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VHIR and CRG to collaborate in basic and clinical research projects


Dj, 19/01/2012 - 12:50

VHIR and CRG to collaborate in basic and clinical research projects

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) have signed an agreement for the development of collaborative projects in basic and clinical research. One of the proposed focuses is research on rare genetic diseases.
The agreement, signed by the directors of the two institutions, Luis Serrano (CRG) and Joan X. Comella (VHIR), lasts one year but is renewable, and aims to encourage an alliance between clinical and basic researchers with the objective of bringing the discoveries of basic research closer to the clinical needs and, in the opposite sense, allow clinical researchers to experience firsthand the challenges, advances and possibilities of fundamental research. The final goal is the translation of all of this knowledge into practice. Identification of the current clinical needs of medical centres is vitally important for the partnership between the basic and clinical fields.
“It is a strategic venture with one of the worlds most prestigious institutions in genomic regulation and genetics; this actually reinforces our research position”, says Joan Cornella. For Luis Serrano, this agreement is an opportunity to get “access to medical and clinical aspects of the research that we do not have, but in which the VHIR stands out”.
To mark the beginning of the collaboration, on Wednesday January 18, the first CRG - VHIR Meeting was held in the headquarters of the Mutua Universal de Barcelona. Representatives of the different research groups from both institutes presented their specialties as well as the application of their research.
This alliance is the kind of initiative that the national biomedical sector wishes to promote, as they are an essential part of the development of a new economic model to generate wealth and innovation, and which is why the project is supported by the two institutions.
Speakers at the first CRG - VHIR Meeting
Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG):

  • Xavier Estivill, Mara Dierssen – Genes and Disease Programme
  • Fyodor Kondrashov  - Bioinformatics and Genomics Programme
  • Juan Valcárcel –Gene Regulation Programme
  • Isabelle Vernos – Cell and Developmental Biology Programme
  • Thomas Graf, Salvador Aznar-Benitah – Differentiation and Cancer Programme
  • Luis Serrano, James Swoger – Systems Biology Programme

Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR)

  • Ramón Martí  - Neuromuscular and Mitochondrial Pathology Group
  • Laura Audí – Paediatrics Endocrinology Group
  • Jordi Barquinero –Cell and Gene Therapy Group
  • Alfons Macaya – Paediatric Neurology Group
  • Anna María Cueto – Genetics Group
  • David García-Dorado – Cardiovascular Diseases Group

Also attending the event were Jaume Roigé, healthcare director of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital (HUVH); María de las Mercedes Pastor, director of the FEDER Foundation; Antoni Andreu, director of the Molecular Medicine programme at the HUVH, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, director of the HUVH Biobank; Francisco Palau, director of CIBERER, and Jordi Pérez, coordinator of the Research into Minority Diseases group of the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI).
For further information:
Juan Sarasua, Press Office, Communication and Human Resources Dept., Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Tel. +34 93 316 02 37, email:
Fran Garcia, Unitat de Comunicación e Imagen del VHIR, Tel. +34 666215168, e-mail:
Photos available: .
Photo footer: In the signature pic, from left to right, Luis Serrano, CRG Director and Joan Cornella, VHIR director.