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Mutations in the dark region of the genome cause leukaemia

A study published in Nature on 22 July have decoded the genome of more than five hundred patients with leukaemia and have identified recurrent mutations in non-coding regions of the genome, which provides new clues to the development of cancer. This study is the first to complete the analysis of five hundred genomes within the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and it most important finding is the identification of mutations in areas of the genome that do not code for proteins whose functional significance is still very little known. These regions represent 98% of our genome, but they are so little known that they are not usually analysed in patients. This study has enabled defining sixty genes whose mutations cause tumour development.

The study has been conducted by researchers Carlos López-Otín, of the University of Oviedo, and Elías Campo, from the IDIBAPS and the University of Barcelona. They coordinated a team of over sixty researchers working at centres belonging to the Spanish Chronic Lymphatic Leukaemia Genome Consortium, including Núria López Bigas, ICREA researcher and Head of the Biomedical Genomics Group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF), Carlota Rubio and David Tamborero, researchers of her team.

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Constitució de l'Associació Bioinformatics Barcelona - BIB

(Nota de Premsa)

L'associació BIB compta amb 25 entitats membres entre universitats, centres de recerca, instituts de recerca hospitalària, grans infraestructures científiques, empreses i altres institucions, a més de 23 entitats en procés d'incorporació.
La primera junta directiva està formada per la presidenta Dra. Ana Ripoll (UAB), el secretari Dr. Arcadi Navarro (UPF) i el tresorer Dr. Alfons Nonell (Mind the Byte).
Neix amb la voluntat d'involucrar a totes les entitats per generar iniciatives i dinàmiques col·laboratives en recerca avançada, transferència de coneixement i formació, que projectin Barcelona i Catalunya com un pol de referència internacional en l’àmbit de la bioinformàtica.
Donarà resposta als reptes plantejats pel creixement de macrodades (big data) en els àmbits de salut i agroalimentari, com per exemple la medicina personalitzada i l'agricultura de precisió.

La primera iniciativa sorgida del BIB ha estat el disseny d'estudis pioners en tot l'Estat: la formació professional de tècnics informàtics amb orientació bioinformàtica que es posarà en marxa en el curs 2015-16, i el primer grau interuniversitari en bioinformàtica en el Sistema Universitari Català previst pel curs 2016-17.

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22/06/2015

The Master in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences of the UPF classified as one of the best in Spain

The Master in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences of the Pompeu Fabra University has been classified as one of the best in Spain acording the ranking published by "El Mundo"

The master in Bioinformatics aims to provide professionals and researchers with expertise and skills geared towards developing new computational strategies and IT systems that are useful in biomedical research. The master has a faculty staff with both a long experience in teaching and research careers widely recognized. To implement this master, expert researchers on each field have been selected at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Universitat de Barcelona on each of the subjects taught: Molecular Biology, Genetics, Mathematics, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Drug Design and others. An important part of the faculty staff, including the coordination of the master are members of the Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB).

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22/06/2015

GRIB organise the "Cancer genomics and personalised medicine workshop: focus on pancreas cancer"

The workshop is addressed to researchers and students interested in cancer genomics and the main objective is to provide a view of top research projects in cancer genomics research, with a special focus on Pancreas Cancer. Speakers include Prof Ben Raphael, from Brown University (USA), who will talk about The Cancer Genome Atlas Project on Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. Prof. David Chang, from the Institute of Cancer Sciences at the University of Glasgow, who will discuss molecular stratification approaches on pancreatic cancer. Dr. Stepha Ossowski (from the Centre for Genomic Regulation), who will address the challenge of identifying driver mutations in heterogenous or low purity tumour samples. Finally Prof. Kristen Van Steen (University of Liege, Belgium), will talk about integrative approaches in cancer.

The Biomedical Genomics group of GRIB, led by Núria López-Bigas, as members of the EUPancreas COST Action organize this event hosted by the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park the 1st of July. The EUPancreas COST Action is an integrated european platform for pancreas cancer research: from basic science to clinical and public health interventions.

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16/06/2015

Two postdoctoral researchers join the GRIB through the program UPfellows

The UPfellows program provides professional development opportunities to young postdoctoral candidates from foreign centers of any nationality who wish to pursue their scientific career in Catalonia, under the guidance of a senior scientific mentor.

GRIB researchers selected were Alexia Giannoula, that will develop her project in the IBI group, led by Laura I. Furlong and Márton Münz that will join the Biomedical Genomics group led by Núria López-Bigas.

The UP fellows program, promoted by the University Pompeu Fabra, has the support of Marie Curie COFUND Programme of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission and offers a total of 24 grants to international researchers.

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16/06/2015

Presentacion de los Resultados del Programa de Cooperación Farma-Biotech 2011-2014 en el Auditorio del PRBB

El próximo 1 de Julio, en el Auditorio del PRBB, tendrá lugar la presentacion de los resultados del programa de cooperación Farma-Biotech 2011-2014.

Este programa ha sido promovido por  la Plataforma Tecnológica Española Medicamentos Innovadores (PTEMI) y Farmaindustria, con el objetivo de impulsar acuerdos de cooperación entre compañías farmacéuticas, pequeñas empresas biotecnológicas españolas y centros de investigación. A lo largo de estos años se han celebrado doce encuentros, en los que han participado 93 agentes y se han presentado 86 proyectos biotecnológicos dando paso a firma de acuerdos de transferencia y otros resultados.

La asistencia a la jornada es gratuita con inscripción previa en http://www.medicamentos-innovadores.org

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10/06/2015

Cuatro proyectos del GRIB recibirán ayudas del Plan Nacional del MINECO

El Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) ha concedido las ayudas del Plan Nacional de I + D + i, el instrumento principal de la política científica española que promueve los trabajos que se encuentran en la base del progreso científico. El GRIB ha obtenido financiación para cuatro proyectos de investigación.

Eduardo Eyras, investigador ICREA y jefe del grupo de Genómica Computacional, llevará a cabo el proyecto "Caracterización y detección de alteraciones en el procesamiento del RNA con relevancia clínica para la medicina personalizada del cáncer".

Gianni de Fabritiis, investigador ICREA y jefe del grupo de Biofísica Computacional, llevará a cabo el proyecto "Conformational Kinetics, binding and modulation of disordered protein domains".

Jordi Mestres, jefe del grupo de Farmacología de Sistemas llevará a cabo el proyecto "Aproximaciones de sistemas a la predicción avanzada de la seguridad de pequeñas moléculas para la salud humana y ambiental".

Baldo Oliva, jefe del grupo de Bioinformática Estructural, llevará a cabo el proyecto "Desarrollo de herramientas bioinformáticas para el estudio de los mecanismos de reconexión de la red de interacciones de proteínas: Aplicación en la medicina de sistemas (PINR-sysmed)".

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Informative session of the Master in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences on June the 12th

Come to the information session of the master's degree in Bioinformatics for Health Sciences on June the 12th at 17:00 at Marie Curie room in the ground floor of PRBB (map).

The aim of this session is to provide information about the main characteristics of the Master, which is available for the 2015-2016 academic year. If you are interested please fill the form here.

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18/05/2015

GRIB coordinates the new H2020 project MedBioinformatics

The project MedBioinformatics aims to develop useful bioinformatics tools and applications, and autonomously usable for analysing the huge amount of data and knowledge generated in healthcare and biomedical research in order to facilitate translational research and precision medicine.

According to Ferran Sanz, Director of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) and coordinator of this project, "most potential users, i.e. translational researchers and health professionals, do not have adequate tools to efficiently exploit this large and heterogeneous amount of information. So far, efforts to develop bioinformatics methods and tools have not produced the expected impact in healthcare environments".  Ferran Sanz added that this is primarily due to two reasons "on one hand, the lack of integrative strategies that effectively combine the diverse types of data that are available in different repositories around the world. On the other hand, there is a lack of involvement of end users during the process of creating applications to identify the information they really need and to present it in the most appropriate format. We must develop applications that integrate, analyse and show biomedical information in a way that is immediately understandable and useful to end users."

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11/05/2015

A collaboration between researchers at GRIB and CRG explores the role of amino acid tandem repeats in the diversification of duplicated proteins

Expansions of amino acid tracts in proteins are famous for causing a number of neurodegenerative and developmental diseases. However, these regions are also an important motor for evolution, as recently shown in an article appeared in Molecular Biology and Evolution coauthored by the Evolutionary Genomics group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) led by Mar Albà and the Gene Function group of CRG led by Susana de la Luna.

The complexity of vertebrates is related to two whole genome duplications occurred at the origin of the group. After these events, many developmental regulators were retained in multiple copies and later acquired different functions. The authors have shown that a large number of transcription factors gained new amino acid tandem repeats after the duplication. In experiments performed in families containing poly-alanine tracts, deletion of the repeat recapitulates the ancestral protein transcriptional activity, making the two copies alike again. The results support the idea that repeats played an important role in in the diversification of transcriptional networks during vertebrate evolution.

Article ref.: Núria Radó-Trilla, Krisztina Arató, Cinta Pegueroles, Alicia Raya, Susana de la Luna* and M.Mar Albà*. Key role of amino acid repeat expansions in the functional diversification of duplicated transcription factors. Molecular Biology and Evolution, April 29, 2015, Advance Access. *co-corresponding

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