which was delivered to the patients and is an informative publication for asthma patients, issued by the Catalan Society of Pneumology (Fundació Catalana de Pneumologia), that includes the description of the disease, the treatment, how to react to the relapses and which substances must be avoided. The same protocol was repeated three months later and eventually, at 6 months all the patients received the training. The results proved that the group of patients who received the educational interventions required fewer urgent visits to hospital emergency rooms and were less often absent from work than the patients who didn’t received the interventions. For Dr. Morell, the study demonstrated that “education, a written self-monitoring and self-management plan leads to better asthma control in affected patients”. In that sense, he reports that “it is a great opportunity to give better care to asthma patients, to reduce the risk of exacerbations, as well as to reduce the public spending in hospital admissions caused by a lack of adherence to the treatment prescribed”. According to a study published today by the Spanish Society of Pneumology (SEPAR), coinciding with the World Asthma Day, the Spanish government allocates 1,480 million euros to this disease. Nonetheless, the 70% of these resources are spent due to a bad control of the disease. The entity estimates that 300 million people suffer asthma all around the world, and it affects between the 5% and 8% of the adult population in Spain, and between the 8% and 12% of children. <span style=" font-size: 8pt; font-family: 'Verdana', 'Geneva', sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; color: #555555; backgro</td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 6 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTVHIR signs a collaboration agreement with CNAG (02/05/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=108&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0108\2014_0108_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) has recently signed a collaboration framework agreement with the National Center for Genomics Analysis (CNAG), located in the Barcelona Science Park, as a part of the actual High Technology Unit policy devoted to establish new collaborations with third-parties in order to expand its services portfolio. This agreement sets up a collaborative framework to develop joint initiatives in the field of next-generation sequencing and data analysis. According to this purpose, CNAG offers VHIR researchers NGS sequencing and data analysis services, including technical advising and support. VHIR researchers have also the possibility to spend training periods at CNAG facilities, as well as shared participation in application for grants and teaching activities. The CNAG was created in 2009 as a non-profit organization with the mission to carry out large scale sequencing projects in collaboration with researchers from Catalonia, Spain and from the international research community in order to ensure the competiveness of our country in the strategic area of Genomics. Its facilities encompass twelve last-generation sequencing systems with capacity of over 800 Gbases/day (the equivalent of completely sequencing eight human genomes every 24 hours), which positions CNAG as the second largest European center in terms of sequencing capacity. For both VHIR’s and CNAG’s directors, Dr. Joan Comella and Dr. Yvo Gut respectively, this agreement will provide both institutions with a major advance in translational research since next generation sequencing techniques are highly expected to enable a more personalized approach to clinical care, patient stratification and treatment selection, thereby improving the quality of health care. Besides, this collaboration agreement offers an amazing training opportunity in state-of-the-art sequencing technologies for VHIR researchers. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Fri, 2 May 2014 00:00:00 GMTEATRIS enters framework agreement with Roche to access Europe-wide network of translational researchers (29/04/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=104&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0104\2014_0104_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> EATRIS has signed a framework agreement with the Roche Partnering Extending Innovation Network (EIN) program. This agreement will facilitate EIN access to research projects within the EATRIS network of Principal Investigators from 70 academic research institutions in eight countries in Europe. The EATRIS-EIN program aims to accelerate translational research toward products that have direct therapeutic benefits for patients. The program will be formally launched on May 1, 2014. Under this partnership, faculty-initiated research projects are selected for funding from proposals solicited EATRIS-wide on a continuous basis.&nbsp; “The agreement with EIN marks the first formalized partnership with a major pharmaceutical company, in which EATRIS can accelerate access to important research that can provide significant patient benefits”, said Giovanni Migliaccio, Scientific Director of EATRIS.  The EATRIS-EIN agreement aims at combining the know-how and expertise from Roche with the innovation potential of Europe’s leading academic scientists in order to accelerate the progression of therapeutic research projects towards the clinic, and further strengthen the cooperation between university research and pharmaceutical development. Existing partners within the EIN program include Harvard University, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, as well as a partnership with various universities from Switzerland including Universities of Basel, Bern, and Zurich. VHIR's director, Dr. Joan Comella, is the vice-Chair of EATRIS-ERIC which helps bring closer to the market new vaccines, ATMPs, biomarkers, small therapeutic molecules and molecular imaging and tracers. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 29 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. Guarner leads the World Digestive Health Day campaign (29/04/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=82&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0082\2014_0082_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Dr. Francisco Guarner, researcher from the Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Digestive Tract group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), is the chair of this year’s World Digestive Health Day, organized by the World Gastroenterology Organization, the May 29. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the benefits and risks that the bacteria that inhabit the human gut have in our health. The digestive tract harbors a huge ecosystem of microbial communities that play key roles in digestion, metabolism and immune functions. In fact, Dr. Guarner assures that “changes in the diversity and function of those communities are associated with far reaching consequences on host health and have been linked with a number of disorders, including functional bowel disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases and other immune mediated diseases, such as celiac disease and allergies; metabolic conditions, like type 2 diabetes and NASH; and perhaps, behavioral disorders such as autism and depression”. With the slogan "Protect your inner garden, take care of your intestinal flora", the Spanish foundation of the digestive tract (FEAD) organized an informative session about intestinal flora at the Gregorio Marañón hospital in Madrid. Dr. Guarner participated in this session after lecturing on gut microbiota in a symposium for experts.&nbsp; Furthermore, Dr. Guarner also participated in the IX International Congress on Nutrition, Food and Diet, hosted in Madrid from the 19 to the 21 of March, with a lecture about the role of gut microbiota in the metabolic regulation of obesity, and in the Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit in Miami (USA), on March 8-9, coordinating a workshop on prebiotics and probiotics. In a video interview recorded at the same congress, he explained the importance of preserving the gut microbiota diversity lifelong. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 29 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMTDr. David García-Dorado presents the InBev-Baillet Latour Health Prize awarded to Prof. Harry C. Dietz (24/04/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=102&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0102\2014_0102_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Dr. Harry C. Dietz, professor in the Institute for Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, USA), has been awarded with the InBev-Baillet Latour Health Prize, one of the most important international scientific prizes after the Nobel Prize. Dr. David García-Dorado, head of the Cardiovascular Diseases group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) and Chief of the Cardiology Department at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, presented the award, as the Chairman of the jury, in the ceremony hosted the April 23 in Brussels (Belgium) and presided by the Princess Matilde. Dr. Dietz is honored for his fundamental contributions to the genetics, pathobiology and medical treatment of Marfan syndrome, aneurysms and other vascular disorders. His work offers new hope for improving the medical treatment of a great number of patients. The InBev-Baillet Latour Fund was established to promote outstanding achievements in the area of science, academy or art. The Health Prize, worth € 250,000, is intended to promote not only fundamental research, but also its applications to human health. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMTSant Jordi's Day at VHIR (23/04/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=101&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0101\2014_0101_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> Once again VHIR researchers have demonstrated their creativity with the pictures related to Sant Jordi’s Day and science that they have sent us. However, this year, people from outside Vall d’Hebron have also joined the celebration with more pictures of this Catalan tradition. Do you want to see the pictures? Take a look at our Facebook profile! You can see them even if you don’t have a Facebook account! The winner of the VHIR category is Damir Garcia for the picture "AgaRosa". The most voted picture of the general category has been "Research for Sant Jordi's Day", sent by Núria Gual. Both winners will receive a tablet sponsored by Pista Cero. In the following months, coinciding with the celebration of the 20th VHIR's anniversary, we will launch a new edition of the scientific pictures contest. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMTCataluña quiere ponerse al frente en la detección precoz de las inmunodeficiencias graves en recién nacidos (22/04/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=96&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0096\2014_0096_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> En el marco de la Semana Mundial de las IDP que se celebra del 22 al 29 de abril, la Asociación Catalana de Déficits Inmunitarios Primarios (ACADIP), juntamente con la Unidad de Patología Infecciosa e Inmunodeficiencias Pediátricas del Hospital Universitario Vall d’Hebron, el Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recera (VHIR), el Hospital Sant Joan de Déu y el Grupo de Trabajo en Inmunodeficiencias de las Sociedades Catalanas de Pediatría e Inmunología, llevarán a cabo un programa de actividades informativas y lúdicas para dar a conocer las inmunodeficiencias primarias (IDP) y acercar la realidad de los ‘niños burbuja’ a la sociedad. La inmunodeficiencia combinada grave es una enfermedad tratable en la cual un bebé no desarrolla un sistema inmunitario normal. Se trata de un problema de salud grave, asintomático en el nacimiento, asociado a infecciones graves. El Dr. Pere Soler-Palacín, investigador del grupo de Infección en el Paciente Pediátrico Inmunodeprimido del VHIR, explica que “hay que tener presente que si no se realiza el trasplante de precursores hematopoéticos a tiempo, los niños con estas enfermedades mueren”. No obstante, si se trata en las primeras semanas o meses de vida, la supervivencia de niños trasplantados en los primeros tres meses es de más del 90%, frente al 66% de los trasplantes realizados posteriormente. Esta es la clave del examen neonatal que ofrecería una rápida detección de la enfermedad a los pocos días de vida del bebé. La detección de los TRECs, una técnica que permite salvar vidas El Departamento de Salud de la Generalitat de Catalunya está valorando la posibilidad de implantar la prueba de detección de los TRECs (T cell receptor excision circles) –marcadores de la función del timus, una glándula imprescindible para el correcto funcionamiento del sistema inmunitario– para la detección de las IDPs más graves, las inmunodeficiencias combinadas graves o ‘niños burbuja’, que ya se lleva a cabo en más de 10 estados de los EEUU. Esta técnica permite detectar en la sangre de la prueba del talón el número de TRECs que se crean durante el funcionamiento normal de la maduración de estas células, pero que están absentes o son muy reducidos en el caso de los niños burbuja. Es una prueba muy sensible y efectiva, con una tasa de falsos positivos muy por debajo del 1%, según la Immune Deficiency Foundation. Seminario en el VHIR <span style=" font-size: 8pt; font-family: 'Verdana', 'Geneva', sans-serif; font-style: normal; font</td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMTThe Bioinformatics Barcelona platform, in which VHIR participates, presents its Strategic Plan (22/04/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/noticies/noticies_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=98&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=3<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0098\2014_0098_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The Bioinformatics Barcelona (BiB) platform, created in 2013 to promote multidisciplinary research, education, research and transfer of the knowledge and technologies in the field of bioinformatics, has introduce its Strategic Plan in an event chaired by Antoni Castellà, Secretary of Universities and Research of Catalonia. In the event, attended by Dr. Joan Comella, director of the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), have been defined the main priorities in the areas of visibility, training, internal and external collaboration and the research and transfer of knowledge as strategic priorities. Bioinformatics is an area of research in which computer science and IT are used to process biological data. Nowadays, in Catalonia there is a real lack of experts in this area of knowledge and that’s the reason why it’s necessary to make an effort in this specialty from the point of view of research as well as from the point of view of training and above of all is necessary to enhance the visibility of bioinformatics in the region. The BiB aims to position Barcelona as a world reference in bioinformatics, through cooperation between universities, research centers and other public and private entities. The BiB has the support of 44 Catalan institutions including 10 universities, 3 large infrastructures, 12 pharmaceutical and computer companies and 13 research centers, including the VHIR. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMTA combination of two oral drugs heals the 97% of patients with hepatitis C (16/04/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=95&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0095\2014_0095_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> A phase III clinical trial made in more than one hundred hospitals in the United States and Europe, including the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, has shown that the combination of two antiviral drugs administered orally for 12 weeks heals patients with hepatitis C. Specifically, of the 865 patients who participated in the study, 97% were healed without suffering any major side effects. Dr. Mari Buti, researcher of the Liver Diseases Group at the Vall d’Hebron Insitute of Research (VHIR) and head of the Hepatology Section at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, is the co-author of the research published by the online edition of the prestigious journal The New England Journal of Medicine. The traditional drugs to treat hepatitis C are interferon, which is administrated by subcutaneous injection and involves a large number of side effects such as flu symptoms and depression; and ribavirin, administrated orally and has also significant side effects such as anemia, fatigue and itching.&nbsp; Both drugs heal approximately for 70% of patients, but show a poor response in those patients previously treated with interferon and suffering liver cirrhosis. In this research, patients who had not been subjected to any of these treatments and had some degree of hepatitis C or had even developed cirrhosis, tested the effect during 12 and 14 weeks of two antiviral drugs, sofosbuvir and ledipasvir, combined in some cases with ribavirin. The trial results conclude that the most effective treating group is the combination of sofosbuvir whit ledipasvir during 12 weeks. According to Dr. Buti, this is a radical change in the treatment of hepatitis C, as "the new treatment is very well tolerated, has no significant side effects and can be used in a very wide range of patients, including those with decompensate liver cirrhosis". Thus, she adds, "the use of these drugs will reduce clearly the name of liver transplants caused by cirrhosis". Sofosbuvir is already approved in Europe and pending price in Spain, but ledispavir has not yet been filed in the registry of regulatory agencies. Both drugs will be approved as a combining form in a pill that will have to be administered daily for 12 weeks.&nbsp;&nbsp; According to the Spanish Association for the Study of the Liver (AEEH), in Spain around 900.000 people have hepatitis C<span style=" font-size: 8pt; font-family: 'Ver</td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMTSOM Biotech develops a drug for Amyloidosis in collaboration with VHIR (15/04/2014)http://www.vhir.org/salapremsa/mitjans/mitjans_detall.asp?Idioma=en&any=2014&num=94&RSS=1&mv1=5&mv2=1<table><tr><td><img src="http://www.vhir.org/DDGRecerca\COMUNICACIOEXTERNA\2014\2014_0094\2014_0094_IMATGE.jpg" alt="fitxa noticia" class="image" /></td><td style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size: 13px;color: #000000;"> The Vall d'Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) and the biopharmaceutical SOM Biotech, based at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), have signed an agreement to jointly develop the clinical phase of a drug for transthyretin Amyloidosis (ATTR). The collaboration starts with the execution of a proof of concept in 20 healthy voluntiers and patients affected by the polineuropatic form of the disease - which will confirm the efficacy and safety of compound SOM0226. The product, a repositioned drug developed by SOM Biotech, may be effective for all variants of the ATTR and has been designated recently orphan drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of United States. The Amyloidosis related to transthyretin protein is a rare disease, progressive, severe and debilitating, that mainly affects the peripheral nervous system and myocardium and, in some cases, is inherited from parents to children. The disease occurs when the liver and other parts of the body produce a mutated transthyretin protein, causing a series of aggregates that are deposited in multiple organs. This extraordinary accumulation of abnormal protein - known as deposits of amyloid - provokes local cellular damage that is expressed with a variety of clinical symptoms, leading to the death of the patient over a period of between 5 and 15 years, after suffering a major heart and nervous problems. "Currently on the world market only exists a pharmacological treatment for one of the early forms of polineuropatic transthyretin Amyloidosis.&nbsp; The cost of this treatment is very high and only has approval for Europe, so there is a clear medical need that supports the development of new drugs for the treatment of this disease", says the neurologist Dr. José Gamez, head of the research group of the Peripheral Nervous System of the VHIR and coordinator of the Neuromuscular Disease Unit at the Service of Neurology of the Hospital Universitario Vall d’Hebron, where the clinical trial will take place. </td></tr></table>comunica@vhir.org (VHIR)Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT