Joan Ramon Masclans
Ramon Maria Pujol
Juan Pablo Horcajada
Francesc Xavier Nogués
The Research in Inflammatory and Cardiovascular Disorders (RICAD) programme was originally created to integrate the investigation developed by different clinical services at Hospital del Mar on diseases in which inflammation constitutes a common pathophysiological driving factor. Increasing knowledge on the molecular and genetic basis of inflammatory processes is leading to the development of novel therapeutic approaches, with an extension of its impact to cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and aging.
RICAD currently gathers fourteen research groups, including three emerging (Begoña Benito, Joan Ramon Masclans and Esther Duarte groups), whose leaders are predominantly researchers from Parc de Salut Mar (PSMar) with clinical duties, including two with internationally recognized expertise in Immunology.
Among such diversity of research lines, those integrating competitive groups and aligned with hospital health care priorities receive special consideration in the framework of the institutional strategic plan. Internal seminars aimed to promote communication between the different groups are organized monthly. Established researchers have specific space assigned at IMIM premises, facilitating their interaction with other institutions located at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), as well as access to shared infrastructures and core facilities. However, laboratory space constraints for the development of emerging groups and integration of new researchers deserve attention.
Overall, RICAD contribution to IMIM achievements in 2016 was satisfactory according to the rate/visibility of indexed publications, competitive funding and reinvestment in academic research of clinical trials income. Most RICAD investigators participate in national research ISCIII networks (RETICs and CIBERs), and develop training activities with PhD students and medical residents. Increasing productive collaborations, both internal and with other IMIM programmes (i.e. Cancer) are reflected by joint participation of investigators in coordinated projects and co-authored publications. Challenges for the next years are aligned with the institutional strategic plan aimed to enhance leadership/visibility in publications, internationalization, and transfer activities.