GRIB. Research Unit on Biomedical Informatics

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Allegoric representation of the variability of the transcriptome through changes in alternative splicing in difference cancer types. Illustration by Babita Singh

Scientists of GRIB find a new molecular mechanism involved in the development of cancer

Researchers of the Computational Genomics group of GRIB (UPF-IMIM) led by Eduardo Eyras, have discovered new alterations linked to cancer and have revealed the importance of the transcriptome in the development of tumours. For the first time, scientists have studied the variability of the cell transcriptome in several tumours at the same time, that is, not focusing on the DNA but on the products extracted from it. The results of the study have been published in the journal Genome Research.

Thanks to the bioinformatics tools developed by the research group, in record time and using limited computational resources, the scientists have been able to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the transcriptome of over 4,000 tumour samples from eleven different types of cancer taken from the TCGA project. This analysis shows that the proteins bound to the RNA are very often altered in human tumours and that these alterations determine the cell transcriptome and induce cell transformations related to the development of cancer. Until now, these alterations remained invisible to the methods used in major cancer genome analysis projects.

Reference work: Sebestyen E, Singh B, Miñana B, Pages A, Mateo F, Pujana MA, Valcarcel J, Eyras E. Large-scale analysis of genome and transcriptome alterations in multiple tumors unveils novel cancer-relevant splicing networks. Genome Research, 2016.  DOI: 10.1101/ gr. 199935. 115

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Project MedBioinformatics promotes the 1st European Conference on Translational Bioinformatics (ECTB 2016)

The conference took place at the University of Copenhagen on April 26-27, bringing together 150 experts in the area.

The conference addressed among others the following topics: Biomedical big data approaches, Data capture and curation, Precision medicine and Data integration and analytics combining omics and clinical data

ECTB is a new series of scientific conferences promoted by the MedBioinformatics project, which aims to have continuity by means of new editions to be held in UK (2017) and Barcelona (2018). 

MedBioinformatics "Creating medically-driven integrative bioinformatics applications focused on oncology, CNS disorders and their comorbidities" is a project funded by H2020 and coordinated by the GRIB with the participation of other research groups of IMIM and UPF.

For more information about the conference please visit:

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Last project


The project NONCODRIVERS "Finding noncoding cancer drivers", aims to characterize the role of mutations in non-coding regions in the most prevalent tumours of the population. The work will count with the collaboration of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, an organization created for the classification of the molecular profile of 50 different types of cancer. The project aims to identify those non-coding alterations that are more relevant for tumour biology through computational methods and will explore new therapeutic strategies that can revert its effects by means of the creation of the corresponding cellular models. The project​ is funded for the period 2016-2021 by the European Research Council (ERC) with an ERC Consolidator grants given to Nuria López-Bigas, head of the Biomedical Genomics group of GRIB.

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Last publications

  • Queralt-Rosinach N, Piñero J, Bravo A, Sanz F, Furlong LI. DisGeNET-RDF: Harnessing the Innovative Power of the Semantic Web to Explore the Genetic Basis of Diseases. Bioinformatics, 2016. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btw214.
  • Pages A, Dotu I, Guigo R, Eyras E. The discovery potential of RNA processing profiles. bioRxiv, 2016. DOI: 10.1101/049809.
  • Sabarinathan R, Mularoni L, Deu-Pons J, Gonzalez-Perez A, Lopez-Bigas N. Nucleotide excision repair is impaired by binding of transcription factors to DNANature, 2016; 532 (7598): 264-7. PMID: 27075101 . DOI: 10.1038/nature17661.
  • Sebestyen E, Singh B, Miñana B, Pages A, Mateo F, Pujana MA, Valcarcel J, Eyras E. Large-scale analysis of genome and transcriptome alterations in multiple tumors unveils novel cancer-relevant splicing networks. Genome Research, 2016. DOI: 10.1101/ gr. 199935. 115.

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