Hospital del Mar Research Institute Hospital del Mar Research Institute


18/10/2021 - General information

The Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute obtains almost 800,000 euros in new grants from the State Research Agency.

These new grants are linked to the Spanish Government's Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and are co-financed by the European Union's Next Generation funds. Four projects involving the IMIM will benefit.

Four research projects led by or involving researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) will receive funding from the State Research Agency (Agència Estatal d'Investigació), as part of the aid promoted in Spanish and European plans linked to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In total of, each project will receive just over 790,000 euros from these funds.

This financing boosts R&D&I funding in two ways. Firstly, it promotes strategic lines, which support cooperative industrial research projects between companies and public and private R&D agents. Secondly, it fosters proof-of-concept projects aimed at promoting and accelerating the transfer of knowledge and results generated in research projects.

Drs Anna Bigas, Juan Pablo Horcajada and Jordi Mestres.

Two projects funded within the strategic lines

The project Recreation of the embryonic niche for the production of haematopoietic stem cells and their derivatives in human gastruloids, led by the coordinator of the IMIM's Stem Cells and Cancer Research Group, Dr. Anna Bigas, and involving the Blood and Tissue Bank, Pompeu Fabra University and the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, will seek to validate the model of a gastruloid (a three-dimensional structure generated from human embryonic stem cells) as a possible source of pluripotent stem cells for the production of blood products needed to treat various pathologies. This project has been awarded 962,000 euros, of which 374,000 will go to the IMIM team.

Dr. Juan Pablo Horcajada, coordinator of the Infectious Pathology and Antimicrobial Research Group at IMIM and head of the Infectious Diseases Service at Hospital del Mar, and Dr. Santi Grau, a researcher in the same group and director of the Medicines Area at Hospital del Mar, are participating in the project Nanophotonic biosensors for point-of-care diagnosis and clinical management of bacterial infections, led by Dr. Laura M. Lechuga, from the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). With a budget of 1,216,000 euros, of which 156,000 euros will finance research at the IMIM, the aim is to analyse the possibility of introducing nanobiosensor technology to diagnose and clinically manage bacterial infectious diseases, allowing rapid detection and monitoring of the pathogen. The National Biotechnology Centre, the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and two private companies are also taking part in this work.

Two proof-of-concept projects

In this case, another project led by Dr. Anna Bigas, Generation of stem cells and haematopoietic progenitors derived from pluripotent embryonic cells, endowed with 134,000 euros, will use human pluripotent cell systems to apply the knowledge obtained from mouse embryos to generate progenitor and mature blood cells.

The project led by Dr. Jordi Mestres, coordinator of the GRIB (IMIM-UPF) Systems Pharmacology Research Group, Intellectual Property Service at IMIM, has also received funding. In this case, the proposal involves creating a chemical intellectual property service at the institute. For this, it will have a budget of 126,500 euros.

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