Doing real translational research: from patient to molecule

The Myogenesis, Inflammation and Muscle Function group from IMIM-Hospital del Mar Research Institute, coordinated by Joaquim Gea, is one of the few groups where a real translational research is already taking place. Formed 15 years ago by a group of clinical doctors specialized in respiratory diseases and a group of more basic biologists, its aim is to find direct links between specific symptoms and cellular and molecular mechanisms. For this, they do a clinical evaluation of the patient (or the animal model), obtain biological samples and do physiological studies. This part is done at the human physiology laboratory at the Hospital … Continue reading Doing real translational research: from patient to molecule

Several open positions at CRG with upcoming deadlines

The CRG has published several scientific job openings on their homepage: They are currently seeking up to five people to set up the CRG-EBI operation, a joint program with the European Bioinformatics Institute ( to explore and develop joint services based around human sequences and genotypes, in particular those associated with phenotype information. The openings are for a Team Leader, a Senior IT Technician and three IT support-staff. Please check the job offer. Additional offers are for a Computational Scientist at the CRG/UPF Proteomics Unit in Barcelona, one postdoctoral position at the laboratory of Dr. Salvador Aznar Benitah, group leader of Epithelial Homeostasis and … Continue reading Several open positions at CRG with upcoming deadlines

The look of the retina

The retina, or photosensitive layer, forms the deepest layer of the posterior compartment of the eye. It consists of three basic types of cells: neurones, pigmented epithelial cells and neuronal support cells. Different photoreceptor cells can be distinguished among the neurones: the colour receptive cone cells and black and white receptive rod cells. A third type of photoreceptor cells has photosensitive ganglions, responsive to light intensity. The CMRB is working on different protocols to differentiate retinal cells from stem cells, with the aim of future application in regenerative therapy. The picture shows a cell culture in the process of differentiation … Continue reading The look of the retina

“Our translational research makes us compulsive collaborators”

The Molecular physiology and channelopaties research group from the CEXS-UPF is formed by several PhD students, postdocs, a technician and a couple of principal researchers with teaching duties. Miguel Angel Valverde leads the group since 1999, when he came to Barcelona from King’s College in London. The aim of the group is two-fold. On the one hand, they try to understand how the ionic channels are activated, how they sense the physical or chemical signals that tell them to open or close. The second goal is to understand what happens when these channels don’t work correctly. Ca2+ and its role … Continue reading “Our translational research makes us compulsive collaborators”

“I’m working at what I’d always dreamed of” – Manuel Pastor, researcher on drug design

An interview published in Ellipse, the monthly magazine of the PRBB. Manuel Pastor, 45 and from Madrid, studied pharmacy at the University of Alcalà de Henares (Madrid), and after doing his PhD in the organic chemistry department went to Perugia in Italy for his postdoc. Self-taught computer expert and passionate about reading and the cinema, Pastor fell in love with medicines when he was little. Years later he has realised his dream as head of the research group for computer aided drug design at the GRIB (IMIM-UPF). When did you hear the call to science?  I’ve been passionate about medicines since … Continue reading “I’m working at what I’d always dreamed of” – Manuel Pastor, researcher on drug design

The path to life of the zebrafish

This picture of the department of Histology and Bioimaging of the CRMB shows different stages of Zebrafish embryonic development using a confocal laser microscope. The actin is stained red and in blue the yolk, which feeds the developing embryo. The phases are fist one cell, then two cells, four, and finally the result 48 hours after fertilization. Continue reading The path to life of the zebrafish