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13/10/2021 - Institutional news

The IMIM Scientific Retreat, an opportunity to promote research

The Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute is once again holding its annual meeting to update on the progress made and to highlight the talent of its researchers.


After a year and a half marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) has recovered its Scientific Retreat, the first face-to-face event since the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. A new opportunity "to learn about the latest advances made by the institution's research groups, share experiences and seek new avenues for collaboration", as explained during the opening ceremony by the director of IMIM, Dr. Joaquín Arribas.

The day got underway with an exceptional round table. Dr. Josep Tabernero, director of the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and head of the Medical Oncology Service of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, and Dr. Eduard Batlle, ICREA researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), former IMIM researcher and current King Jaime I award winner, analyzed translational research, in a debate moderated by Dr. Jordi Camí, director of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB).

Dr. Tabernero analyzed the current state of precision oncology. In this regard, he wanted to highlight how advances in the identification of cancer are forcing the search for new approaches to the disease. "Not all tumors are the same, we have to go from the head of the patient's bed to the laboratory to understand the mechanisms of resistance to treatment," said the oncologist, who affirmed that "we must have a broad and exhaustive vision of the disease".

Dr. Batlle's presentation reviewed research on stem cells, immune evasion and metastasis in colon and rectal cancer, and highlighted the advantages of using organoids in research. In this regard, he emphasized that "we need to understand the mechanisms behind metastasis", as well as "the role of the tumor microenvironment in this process".

Lines of work

The Scientific Retreat continued with the presentation of some of the most outstanding advances in the last year in IMIM's research programs. Dr. José Yélamos, from the Cancer Research Program, spoke about the impact of therapies focused on the PARP enzyme. Then, Dr. Olga Castañer, from the Epidemiology and Public Health Research Program, highlighted the search for shared molecular pathways and their modulation in the Mediterranean diet in the field of biomarkers for the prediction of the onset of dementia in patients at high cardiovascular risk.

Later, Dr. Jana Selent, from the Biomedical Informatics Research Program, discussed how the understanding of the mechanics affecting GPCR proteins has advanced, while Dr. Rafael de la Torre, from the Neurosciences Program, analyzed the state of research on new pharmacological treatments to improve cognition in people with intellectual disabilities. Finally, Dr. Aura Muntasell, from the Clinical Translational Research Program, spoke about the use of NK lymphocytes in the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy.

End with a contest

The day ended with a contest to choose the "Best Scientific Communication 2021". From among the twenty or so proposals submitted, the Internal Scientific Committee chose five finalists, all of them of a high scientific level, where the quality of the scientific communication, the relevance of the results, the alignment of the results with the global objectives of IMIM and the potential translation of these results were valued.

The five selected participants had to present their work on the day of the Retreat and, at the end of the Retreat, a vote was taken by the attendees. On this occasion there was a tie and the Management decided to award the prize to the two winners:

José Antonio González Parra - Modulating gut microbiota in a mouse model of Down syndrome

Miguel Alejandro Galindo Campos - Specific PARP-2 genetic deletion restrains the development of c-Myc-driven B cell lymphomas in mouse.

Miguel Alejandro Galindo Campos and José Antonio González Parra.

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