Integrative Biomedical Informatics

Research group

Group Leaders

Ferran Sanz Carreras 
Laura Inés Furlong Nespolo

The huge wealth of biomedical information that is currently available is underused because of the difficulties in seeking, integrating and analyzing the relevant information. There is also a great difficulty for the identification and use of clinically actionable information. The goal of the Integrative Biomedical Informatics (IBI) group is to develop computational methods and tools to address these challenges, with the aim of better understanding human health and disease and contributing to the design of more effective and safer therapeutic interventions.

The ongoing research lines of the IBI group are:

• Text mining

• Knowledge management and linked data

• Real World Data (RWD) analytics in health

• Systems biology and network medicine for the study of human diseases and drug toxicity

• Integrative knowledge management and exploitation in drug discovery and development




Miquel Àngel Mayer Pujadas (Researcher)

Emilio Centeno Ortiz (Technician)

María José Falaguera Mata (Technician)

Emre Güney (Technician)

María Jesús Donlo Fernández (Research Assistant)

Alfons González Pauner (Research Assistant)

Carina Oliver Dutrem (Research Assistant)


Main Publications

• Sanz F, Pognan F, Steger-Hartmann T, Díaz C, Cases M, Pastor M, Marc P, Wichard J, Briggs K, Watson DK, Kleinöder T, Yang C, Amberg A, Beaumont M, Brookes AJ, Brunak S, Cronin MTD, Ecker GF, Escher S, Greene N, Guzmán A, Hersey A, Jacques P, Lammens L et al. Legacy data sharing to improve drug safety assessment: the eTOX project. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 2017; 16(12): 811-812. IF 57.0. D1.

• Gómez-Rubio P, Rosato V, Márquez M, Bosetti C, Molina-Montes E, Rava M, Piñero J, Michalski CW, Farré A, Molero X, Löhr M, Ilzarbe L, Perea J, Greenhalf W, O'Rorke M, Tardón A, Gress T, Barberà VM, Crnogorac-Jurcevic T, Muñoz-Bellvís L, Domínguez-Muñoz E, Gutiérrez-Sacristán A, Balsells J, Costello E, Guillén-Ponce C, Huang J, Iglesias M, Kleeff J, Kong B, Mora J, Murray L, O'Driscoll D, Peláez P, Poves I, Lawlor RT, Carrato A, Hidalgo M, Scarpa A, Sharp L, Furlong LI, Real FX, La Vecchia C, Malats N, PanGenEU Study Investigators. A systems approach identifies time-dependent associations of multimorbidities with pancreatic cancer risk. Ann Oncol, 2017; 28(7): 1618-1628. IF 11.855. D1.

• Piñero J, Bravo A, Queralt-Rosinach N, Gutiérrez-Sacristán A, Deu-Pons J, Centeno E, García-García J, Sanz F, Furlong LI. DisGeNET: a comprehensive platform integrating information on human disease-associated genes and variants. Nucleic Acids Research 2017; 45: D833-D839. IF 9.202. D1.

• Gutiérrez-Sacristán A, Hernández-Ferrer C, González JR, Furlong LI. Psygenet2r: a R/Bioconductor package for the analysis of psychiatric disease genes. Bioinformatics, 2017; 33(24): 4004-4006. IF 7.307. D1.

• Rubio-Pérez C, Guney E, Aguilar D, Piñero J, García-García J, Iadarola B, Sanz F, Fernández-Fuentes N, Furlong LI, Oliva B. Genetic and functional characterization of disease associations explains comorbidity. Sci Rep 2017; 7 (1): 6207. IF 4.259. Q1.

• Gutiérrez-Sacristán A, Bravo A, Portero-Tresserra M, Valverde O, Armario A, Blanco-Gandía MC, Farré A, Fernández-Ibarrondo L, Fonseca F, Giraldo J, Leis A, Mané A, Mayer MA, Montagud-Romero S, Nadal R, Ortiz J, Pavon FJ, Pérez EJ, Rodríguez-Arias M, Serrano A, Torrens M, Warnault V, Sanz F, Furlong LI. Text mining and expert curation to develop a database on psychiatric diseases and their genes. Database (Oxford) 2017; 2017: bax043. IF 3.290. Q1.

Ongoing Research Projects

• eTRANSAFE: Enhancing TRANslational SAFEty Assessment through Integrative Knowledge Management

- Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); European Commission

- From 2017 to 2022

- International coordinator: Sanz Carreras, Ferran

- Principal investigator: Furlong Nespolo, Laura I.

• TransQST: Translational quantitative systems toxicology to improve the understanding of the safety of medicines

- Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); European Commission

- From 2017 to 2021

- Principal investigators: Sanz Carreras, Ferran; Furlong Nespolo, Laura I.

• Fast-track ELIXIR implementation and drive early user exploitation across the life-sciences

- European Commission (676559)

- From 2015 to 2019

- Principal investigator: Sanz Carreras, Ferran

• iPiE: Intelligence Led Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

- Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); European Commission (115735)

- From 2015 to 2018

- Principal investigator: Sanz Carreras, Ferran

• MedBioinformatics: Creating medically-driven integrative bioinformatics applications focused on oncology, CNS disorders and their comorbidities

- European Commission - H2020 (PHC-32-2014-634143)

- From 2015 to 2018

- International coordinator: Sanz Carreras, Ferran

- Principal investigator: Furlong Nespolo, Laura I.

• MedSisCom: Medicina de sistemas para el estudio de las comorbilidades

- Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI13/00082)

- From 2014 to 2018

- Principal investigator: Furlong Nespolo, Laura I.


Participation in Research Networks

• Ferran Sanz is co-president of the Spanish Technological Platform for Innovative Medicines (PTEMI), vice-president of Barcelona Bioinformatics association (BIB) and coordinator of the Biomedical Informatics Node of ELIXIR-ES and the Spanish Institute of Bioinformatics (INB).


Group’s Recognitions

• Officially recognised as a consolidated research group by the Generalitat de Catalunya: Grup de Recerca en Biomedicina Computacional (2017-2019)

- Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (SGR 0519)

- Principal investigator: Sanz Carreras, Ferran



• Gutiérrez-Sacristán A. A bioinformatics approach to the study of comorbidity. Insight into mental disorders. Pompeu Fabra University

- Director: Furlong Nespolo, Laura I.

- Date of defense: 15/12/2017



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