The Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB) is a joint research unit of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences of the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF).
The mission of GRIB is to develop and apply computational methods and information technologies for a better understanding and prediction of biological phenomena, placing special emphasis on those related to human diseases, their diagnosis and pharmacological treatment.
GRIB is recognized and funded by the Catalan government. It is the node for Biomedical Informatics of the Spanish Institute of Bioinformatics (INB) and, jointly with Farmaindustria, GRIB coordinates the Spanish Technological Platform for Innovative Medicines (PTEMI). GRIB also participates in the Bioinformatics Barcelona Association (BIB), which aims to promote training, research, and technology transfer in bioinformatics. Ferran Sanz, the director of GRIB, is the co-coordinator of PTEMI and vice-president of BIB.
GRIB staff is involved in pre- and postgraduate teaching at UPF, where we are coordinators of the Master’s program in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences. The master’s in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences of the UPF aims to provide professionals and researchers with expertise and skills geared towards developing new computational strategies and IT systems that are useful in biomedical research.
People and research areas
GRIB is currently composed of more than 60 members, with a highly multidisciplinary background, including biologists, chemists, computer scientists, physicists, mathematicians, medical doctors, etc. More than 30% of the members are senior scientists or postdocs. The programme includes six IMIM research groups:
• The Evolutionary Genomics group led by M. Mar Albà (ICREA) uses comparative genomics and transcriptomics methods from a large number of samples and technologies to discover new genes and characterize their functions.
• The Integrative Biomedical Informatics group led by Laura I. Furlong (Miguel Servet) and Ferran Sanz, works on new methods and tools for knowledge extraction and linkage from biomedical literature and other publicly available sources, and develops strategies for the research reuse of clinical data.
• The PharmacoInformatics group led by Manuel Pastor (UPF) is devoted to the development and application of computational methods and tools in pharmaceutical research.
• The Systems Pharmacology group led by Jordi Mestres performs research at the interface between chemistry, biology, and informatics to develop novel computational approaches to designing safer, more efficacious, personalized drugs. Some of the results of the group have been commercialized via the spin-off biotech company Chemotargets.
• The GPCR Drug Discovery group led by Jana Selent (Miguel Servet) focuses on the functionality of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) within the context of CNS-related disorders, taking into account receptor plasticity, activation mechanism, signalling bias, ligand binding and the effect of the membrane and other interaction partners.
• The Computational Biology of RNA Processing group is devoted to the development and application of methods to identify functional domains in genomic sequences. The main researcher in this group is Roderic Guigó (CRG).
Maria del Mar Albà
Ferran Sanz and Laura Inés Furlong