Hospital del Mar Research Institute Hospital del Mar Research Institute


17/06/2022 - Institutional news

IMIM-Hospital del Mar's cutting-edge research is strengthened

IMIM-Hospital del Mar is committed to attracting scientific talent of excellence and young researchers through IMIM-OpenLAB. The initiative provides fully equipped facilities and young scientists who choose to take advantage of this opportunity are guaranteed initial funding. The centre has set up a new laboratory area with the intention of facilitating transversal and multidisciplinary work and promoting the incorporation of new researchers who are committed to undertaking or continuing their research in the biomedical cluster comprising the IMIM, Hospital del Mar and the PRBB environment. A space in which the Immune Redirection Research Group is already at work, focusing on the identification of specific alterations in tumour cells that can be used as therapeutic targets for new anti-cancer treatments, such as immunotherapy.

The Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM-Hospital del Mar) is strengthening its commitment to cutting-edge research and attracting young research talent with the launch of the IMIM-OpenLAB initiative, a programme that seeks to promote excellence and foster new lines of research. IMIM-OpenLAB includes a scheme to attract research talent of excellence, which includes new spaces for research laboratories available immediately for new research groups that choose to start or continue their work at IMIM-Hospital del Mar. In addition to the space, the initiative plans to secure the necessary funding for the initial years of research at this new facility.

With this in mind, the centre has set up a new area to facilitate the incorporation of new researchers who wish to undertake or continue their research in the biomedical cluster made up of the IMIM, Hospital del Mar and the PRBB environment, and to promote transversal and multidisciplinary work.

In this way, the aim is to promote IMIM-Hospital del Mar as a leading centre in patient-focused biomedical research. Hospital del Mar and the centres associated with it constitute a privileged environment. The head of the Oncology Service, Dr. Joan Albanell, and the Director of the Healthcare and Medical Area, Dr. Miguel Pera, who are essential for this type of research, are fully committed to the scheme. Patient collaboration, which is crucial to allow significant work to be carried out, is channelled through these researchers.

This initiative will be supported by an annual call for applications to recruit a top-level, internationally recognised and consolidated researcher. The first edition, launched in 2020, received a dozen applications from researchers with the desired profile.

The design of the facilities has been made possible through a use and functionality review and thanks to the involvement of the research groups already working at the IMIM-Hospital del Mar and the administrative staff, reassigning priorities and work areas. The result of this collective effort has been a complete redesign of the spaces, making them more coherent and facilitating new shared work and meeting areas.

The new laboratories have been designed as fully equipped open-plan work zones with shared areas for cold storage and handling samples in protected environments. In these facilities, the scientific teams will be able to carry out their research in an atmosphere where they can exchange ideas with other researchers, including those from different disciplines.

The first incorporation has been that of the Immune Redirection Research Group, led by Dr. Joaquín Arribas, ICREA professor, director of the IMIM, Research Director of PSMAR, and coordinator of the Breast Cancer Research Programme of CIBER on Cancer (CIBERONC), and a researcher in the Cancer Research Programme coordinated by Dr. Joan Albanell. This team carries out highly translational research, focusing on identifying specific alterations in tumour cells that can be used as new therapeutic targets in cancer treatment, especially through immunotherapy. For this reason, it utilises a number of tools and experimental models, which allow it to complete the entire process from identifying the possible target and developing the therapy, to studying its efficacy and possible tumour resistance mechanisms.

The team's work includes research focused on the development of CAR-T therapy against a specific protein in HER2-positive breast cancer. The group has already secured national and international competitive funding to develop its activities.

Visit from the Board of Trustees to the new IMIM OpenLab facilities.

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