Alba receiving the prize from Professor Isaac Kohane


Alba Gutiérrez-Sacristán, winner of the first prize at the Datathon on Autism SSC data

Congratulations to Alba Gutiérrez-Sacristán for the first prize won at the Datathon on Autism SSC data celebrated during the last month of February at the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI), Harvard Medical School​ (USA).​ Alba is a predoctoral researcher at the Integrative Bioinformatics group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) and she is doing a six months stage at DBMI of  Harvard Medical School, working on analyzing Autism data sets, integrating genetic and clinical data to model disease expression using the R statistical tool connected to a i2b2/tranSMART database.

The Datathon on Autism SSC data was addressed to all labs at DBMI or working on PI-SURE. Participants were required to create in a month the coolest use case on Autism Simons Simplex Data combining clinical and Exome variant data using the BD2K PIC-SURE API and jupyter notebooks.  

Alba created an R package in order to help researchers to analyse both clinical and molecular data included in the Simons Simple Collection, a permanent repository of genetic samples from 2,600 simplex families, each of which has one child affected with an autism spectrum disorder, and unaffected parents and siblings, winning the first price!

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Celebrada la X Conferencia Anual de Plataformas Tecnológicas de Investigación Biomédica

La Conferencia se celebró en Madrid los días 7 y 8 de marzo y contó con la asistencia de casi 300 personas entre investigadores, autoridades y representantes de las administraciones y de compañías farmacéuticas, entre otros. Durante estos días, se abordaron cuestiones sobre investigación clínica, proyectos concretos de reutilización de datos para investigación biomédica, investigación en enfermedades raras, nuevas redes de investigación para la cooperación público-privada, innovación en centros públicos y colaboración con la industria biofarmacéutica. Todas las presentaciones y videos de esta Conferencia están disponibles en

Ferran Sanz, director del GRIB y copresidente, junto con Javier Urzay, subdirector general de Farmaindustria, de la Plataforma Tecnológica Española de Medicamentos Innovadores (PTEMI), presentó la sesión sobre "Análisis masivos de datos y reutilización de datos para la investigación biomédica".

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European project iPiE celebrates a workshop at the PRBB

On the 8th and 9th of February 2017 took place at PRBB (Barcelona) the iPiE WP6 workshop on ""Interfacing prediction models to iPiEsys" jointly organized by the project partners Molecular Networks and the GRIB (IMIM-UPF), addressing the prediction model developers within the consortium. 

During the workshop, a first prototype of the project prediction system (iPiEsys) was demonstrated using an acute fish toxicity model. The list of models that will be contributed by each partners was discussed as well as the technical details of their integration into iPiEsys. Also in this direction, a hands-on exercise showed the model developers the functionalities of eTOXlab, which was proposed as a framework for the development of iPiE predictive models.

The project iPiE: "Intelligence Led Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment", aims to develop a predictive framework that utilise existing information and in silico models to support more intelligent environmental testing of pharmaceuticals in development and to prioritise legacy pharmaceuticals for full environmental risk assessment and/or environmental (bio) monitoring.  iPiE is an european project funded by IMI for the period 2015-2017.

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Chemotargets, one of the five top Biotechs at BIO Europe Spring 2017

From 20th to 22nd March, Barcelona will host the BIO Europe Spring 2017, the most important european partnering conference in the biotech and pharma sectors. The aim of this international conference is to bring together pharmaceutical, biotechnology and financial firms to form alliances and partnerships for achieving common goals. More than 1,400 companies from 45 countries are expected to participate, with more than 2,400 people attending.

Chemotargets, the spin-off  of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) dedicated to developing software for predicting the mechanism of action and safety of new drugs, directed by Jordi Mestres, head of the Systems Pharmacology research group, is one of the 5 biotech companies from Barcelona invited to take part.

At labiotech website, one of the leading digital media channels covering European Biotech news, presented this handful of local companies in its article "Meet these 5 Awesome Biotechs from Barcelona at BIO Europe Spring 2017", highlighting some of them for their innovative diagnostic and therapy-related technology. 

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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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Thesis lecture of Esra Cece on Friday the 3rd of March at 11:00

Next Friday 3rd of March at 11:00, Esra Cece, member of the PharmacoInformatics group of GRIB will defense her thesis: "Metabolite identification in drug discovery: From data to information and from information to knowledge" at the Classroom 61.106-61.108 at the first floor of the Doctor Aiguader building. You are all invited to this event.

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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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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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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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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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