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The Institute for Research in Biomedicine reloaded


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The IRB Barcelona has now its own legal status through which to manage the future of the centre. The first meeting of the board of trustees appointed Joan J. Guinovart, researcher and senior professor with the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the UB, as director of the Institute. In this new phase, the distinguished scientist Joan Massagué will also join the management team of the centre.

The institute began its activity in PCB facilities on the initiative of the UB and was set up to coordinate and promote research of excellence in the field of biomedicine. In this regard, the PCB has consolidated itself as an ideal setting in which to establish centres of this nature, the IRB Barcelona being the first to receive its own legal status.

The IRB Barcelona seeks to become an international reference in biomedicine by complying with criteria of quality and independence, features characteristic of leading research centres. At present, the IRB Barcelona hosts 25 groups comprised of more than 300 investigators, mainly from the UB, the Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), and the Spanish Scientific Council (CSIC).

This new institute will provide a setting that favours activities related to innovation and the transfer of knowledge and technology.

The research undertaken at the IRB Barcelona is organized into five programmes, defined on the basis of scientific opportunity and fields of pre-existing excellence and those that are considered to be most promising. The programmes are focused on the following fields: Cell and Developmental Biology; Structural and Computational Biology; Molecular Medicine, Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Translational and Applied Oncology. The latter will include the “Tumour Metastasis Research Laboratory” (METLAB), designed by Joan Massagué. In addition, the IRB  Barcelona will be supported by an External Advisory Committee that will evaluate the programmes in order to assure that its research complies with scientific quality, thereby keeping its activities at the forefront of scientific research.

The constitution of the IRB Barcelona Foundation, which has a budget of 41 millions euros over 4 years, allows the promotion of biomedical research and relations with other entities and groups. In addition, it will contribute to the advancement and coordination of interdisciplinary research in biomedicine. Also, this new institute will provide a setting that favours activities related to innovation and the transfer of knowledge and technology. In addition, the scientific and technological expertise of the IRB Barcelona will be placed at the disposal of health institutes.

About IRB Barcelona

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) pursues a society free of disease. To this end, it conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence to cure cancer and other diseases linked to ageing. It establishes technology transfer agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and major hospitals to bring research results closer to society, and organises a range of science outreach activities to engage the public in an open dialogue. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 researchers and more than 30 nationalities. Recognised as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence since 2011, IRB Barcelona is a CERCA centre and member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).