B·Debate simposi: Big Data in Biomedicine. Challenges and Opportunities

Prop de 200 bioinformàtics nacionals i internacionals han debatut al llarg de dos dies a CaixaForum Barcelona, els reptes i les oportunitats de les dades massives (big data) en biomedicina, convocats per B•Debate, la iniciativa de Biocat i l’Obra Social “la Caixa” per a promoure el debat científic.

Aquest esdeveniment, organitzat conjuntament per Bioinformatics Barcelona (BIB), l’European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), el GRIB (IMIM-UPF) i B·DEBATE, ha tingut com objectiu proporcionar un fòrum interdisciplinari adreçat a informàtics, bioinformàtics, així com  científics i professionals de la biomedicina.

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The new voyage of the 'Argonautes'

Researchers of the Computational Genomics group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) led by Eduardo Eyras, CRG, University of Buenos Aires and the Max Planck Institute in Gottingen have recently published a study in PNAS, reporting that Argonaute proteins play an important role in the regulation of genes in the cell nucleus. The published work describes how Argonaute proteins, besides their role in post-transcriptional regulation, can also affect gene expression during transcription, the cell process that makes mRNA from DNA.

Reference paper: Allo M, Agirre E, Bessonov S, Bertucci P, Gómez-Acuña L, Buggiano V, Bellora N, Singh B, Petrillo E, Blaustein M, Miñana B, Dujardin G, Pozzi B, Pelisch F, Bechara E, Agafonov D, Srebrow A, Lührmann R, Valcárcel J, Eyras E , Kornblihtt AR. Argonaute-1 binds transcriptional enhancers and controls constitutive and alternative splicing in human cells. PNAS, 2014

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A study reveals a hitherto unknown protein affinity

The study, published today at Nature Communication, has been coordinated by the Computational Biophysics Group of GRIB led by Gianni de Fabritiis. This discovery is interesting both fundamentally and practically. From a practical standpoint, having a more complete understanding of such processes could help lead to better therapeutic strategies. Knowing how a mutation changes a natural interaction could lead to ways correct them. While the drugging of IDPs is still largely uncharted territory, it's possible that with lessons learned from our work and others a framework and methods can be built to tackle the challenge."We show that a modification to a disordered protein known as the Kinase Inducible Domain (KID) not only modulates what shapes it takes, but importantly the time it takes for the changes to happen", said De Fabritiis.

Reference: Stanley N, Esteban-Martín S, De Fabritiis G. Kinetic modulation of a disordered protein domain by phosphorylation. Nature Communication, 28th October 2014.

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B·Debate Symposium: Big Data in Biomedicine. Challenges and Opportunities

The event, jointly organised by the GRIB (IMIM-UPF), B·DebateBioinformatics Barcelona (BIB),  European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), aims to provide a forum for professionals of computer science and bioinformatics communities and researchers of life sciences to discuss the needs of state-of-the-art life science data analysis and the challenges that they represent in terms of computational resources and data management systems.

An Open Symposium will take place on Wednesday 12 November at CaixaForum. Registration is open through this form
Program of the Open Symposium

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Come to the GRIB EXPO the 10th November 2014

Come to the GRIB EXPO, a scientific exhibition on biomedical informatics research at GRIB. It will take place at Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) the 10th of November with the participation of Philip E. Bourne as guest lecturer. You will have the chance to interact with scientist working on computational tools to shape the future of healthcare and drug discovery.

Participation is free and open to all academic, industrial or health organizations within the PRBB and beyond. Registration is compulsory. Please click here for registration or send a mail to

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Nuria B. Centeno guanyadora del premi a la qualitat de la docència de la UPF

Nuria B. Centeno, investigadora del grup de FarmacoInformàtica del GRIB i coordinadora del Màster de Bioinformàtica per a les Ciències de la Salut (UPF/UB), ha estat guardonada en la darrera edició del Premis del Consell Social de la Universitat Pompeu Fabra en la categoria de qualitat de la docència, en la modalitat d'activitat dintre d'un màster universitari. El premi, que atorga cada curs el Consell Social de la UPF a les persones que excel·leixen en docència, va ser lliurat per la presidenta del Consell Social, Nuria Basi, a l'acte d’inauguració del curs acadèmic 2014-2015.

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OncodriveROLE predicts activating and loss of function cancer driver genes

The Biomedical Genomics group of GRIB announce a new member of the Oncodrive methods family: OncodriveROLE, an approach to classify cancer drivers into loss of function and activating roles. OncodriveROLE joins and complements the previously developed methods that identify cancer driver genes from the list of somatic mutations in cohort of tumors (OncodriveCLUST and OncodriveFM).

The manuscript describing OncodriveROLE is now published in Bioinformatics and freely available online. The method has been presented in a talk at the ECCB meeting in Strasbourg in September

Article Ref: Schroeder MP, Rubio-Perez C, Tamborero D, Gonzalez-Perez A, Lopez-Bigas N. OncodriveROLE classifies cancer driver genes in loss of function and activating mode of action. Bioinformatics, 2014; 30(17):i549-i555.

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Thesis Defence of Albert Antolin "The impact of polypharmacology on chemical biology"

On October, 9th at Marull Room (Dr. Aiguader 80, floor -1) at 12:00, Albert Antolin, member of the Systems Pharmacology group of GRIB will defend his thesis " The impact of polypharmacology on chemical biology". You are all invited to this event.

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Project Open PHACTS on track for sustainability

The Open PHACTS project has taken further steps along the path to sustainability for its outputs by launching a new version of its drug discovery platform and ensuring the long-term financial and technical viability of the infrastructure. Open PHACTS has developed a powerful cloud-based data platform that allows scientists to draw on diverse databases to answer all kinds of questions relating to drug development. The new version of the platform provides access to two additional data sets and also provides extra information on compounds. Elsewhere, the Open PHACTS Foundation has ensured the sustainability of the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform by funding secure hosting and organising the ongoing technical development of the infrastructure.

Several GRIB groups have contributed significantly to this european project, in particular the PharmacoInformatics group led by M. Pastor, the System Pharmacology group led by J. Mestres and the Integrative Biomedical Informatics group led by LI. Furlong and F. Sanz. As said M. Pastor: "the success of the Open PHACTS foundation demonstrates the value of the IMI projects outcomes and opens the path to similar initiatives. As promised, the Open PHACTS project is releasing a sustainable platform that can produce significant impact, increasing the productivity of biomedical research groups, both in industry and academia, for years to come".

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GRIB Researchers in the PRBB Open Day

Once again, on Saturday October 4th, the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) will open its doors to the public from 10:00 to 19:00. Scientists and PRBB staff will explain what we do, how we do it and where we do it and will organize different kinds of activities. Researchers of GRIB collaborate on this event.

Jose Luis Villanueva and Will Blevins, from the Evolutionary Genomics Group at GRIB, will explain in the guided visits to laboratories what the genome is and how computational biologists are extracting useful information from it.

Albert Antolin from the Systems Pharmacology group at GRIB will give a talk at 12:00 at Charles Darwin Room about cancer drugs discovery.

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