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23/02/2017

New role of cholesterol in regulating brain proteins discovered

May be key in central nervous system diseases such as Alzheimer's

A study led by researchers of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) and the Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics at the Faculty of Medicine in Charité Hospital, Berlin, published in the journal Nature Communications, demonstrates that the cholesterol present in cell membranes can interfere with the function of an important brain membrane protein, through a previously unknown mode of interaction. Specifically, cholesterol is capable of regulating the activity of the adenosine receptor, by invading it and accessing the active site. This will allow new ways of interacting with these proteins to be devised that in the future could lead to drugs for treating diseases like Alzheimer's.

The adenosine receptor belongs to the GPCR family (G Protein-Coupled Receptors), a large group of proteins located in cell membranes, which are key in the transmission of signals and communication between cells. GPCRs are therefore involved in the majority of important physiological processes, including the interpretation of sensory stimuli such as vision, smell, and taste, the regulation of the immune and inflammatory system, and behaviour modulation.

Explanatory video in which you can see how cholesterol leaves the neuronal membrane and get within the adenosine receptor:

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2/2/2017

Nace CompBioMed: un centro de excelencia en biomedicina computacional

Lo hace en el marco del programa Horizonte 2020, que financiará con casi 5 millones de euros este proyecto dirigido a captar y explotar la informática de alto rendimiento en la investigación biomédica.

Los modelos predictivos de enfermedades están ganando peso en la medicina dada su utilidad a la hora de personalizar los tratamientos. Es por esto que los métodos computacionales basados en la biología humana se han convertido en un factor clave para el desarrollo de la medicina personalizada.

En este escenario ha nacido CompBioMed, proyecto financiado por el programa europeo H2020, un centro de excelencia en computación biomédica que fomenta la captación y explotación de la informática de alto rendimiento (HPC) en el ámbito de la biomedicina liderado por la University College de Londres (UCL). 

Entre los 14 centros que participan en el proyecto se encuentra el grupo de Biofísica Computacional del  GRIB (UPF-IMIM) dirigido por Gianni de Fabritiis, profesor ICREA de la UPF, que jugará un papel importante en el grupo de trabajo 2 del proyecto "Molecularly-based Medicine Exemplar Research", y también en el grupo de trabajo 6, "Empowering Biomedical Applications".

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23/01/2017

transQST: 16 M€ cash boost for adverse drug reaction research

The european project transQST aims to improve the understanding of adverse drug reactions and the approach of systems modelling approaches to drug safety. Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are the unwanted side effects of medication. They can contribute significantly to patient morbidity, mortality and hospitalisation costs.

Funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (IMI 2) the five-year project TransQST:  Translational Quantitative Systems Toxicology, aims to develop novel computational approaches using the best available data from the public and private domains to address the problems of drug safety.

TransQT is a partnership between ten academic institutions, three Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and eight pharmaceutical companies, with a total budget of 16 M€. The project will be coordinated by the University of Liverpool, and the pharmaceutical company AbbVie is the Project Leader. The Integrative Biomedical Informatics group of GRIB (IMIM- UPF) led by Laura I. Furlong and Ferran Sanz participates on this project coordinating the Work Package 4: Systems Modelling Tecnologies.  

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17/01/2017

Tret de sortida al Projecte europeu ESCAPE-NET

Avui comença a Amsterdam el kick-off meeting del projecte ESCAPE-NET: European Sudden Cardiac Arrest network: towards Prevention, Education and New Treatment, un projecte del programa Horizon 2020 de la Unió Europea, de l'àrea de Medicina Personalitzada. El projecte està coordinat per l'Academisch Medisch Centrum de la Universitat d' Amsterdam i hi participen un total de 16 equips científics de tot Europa, entre ells el grup de recerca en Farmacologia de Sistemes del GRIB (IMIM-UPF) coordinat pel Dr. Jordi Mestres. Aquest grup aportarà al projecte la seva experiència i expertesa en el camp de la predicció del mecanisme d'acció i la seguretat de fàrmacs i participarà en el desenvolupament d'una puntuació de risc d'aturada cardíaca sobtada personalitzada a partir de l'anàlisi individual de quimio i biomarcadors associats a l'arítmia cardíaca.

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01/02/2016

Master's degree in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences information session

The Department of Experimental and Health Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University is organizing an information session for everyone interested in taking the master's degree in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences.
The aim of this session is to provide information about the main characteristics of this program, which is available for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The Session will be held on 17th February at 16:00 in class 61.127 at Campus Mar building, C/ Doctor Aiguader, 88.

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26/01/2017

Thesis lecture of Joaquim Olivés on monday 30th of January at 12:00: "Endogenous Metabolites in Drug Discovery: from Plants to Human"

Next monday 30th of January at 12:00, Joaquim Olivés, member of the Systems Pharmacology group of GRIB will defense his thesis: "Endogenous Metabolites in Drug Discovery: from Plants to Human" at Ramón y Cajal room in the ground floor of PRBB. You are all invited to this event.

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17/01/2017

Babita Singh, winner of the "Best Science Poster" prize at the IV Bioinformatics and Genomics Symposium

Congratulations to Babita Singh, for the Best Science Poster prize at the IV Bioinformatics and Genomics Symposium held in Barcelona last December.   

Babita is a predoctoral researcher at the Computational RNA Biology group of GRIB (UPF-IMIM) led by Eduardo Eyras. The poster, entitled "Landscape of Somatic Mutations in RNA Splicing Regulatory Elements in Cancer" was selected through participants voting and presents the second chapter of the Babita´s thesis about cis component of alternative splicing in cancer i.e. mutations on regulatory regions that could potentially result to differential splicing. For this purpose it is used the whole genome sequencing data obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) for 13 different cancer types using ~17million mutations. 

The IV Bioinformatics and Genomics Symposium took place at the Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB) on the 20th of December of 2016. This symposium was organized together by the Section of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and the Section of Genomics and Proteomics of the Societat Catalana de Biologia (SCB) and the Bioinformatics Barcelona Association (BIB) and nearly 300 participants attended the symposium. 

For more information and Poster link click here

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05/01/2017

Gens i bytes: la IV Jornada de Bioinformàtica i Genòmica reuneix els experts en la matèria de l’àmbit català

El GRIB va participar en aquesta quarta edició en la que els organitzadors de la jornada han rebut més de setanta estudis, dels quals una vintena es van presentar oralment. Alguns investigadors catalans vénen des de llurs centres de treball actuals a Suècia, els Estats Units o la Gran Bretanya, i tornen per un dia al seu lloc d'origen per bescanviar coneixements i promoure col·laboracions. L'acte d'inauguració va comptar amb l'actual secretari d'Universitats i Recerca de la Generalitat de Catalunya, el Sr. Arcadi Navarro, científic de formació i especialitzat en bioinformàtica. A més, entre els ponents hi ha hagut dos investigadors dels dos centres de bioinformàtica més punters de la Gran Bretanya i d'Europa: l'European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) i el Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. L'empresa europea de serveis digitals ATOS va ser el patrocinador tecnològic aportant una xerrada sobre computació d'altes prestacions o High-Performance Computing (HPC), i la DAMM va patrocinar l'espai de treball en xarxa (networking). 

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16/12/2016

Genomics and the conservation of species: insights from the Iberian lynx

Genetic erosion following extreme population declines can become an added burden for the recovery of endangered species. A study just published in Genome Biology based on whole genome sequences of the Iberian lynx  reports extremely low levels of genetic diversity and an excess of deleterious variants as major consequences of serial population contractions. Genomic studies of endangered species like this are providing insights into patterns of genomic erosion and how they can affect species viability. Hopefully, genomics will also contribute to saving species from extinction, adding a new tool to the species conservation toolbox.

The Evolutionary Genomics group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) led by Mar Albà has participated on this study coordinated by the CSIC.

Reference: Abascal et al. (including Alba MM, Villanueva-Cañas JL, Ruiz-Orera, J). Genome Biology. 14th Dec 2016. DOI: 10.1186/s13059-016-1090-1. https://goo.gl/dobxiW

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09/12/2016

The Bioinformatics Barcelona Association presents the Research Program on Biomedical Informatics

You're still in time to sign up for the third visit of the "Get BIB", focused on this occasion on the Research Program on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB), joint research programme of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences of UPF.

The presentation will take place on Monday 12 December from 10:00 to 12:00h at Ramón y Cajal room of Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (Doctor Aiguader, 88, Barcelona), and since seating is limited, it needs your attendance confirmation by sending an email to comunicacio@bioinformaticsbarcelona.eu

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