Barcelona School on Biomedical Informatics

Last week the first Barcelona School on Biomedical Informatics  came to a close with a noteworthy success in attendance and achievement of objectives. It was promoted from the Research Unit on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB) and organised in collaboration with the European projects of the 6th BioBridge and QosCosGrid programme and with the network of excellence of the seventh Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) programme, as well as the Spanish Bioinformatics Institute (INB).

The school, hosted by Pompeu Fabra University, the Municipal Institute of Medical Research and the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park, consisted of an innovative formula that combined the presence of expert speakers on the subject running plenary and tutorial sessions, followed by group work sessions where the students applied some of the things learned during the morning sessions to situations of biomedical interest.

Three model cases were thus posed: ischemia and reperfusion in cardiomyocytes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis. The students, with limited knowledge of each of the topics in the majority of cases, contributed their experience in fields of research as varied as mathematics, computer science and medicine so as to be able to propose possible integrated protocols for using bioinformatics in solving such important medical problems.

Jordi VillĂ  i Freixa, the organiser of this edition, explains that this was the beginning point for a new model of school, much more participatory than the traditional workshops and with a strong practical component. The objective is to bring the tools closer to the participants so that they will be able to find integrated formulas for resolving complex biomedical problems, beyond simply seeing these tools as components unconnected with the great wealth of knowledge that has been generated by bioinformatics over the last few years.

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