Joan Ramon Masclans
Juan Pablo Horcajada
Ramon Maria Pujol
Francesc Xavier Nogués
Jose Enrique Martínez
The Research in Inflammatory and Cardiovascular Disorders (RICAD) program currently gathers fifteen groups, mostly led by researchers from Parc de Salut Mar with clinical duties, including two with recognized expertise in Immunology. Scientific interests are oriented to the study of a variety of disorders involving inflammatory processes in their pathophysiology. On the other hand, knowledge on the molecular basis of inflammation is promoting the development of novel therapeutic approaches with an impact in other health problems (e.g. cancer, neurodegenerative disorders), thus fostering internal collaborations between different IMIM programs.
Among such a diversity of research lines, those more competitive and aligned with hospital health care priorities receive a 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. Currently, laboratory space constraints become a limitation for integrating new researchers and the development of emerging groups.
Overall, RICAD satisfactorily contributed to IMIM achievements in 2018 according to the rate/visibility of indexed publications, competitive fund raising and reinvestment of clinical trials income to support academic research. Most RICAD groups participate in national research ISCIII networks (RETICs, CIBERs), training PhD students and medical residents. An increase of productive collaborations, both internal and across other IMIM programs (i.e. Cancer), is reflected by co-authored publications. An effort to further enhance leadership/visibility in publications, internationalization and transfer activities is warranted. A key challenge for the next years is to achieve a balanced generational shift, establishing a stable critical mass of competitive independent researchers, including both hospital staff members and basic scientists working in tight collaboration.