Clinical and bioengineering researchers accelerate together towards the medicine of the future

Lab assistant taking Urine samples for checking donde bacteria.

The success of translational biomedical research, which seeks solutions to health problems, requires a combination of scientific, medical and bioengineering knowledge and skills. In this context, and within the common strategies of VHIR and IBEC to strengthen translational and innovation research, both institutions recently made new steps towards a closer collaboration with new translational days. Among the actions that are already being promoted one can find, for example, the creation of mixed units, the sharing of spaces and resources, or the exchange and co-supervision of researchers at different stages of their professional careers, such as resident doctors, pre-doctoral and postdoctoral reserachers. 

More recently, VHIR and IBEC celebrated their 2nd translational day on May 17th. These conferences have the objective of bringing basic research closer to the clinical practice, by finding out the challenges that clinicians face, as well as to identify those tools and potential solutions that bioengineering can provide. The 1st translational day, held on February 11th, focused on rare diseases and 15 groups from VHIR and IBEC participated, exchanging experiences on the approach to rare neuromuscular and neurodegenerative, fetal, pediatric neurology, endocrine, respiratory, cystic fibrosis diseases , immunodeficiency or mitochondrial diseases. 

The second day, held on May 17th, was focused on advanced therapies, with the participation of 15 groups that presented some promising therapies such as gene editing, the use of stem cells, the generation of organoids, advanced therapies of directionally drugs, or regenerative medicine. 

VHIR and IBEC have a long history of joint research. In 2012, both institutions signed a framework agreement to establish an alliance, which has led to multiple collaborations, among others, in infectious diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, rare diseases, kidney, tissue regeneration, solid tumors, pediatric cancer or Parkinson’s. 

About VHIR 

The Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) is a CERCA institution of the public sector that promotes and develops research, innovation and biosanitary teaching at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, the largest of the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS). Since its creation in 1994, the VHIR has worked to identify and apply new solutions to society’s health problems and to help spread them throughout the world. 

About IBEC 

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) is a CERCA centre, twice recognized as a Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence and with the TECNIO seal as a differential technology facilitator granted by the Government of Catalonia. It is also a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST). IBEC conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence on the frontier between engineering and life sciences to generate knowledge and contribute to solutions to health problems.