Integrative Biomedical Informatics

 Research group

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 considerable great difficulty involved in identifying and using 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 areas of the IBI group are the following:

• 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

Group Leader

Laura Inés Furlong Nespolo

Group Leader

Ferran Sanz Carreras


Alexia Giannoula (Researcher)

Miquel Àngel Mayer Pujadas (Researcher)

Janet Piñero González (Researcher)

Alejandro Speck (Researcher)

Emilio Centeno Ortiz (Technician)

Emre Güney (Technician)

Francesco Ronzano (Technician)

Josep Saüch Pitarch (Technician)

María Jesús Donlo Fernández (Research Assistant)

Alfons González Pauner (Research Assistant)

Carina Oliver Dutrem (Research Assistant)


Main Publications

• Piñero J, Furlong LI, Sanz F. In silico models in drug development: where we are. Curr Opin Pharmacol, 2018; 42: 111-121. IF 6.313. D1.

• Gutiérrez-Sacristán A, Bravo A, Giannoula A, Mayer MA, Sanz F, Furlong LI. comoRbidity: An R package for the systematic analysis of disease comorbidities. Bioinformatics, 2018; 34 (18): 3228-30. IF 5.481. D1.

• Piñero J, González-Pérez A, Guney E, Aguirre-Plans J, Sanz F, Oliva B, Furlong LI. Network, Transcriptomic and Genomic Features Differentiate Genes Relevant for Drug Response. Front Genet, 2018; 9: 412. IF 4.151. Q1.

• Souza T, Trairatphisan P, Piñero J, Furlong LI, Sáez-Rodríguez J, Kleinjans J, Jennen D. Embracing the Dark Side: Computational Approaches to Unveil the Functionality of Genes Lacking Biological Annotation in Drug-Induced Liver Injury. Front Genet, 2018; 9: 527. IF 4.151. Q1.

• Giannoula A, Gutiérrez Sacristán A, Bravo A, Sanz F, Furlong LI. Identifying temporal patterns in patient disease trajectories using dynamic time warping: A population-based study. Sci Rep, 2018; 8(1): 4216. IF 4.122. Q1.

• López-Massaguer O, Pinto-Gil K, Sanz F, Amberg A, Anger LT, Stolte M, Ravagli C, Marc P, Pastor M. Generating modelling data from repeat-dose toxicity reports. Toxicol Sci, 2018; 162(1): 287-300. IF 4.081. Q1.

• Pastor M, Quintana J, Sanz F. Development of an Infrastructure for the Prediction of Biological Endpoints in Industrial Environments. Lessons Learned at the eTOX Project. Front Pharmacol, 2018; 9: 1147. IF 3.831. Q1.

•Aguirre-Plans J, Piñero J, Menche J, Sanz F, Furlong LI, Schmidt HHHW, Oliva B, Guney E. Proximal Pathway Enrichment Analysis for Targeting Comorbid Diseases via Network Endopharmacology. Pharmaceuticals 2018; 11(3): E61. SJR:1,293. Q1.

Ongoing Research Projects

• eTRANSAFE: Enhancing TRANslational SAFEty Assessment through Integrative Knowledge Management

- Financing institution: Innovative Medicines Initiative-IMI (777365)

- Period: from 2017 to 2022

- Principal investigator: Sanz Carreras, Ferran

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

- Financing institution: Innovative Medicines Initiative-IMI (116030)

- Period: from 2017 to 2021

- Principal investigator: Sanz Carreras, Ferran

• CliKA-MinE: Clinical Knowledge Aggregation by Mining medical rEports

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI17/00230)

- Period: from 2018 to 2020

- Principal investigator: Furlong Nespolo, Laura Inés

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

- Financing institution: European Comission H2020 (676559)

- Period: from 2015 to 2019

- Principal investigator: Sanz Carreras, Ferran

• iPiE: Intelligence Led Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

- Financing institution: Innovative Medicines Initiative-IMI (115735)

- Period: from 2015 to 2019

- Principal investigator: Sanz Carreras, Ferran

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

- Financing institution: European Commission H2020 (634143)

- Period: from 2015 to 2018

- Principal investigator and coordinator of the consortium: Sanz Carreras, Ferran

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

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

- Period: from 2014 to 2018

- Principal investigator: Furlong Nespolo, Laura Inés

Participation in Research Networks

• Ferran Sanz is the co-president of the Plataforma Tecnológica Española de Medicamentos Innovadores (PTEMI), vicepresident of Bioinformatics Barcelona Association (BIB) and PI of the node for Biomedical Informatics of 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 (2017-2020)

- Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (SGR 519)

- Principal investigator: Sanz Carreras, Ferran



• Rodríguez-Espigares I. GPCRmd - A web platform for collection, visualization and analysis of molecular dynamics data for G protein-coupled receptors: Bridging the gap between receptor dynamics and receptor functionality. Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

- Directors: Selent, Jana; Sanz Carreras, Ferran

- Date of defense: 04/04/2018




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08003 Barcelona

(+34) 93 316 04 00