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A year in review: 2023 highlights at IGTP

In 2023, the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) has continued to make significant strides in line with its mission to solve health challenges and improve patients' quality of life. Here, we review the year's top news stories, reflecting the persistent drive and collaborative spirit that underpin this institution.

Institutional milestones

Cristóbal Belda, director of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) - a public body attached to the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, responsible for the promotion, coordination and funding of health research - visited IGTP on 23 March. The visit provided an opportunity to gain insight into recent advances and research while addressing strategic issues. Read more

On 19 June, the Catalan Minister of Research and Universities, Joaquim Nadal i Farreras, visited the facilities of the Comparative Medicine and Bioimage Centre of Catalonia (CMCiB), one of the strategic projects developed by the IGTP. Accompanied by teams from CMCiB and IGTP, Minister Nadal learned about the activities conducted at these facilities within the field of robotic surgery and bioimaging, which are part of the knowledge transfer efforts at IGTP. Nadal highlighted "the uniqueness" of facilities like the CMCiB in promoting "biomedical innovation". Read more

The IGTP presented the latest addition to its core facilities and services: the Biostatistics Unit. This unit comprises a team of statisticians and mathematicians who conduct and support biomedical research primarily at the Can Ruti Campus, but also in collaboration with other public and private entities. Its mission is to promote excellence in the use of statistical methodology within the field of biomedical research. Read more

The third IGTP Retreat - Research and Networking at the Can Ruti Campus, a two-day meeting point for leading professionals and researchers to share their latest advances and establish new connections in the field of medical research, was successfully held on 30 November and 1 December. The objectives of the event were to showcase pioneering research on the campus, discuss future directions in the context of the IGTP Strategic Plan and promote networking, with special attention to ageing and patient centricity. Read more

Research highlights

Two studies from the Immunology of Diabetes group showed promising therapeutic potential: the first, published in Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, sought a strategy to safely restore self-tolerance in autoimmune diseases; the second, in Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis, aimed to make the most of umbilical cord blood cells, which are key for fighting blood disorders. Read more

Within the context of International Day against Childhood Cancer, the Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer awarded €1.2 million to the five-year project "Personalised Medicine for Childhood Liver Cancer". The project is coordinated by IGTP's Childhood Liver Oncology (C-LOG) research group, led by Dr Carolina Armengol, with the collaboration of four other Spanish research groups. Read more

New research uncovered 28 genetic regions linked to susceptibility to COVID-19 and severity of symptoms. A worldwide genomic analysis with the participation of GCAT unveiled new genetic insights into COVID-19 susceptibility and severity. The study, published in Nature, expanded upon earlier research identifying additional loci that play a significant role in genetic factors related to the virus. Read more

Two projects from IGTP were funded by "la Caixa" Foundation to transition their innovative research from the bench to the patients. An initiative for developing the first urine test able to detect kidney fibrosis as an alternative to kidney biopsies, from IGTP's Innovation in Vesicles and Cells for Application in Therapy (IVECAT) group, and a project applying artificial intelligence to rapidly classify stroke patients and maximize their recovery chances, from IGTP's Neurovascular Research Group, were two of the fifteen projects from Catalan research sites that were selected within the 2023 call of the new CaixaImpulse Healthcare Innovation programme. Read more

Innovation achievements

The European Commission announced the results of the 2nd WomenTechEU call, which gives support to innovative deep-tech companies founded by women. This year, 134 companies led by women were chosen to receive a €75,000 grant; 20 were Catalan companies and four of them were IGTP's spin-offs: BIOINTAXIS SL, Time is Brain, Breaz and NIMBLE DiagnosticsRead more

IGTP's Innovation Unit received AENOR's research, development, and innovation (R&D&I) certification for successfully implementing an R&D&I management system. This certification is a guarantee of good practices, and confirms that the implemented system meets the statutory requirements. Read more

Community outreach

'Un bri de ciència' is the podcast of the IGTP. The project started in March this year with the aim of taking research beyond biomedical professionals and closer to the general public. The inherent flexibility of podcasts, together with a narrative, attractive and easily digestible format, are key elements to achieve this goal. International health-related days are used for the centre's researchers to explain their research through narrative capsules. Four episodes have been published so far. Read more

On 14 November, around 200 secondary school students from Badalona visited different centres on the Can Ruti Campus, taking part in one of the central events of the 28th edition of Science Week in Badalona. The event was organised by IGTP together with Germans Trias Hospital. Read more

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