IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques


  • Decryption of a molecular code that regulates the behavior of the cells


    The research group of GPCR Drug Discovery at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, has deciphered how nature adjusts the response of the human cell to abundant extracellular stimuli (e.g., smell, taste, light, hormones, etc.).

    When a cell receives an extracellular stimulus, it initiates a signaling process that can result in major physiological changes. This process is mediated by cell membrane proteins such as G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Depending on the stimulus, those receptors regulate cell activity through different molecular mechanisms. 

    Extracellular stimulation of GPCRs leads to its activation and subsequently to the phosphorylation of its long intracellular tail. Interestingly, there are multiple phosphorylation patterns of the receptor tail - each of them linked to a specific signaling response. The phosphorylation code is read by intracellular proteins known as β-arrestins. In response, they typically silence the receptor and modulate intracellular kinases, which have a global impact on cell behaviour related to gene expression, cell survival and cell death. "Until now, the phosphorylation code and the involvement of arrestins in deciphering it has been an open question" explains Dr. Selent. "We have discovered the underlying molecular mechanism of how arrestin reads and translates a specific phosphorylation pattern into a cellular response" she adds.

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  • European grant of 1.5 million euros to study how the brain encodes and stores our experiences


    The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Dr. Arnau Busquets García, a Ramón y Cajal researcher at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), with a prestigious ERC Starting Grant. This recognition includes 1.5 million euros to develop a 5-year project.

    Grants from the ERC, which are part of the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, are the main source of European funding for research excellence. They support highly innovative projects led by outstanding and internationally renowned researchers, with the aim of helping them to build their own teams and carry out pioneering research in Europe.

    In this year's edition, 3272 applications were submitted and 436 grants were awarded, for a total of 677 million euros. The recipients have 40 different nationalities and the projects will be developed in 25 different EU member states. The countries awarded the most grants are Germany (88 grants), the UK (62), the Netherlands (42), and France (38). Spain secured a total of 23 grants, 7 of which are going to Catalan research centers.

    Read more sobre "European grant of 1.5 million euros to study how the brain encodes and stores our experiences"

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Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

Dr. Aiguader, 88, 08003 Barcelona
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Phone: 93 316 04 00 · Fax: 93 316 04 10