600 visitors converge for IRB Barcelona’s Open Day

150 volunteers are going to attend to visitors of the first Open Day at IRB Barcelona. In the photo, a group of volunteers who will participate in the event.
150 volunteers are going to attend to visitors of the first Open Day at IRB Barcelona. In the photo, a group of volunteers who will participate in the event.
  • <p>150 volunteers are going to attend to visitors of the first Open Day at IRB Barcelona. In the photo, a group of volunteers who will participate in the event.</p>
  • <p>600 people will visit IRB Barcelona laboratories on Saturday 18 April, with a special tour for children. In the photo, associate researcher Meritxell Teixidó will give one of the informative talks.</p>
  • <p>Scientists will open the doors of 16 IRB Barcelona laboratories, located in the Barcelona Science Park (photo author: Battista/Minocri).</p>

Next Saturday, IRB Barcelona is set to receive hundreds of people who have shown interest in the centre after the fund-raising dance video featuring its researchers.

Those who have given donations include schools and members of the public curious about the institute’s facilities, which are located at the Barcelona Science Park.

Almost 150 volunteers will be participating in the event, held to mark IRB Barcelona’s 10th anniversary this year.

On Saturday 18 April, the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), located in the Barcelona Science Park, on the university campus of Pedralbes, will be opening its doors to receive 600 visitors.

The first IRB Barcelona Open Day, to be held from 10 h till 18 h, will involve about 150 volunteers who are set to welcome the visitors. The four programmed sessions will include an informative talk and guided visits around labs and a fair including stands for science dissemination, live research, and information about academic careers at IRB Barcelona, as well as some mystery activities.

This year IRB Barcelona celebrates its 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion, a series of activities has been organised aimed to bring science and the general public closer. The celebrations will end in October with an institutional event aimed at the academic community. Last October, public awareness of the centre among the general public was greatly increased through a fundraising campaign through a dance video featuring IRB researchers. This initiative was widely echoed in the media and to date has received almost one million visits on YouTube. Thanks to this increase in visibility, the centre received donations from anonymous members of the public who wished to support the investigation performed there. In acknowledgement, IRB Barcelona has organised its first Open Day, to which it has extended the first invitations to all those who have donated to the fundraising campaign so that they can get to know the centre first-hand.

With ten days to go until the Open Day, all 600 places have been reserved and each of the four programmed tours has a waiting list. Joan J. Guinovart, director of IRB Barcelona, has expressed his gratitude for such a positive response. “If we want people to support us we have to raise their awareness of our existence, explain what we are all about, and show them that what we do is beneficial for them and for society at large. We have to show the returns of research, above all in biomedicine, to society, in which investigation and improvement in quality of life go hand in hand. On top of all this, science is fascinating and fun”.

A programme for all ages

The Open day has been organised in four separate sessions, each with a max of 150 participants. All the sessions start off with an informative talk, which will vary for each time slot, followed by tours around labs.

The first talk, to be held at 10.00 h, entitled “Ambulances for the brain”, will be given by Meritxell Teixidó, associate researcher at IRB Barcelona. At 11.30 h, Antonio Zorzano, coordinator of the Molecular Medicine, will talk about “Diabetes, a sweet but deadly epidemic”. In the third talk, at 13.00 h, Salvador Aznar-Benitah, ICREA research and group leader, will address research on stem cells through the talk “Adult stem cells: longevity, cancer and regenerative medicine”.

The last session, at 15.30 h, is aimed at families with children. It will start with an inventive class given by the theatre group Clowntífics, formed by two doctors at IRB Barcelona and professional clowns. This activity has been thought up for kids between the ages of 8 and 14, but is also suitable for younger children. Immediately after this session, there will be visit to labs especially thought up for children.

All the tours will be rounded off at the science fair, which will offer activities to participants of all ages and information related to the research and initiatives undertaken at IRB Barcelona. The fair will be livened up with a performance by the IRB Barcelona choir— an example of the social activities organised within the institute.

The Open Day at IRB Barcelona is supported by the City Council.