IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

News

  • 21/04/2015 - Press release

    A new therapeutic target for a type of colorectal cancer with poor prognosis has been identified

    Researchers at the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) have identified a new way of treating colorectal cancer. In the study published in the journal Science Signaling, the team led by LLuís Espinosa, investigator of IMIM's research group into stem cells and cancer, have shown that inhibition of endosomal activity is a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancers with the BRAF mutated gene. This discovery is an important step in the personalisation of the treatment of colorectal cancer, as the presence of this mutation is associated with an increased resistance compared to standard therapies. Researchers from IDIBELL - the Catalan Institute of Oncology - and the Hospital de Bellvitge also participated.

    Més informació "A new therapeutic target for a type of colorectal cancer with poor prognosis has been identified"

  • 19/02/2015 - Press release

    The promiscuity of chemical probes discovered

    Researchers at IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) have applied a new computational methodology to anticipate the degree of selectivity of the molecules that are used to study protein functions and reduce the risk of establishing erroneous relations between proteins and diseases. The proteins under study could be future candidates for new therapeutic targets. The study is published in the prestigious journal ACS Chemical Biology and was selected for the cover. Molecules are essential tools for exploring protein functions, as they have the capacity to activate, inhibit and modulate their function. For many years, in order to explore protein functions, namely to know their biological role, small molecules known as 'chemical probes' have been used, which interact with the protein under study, to become a possible candidate as a new therapeutic target. However, in order for them to be truly useful, these molecules must selectively interact with the protein under study. ‘Until now, it was assumed that these chemical probes only and exclusively interacted with the protein that was being studied, so that any variations in the results of experiments were interpreted as the consequence of the selective interaction of the chemical probe with the protein under study’ comments Jordi Mestres, coordinator of the Research Group in Systems Pharmacology at the Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB per its Spanish acronym) at IMIM and the UPF.

    Més informació "The promiscuity of chemical probes discovered"

  • 2/12/2014 - Press release

    EURHOBOP, one of the 8 projects selected by the EU to be presented to healthcare experts, politicians and international journalists

    With the goal of promoting the safety of patients and the quality of healthcare in Europe, the European Commission, sponsored by the Italian Presidency, has organised a meeting in Rome on 2nd and 3rd December with the participation of healthcare experts, researchers, politicians and international journalists, to discuss, from different perspectives, how to promote the quality of medical healthcare through healthcare systems and how to improve security in hospitals. IMIM’s project is the only one selected from Spain. The meeting will focus on communicating the results of some projects funded through the EU Healthcare Programme and the impact on the daily lives of Europeans. From all projects submitted, only 8 have been selected in several areas, one of them being the EURHOBOP Project (EURopean Hospital Benchmarking by Outcomes in acute coronary syndrome Processes), coordinated by Dr. Jaume Marrugat, a researcher from the research group on cardiovascular epidemiology and genetics at IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute).

    Més informació "EURHOBOP, one of the 8 projects selected by the EU to be presented to healthcare experts, politicians and international journalists"

  • 13/11/2014 - Press release

    Genetic mutations inactivating the function of a gene reduce the risk of infarction by 50%

    A study by the international consortium The Myocardial Infarction Genetics (MIGen) with the participation of researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) has analysed the genetic characteristics in more than 110,000 people and has identified, for the first time, 15 mutations in gene NPC1L1. The existence of any of these mutations has been associated to a reduction in the levels of LDL cholesterol or “bad cholesterol” as well as protecting against the risk of having an acute myocardial infarction. The results are published on-line in the prestigious journal The New England Journal of Medicine.

    Més informació "Genetic mutations inactivating the function of a gene reduce the risk of infarction by 50%"

  • 17/09/2014 - Press release

    Parts of the genome without a known function may play a key role in the birth of new proteins

    Researchers in Biomedical Informatics at IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) and at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) have recently published a study in eLife showing that RNA called non-coding (IncRNA) plays an important role in the evolution of new proteins, some of which could have important cell functions yet to be discovered. Ribosomes produce proteins from the instructions found in an RNA molecule. However, only 2% of the human genome is RNA containing information for the synthesis of proteins, meaning it is coding. Other parts of the genome that are transcribed could be “evolutionary noise”, parts of the DNA that are copied to RNA randomly but with no concrete biological function. Now, a new sequencing technique has revealed that many of these transcripts (IncRNAs) may also translate into proteins, leading to an intense debate.

    Més informació "Parts of the genome without a known function may play a key role in the birth of new proteins"

  • 09/09/2014 - Press release

    The economic impact of disorders of the brain in Spain is the equivalent of 8% of its GDP

    Mental disorders and brain disease represent a high cost in Europe and around the world. Researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) have recently published in the PLOS ONE journal the results of a study that estimates that the cost of disorders of the brain in Spain is the equivalent of 84 billion Euros per year. This figure is far higher than the Spanish expenditure in health, which was 73 billion Euros in 2012. When referring to the cost of a disease, this not only includes the direct health cost – resources used for primary healthcare, specialised care, hospital stays, medication, preventive programmes, etc. –but also direct non-medical costs of these disorders and diseases –for instance, the cost of carers –and the indirect costs or potential loss of productivity for death, permanent or temporary disability, lost or decreased leisure, etc. For this study, a group of nineteen disorders and diseases of the brain were included, encompassing neurological diseases –dementia, epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes and neuromuscular diseases – and also mental diseases –anxiety disorders, humour disorders and psychotic disorders – to reach a global and individual estimate of their impact.

    Més informació "The economic impact of disorders of the brain in Spain is the equivalent of 8% of its GDP"

  • Press release

    Identified almost 200 genes that have evolved more rapidly in humans than in other primates

    A study carried out by researchers from the Research programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB) at IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) and the UPF has used new human genetic data to learn more about mutations that may have conferred a selective advantage to humans over the past 5 million years of evolution. This provides researchers with a new vision on human evolution. The availability of the genetic variants in a large number of people, through initiatives such as the Project 1000 Genomes, is useful not only to understand the genetic basis of diseases, but also to carry out research on the human evolution. According to Mar Albà, an ICREA professor and the coordinator of the IMIM research group on Evolutionary Genomics “This variation provides us with a measure on the proportion of the amino acid changes seen typically in a protein while it maintains its function. Once we have this value, we can then count the differences with the ancestral protein in humans and chimpanzees and if we find there have been more changes than expected, this is because the function of the protein may have changed during human evolution”.

    Més informació "Identified almost 200 genes that have evolved more rapidly in humans than in other primates"

  • 30-06-2014 - Press release

    The inhibition of a protein opens the door to the treatment of pancreatic cancer, one of the tumours with the worst prognosis

    Researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) have identified a new protein, galectin-1, as a possible therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer. For the first time they have demonstrated the effects of the inhibition of this protein in mice suffering this type of cancer and the results showed an increase in survival of 20%. The work further suggests that it could be a therapeutic target with no adverse effects. This article will be published in the next edition of the Cancer Research journal, will be featured on the front page and will also be published as an author's view in OncoImmunology. Until now, the strategies for treating this tumour were aimed at attacking the tumour cells and had little success. The latest studies indicate that trying to destroy what surrounds the tumour is possibly a better strategy. “Our contribution is directed toward this, as the reduction of galectin-1 mainly affects the immune system and the cells and structure that surrounds the tumour cells, which is called the stroma. Therefore, galectin-1 as a therapeutic target has great potential”, explains Dr. Pilar Navarro, co-ordinator of the research group on molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis of IMIM and director of the research.

    Més informació "The inhibition of a protein opens the door to the treatment of pancreatic cancer, one of the tumours with the worst prognosis"

  • 05/06/2014 - Press release

    Researchers identify a new gene associated with haemorrhagic stroke

    Researchers from the International Stroke Genetics Consortium (ISGC), among them scientists from the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), and the Research Foundation MutuaTerrassa (FMT) of the University Hospital MutuaTerrassa (HUMT) have identified a new gene, PMF1, involved in intracerebral haemorrhage. The finding, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, was possible thanks to the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) on this disease.

    Més informació "Researchers identify a new gene associated with haemorrhagic stroke"

  • 05/05/2014 - Press release

    Animal hoarding, a lesser-known problem for public health and welfare

    Animal hoarding is a psychiatric disorder that consists of accumulating large numbers of animals at home, usually cats and dogs, without providing them with a minimal standard of care. Researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute) publish the first European study to provide data on this disorder, in the Journal Animal Welfare. The disorder is still largely unknown and has a negative effect on the health of both the people who suffer from it and the animals involved. “This is the first step towards public recognition of this disorder, a disorder that constitutes a growing concern for government as it is becoming a serious problem for public health. There are still no standardised action protocols for intervention in these cases” states Paula Calvo, a researcher of the IMIM research group on anxiety, affective disorders and schizophrenia and of the “Cátedra Fundación Affinity Animales y Salud” (Affinity Foundation Chair for Animals and Health) of the Department of Psychiatry of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

    Més informació "Animal hoarding, a lesser-known problem for public health and welfare"

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Communications office:
Marta Calsina(ELIMINAR)

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