VHIR Annual Report 201

Vall d'Hebron. Institut de Recerca


Gut Bacteria Divide People Into 3 Types

Researchers from VHIR have contributed to the discovery of the existence of three groups of bacterial populations that divide world’s population into three types of intestinal flora (the human microbiome), similar to what happens to blood groups. This global classification allows researchers to define, in their search, the number of variables that may be implicated in disease, moving closer correlation between the state of the intestinal flora and the health of the individual.


VHIR’s research on microbiome, runner up of the Science Breakthrough of the Year 2011

Science’s editors and news staff have selected one scientific Breakthrough of the Year 2011 and nine runners-up. This year’s runners-up for Breakthrough of the Year highlight exciting developments in medicine, the history of the universe, human ancestry, and more. One of them is the microbiome research, how researchers found that far from being random, our internal microbial communities fall roughly into three enterotypes. Dr. Francisco Guarner, member of the digestive physiology and physiopathology group at Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), leads the Spanish participation in this investigation.


VHIR leads European project for the early treatment of blindness due to diabetes

Diabetes and metabolism group at VHIR, led by Dr. Rafael Simó, will coordinate a European consortium to investigate early treatment of diabetic retinopathy (EUROCONDOR), the leading cause of blindness among people of working age in developed countries. The project will develop a controlled clinical trial in phase II and III that will try to test the effectiveness of somatostatin, a neuroprotective drug in early stages of the disease to prevent or delay its progression.


Identified genes that allow the outpatient diagnosis of endometrial cancer

The Biomedical Research and Translational and Pediatric Oncology Unit at Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) led by Dr. Jaume Reventós, along with Dr. Antonio Gil-Moreno, from the Gynecology Service of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and researchers from the biotechnology company Geadic A.I.E., have conducted a study that identifies 20 genes involved in the development of endometrial cancer.


Proved the benefits of a not approved drug for the treatment of ADHD in adults

A review study led by VHIR has confirmed the efficacy of methylphenidate for adults with Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD). So far, the European Union authorizes treatment with methylphenidate (a stimulant) for children with Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD), but there are 20 million adults with the same disease and they need treatment, so this study probably will serve to provide enough evidence of the benefits of its use.


VHIR’s research is key for the customization of therapy for hepatitis B and C

VHIR participates in a study that aims to solve the current limitations that impede customizing anti-HBV and anti- HCV (hepatitis B and C) therapies. The project involves the application of ultra pyrosequencing and bioinformatic analysis, along with other technologies and molecular genetic analysis, and aims to reduce healthcare costs and effects experienced by patients, developing simple diagnostic tools and useful to identify what is the best treatment for each patient. VHIR collaborates with Roche Diagnostics, ABL and the Center for Biomedical Research Network in Liver and Digestive Diseases (CIBEREHD) in a deal funded by the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) under the Ministry of Science and Innovation.


VHIR study explains how to block metastasis in childhood rhabdomyosarcoma

The Laboratory of Translational Research in pediatric cancer at VHIR has identified the involvement of a signaling pathway, Notch pathway, in aggressiveness, invasiveness and metastasis of rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of childhood cancer. This discovery will apply a treatment to block the development of metastasis, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.


VHIR collaborates with Henufood to investigate how to prevent chronic disease through usual foods

Dr Fernando Azpiroz, leader of the Phisiology and pathophisiology of the digestive tract group and head of the research in hypersensitivity and dysmotility of VHIR investigates the ability of foods to improve digestive comfort and pleasurable sensations in the body. Dr. Azpiroz is one of the researchers from four Catalan centers that will develop HENUFOOD, a pioneering project of scientific research in the field of nutrition that seeks to prevent the risk of chronic diseases through usual food of the diet.


Discovery of a new genetic mechanism responsible for cardiac hypertrophy

A research network with Catalan participation and in which have worked researchers from seven countries has discovered how to control cardiac hypertrophy, increased heart weight that may lead to heart failure, a major cause of death and disability worldwide. This study, which was coordinated by Dr. Stuart Cook group at the Medical Research Council in London and Dr. Daniel Sanchis from IRBLleida-University of Lleida, and which have collaborated researchers from VHIR, UAB and the Platform for Applied Research in Laboratory Animal from Parc Científic of Barcelona (PRAAL-PCB), has identified EndoG as a protein responsible for maintaining the form and function of the heart and, therefore, its role as a fundamental regulator of cardiac hypertrophy. (min 48’15” )


VHIR participates in the official start of EATRIS to developing Europe’s translational research of the future

3rd October marks the official start of EATRIS, a pan-European network of translational research infrastructure in medicine.  Building on a successful commencement phase funded by the European Commission in 2007-2010, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands are parties to the new agreement, with 3 more countries expected to follow by Q4 2011 and early 2012.  EATRIS is one of the Research Infrastructures, initiated by the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). Spain participates with the coordinated work of the Health Institute Carlos III (ISCIII), representing the government, and Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) representing the scientific leadership.


The 5th Scientific Session and the 15th Annual Conference highlight the best of VHIR

Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) celebrated 1st and 2nd December the 5th Scientific Session and the 15th Annual Conference. More than 50 research works have been presented during the Scientific Session in the predoctoral, postdoctoral, residents and nursing categories. The best predoctoral communication has been Alba González Juncà, of the Gene Expression and Cancer group at VHIO with the work ‘TGFB Receptor I inhibitor radiosensitizes Glioblastoma’. The second award of this category has been for Nahia Ezkurdia Garmendia, from the liver diseases group at VHIR with the presentation ‘Sympathetic atrophy of portal hypertensive rats is generated by an afferent splanchnic signal via a brain-sympathetic mesenteric ganglia pathway’


VHIR leads project grants for health research from Instituto de Salud Carlos III

Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) is the center associated with Spanish hospitals which received more grants from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII ) for the fourth quarter of 2010. The 31 projects, totaling the amount financed of 3,919,909.50 euros, from 23 different research groups, demonstrate the wide variety of quality proposals approved.


‘Favorites on the Web 2011′ award to www.vhir.org

The journals ‘Diario Médico’ and ‘Correo Farmacéutico’ have chosen the website of Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), www.vhir.org, as one of the best in the Fourth Edition of the awards ‘The best websites in the healthcare field’, in the medical section and the category of hospitals and foundations.



A delegation of Roche led by Dr. Michael Heuer, President of EMEA/LatAm Diagnostics, visited on Friday March 11 Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR) facilities, where met with representatives of management and hepatic diseases research group at VHIR



With the background of the Health ICT exchange workshops between Catalonia and France that took place this week in Girona, a delegation of French ICT companies and health centers have visited on May 6 the facilities of Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (HUVH).



Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Fundació Institut Universitari Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and MONDRAGON Health signed a new strategic partnership oriented to R+D+I to promote collaboration in the fields of science and technology in activities of mutual interest to contribute to health sector development in the Autonomous Communities of Catalonia and the Basque Country. This agreeement wants to promote the generation, exchange and transfer of knowledge through research projects, innovation, training and promotion of joint activities.


Parc Taulí

Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (HUVH), Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), Parc Taulí Health Corporation (CSPT) and Parc Tauli Foundation (FPT) have signed a framework agreement establishing a partnership in the models and processes of innovation and transfer, as well as scientific and technological fields of common interest.



Telstar, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (HUVH) and the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) have formalized a strategic alliance in  R+D+i for developing together research and innovation projectes in the fields of science and technology applied to healthcare and biomedical research. This alliance is the result of a collaboration agreement that the three organizations have signed on November 24.


Official College of doctors of Barcelona

Vall d’Hebron Institute for Research (VHIR) and the Official College of doctors of Barcelona (COMB) have signed an agreement under which COMB will offer services of technological innovation, analysis and support of entrepreneurial activities to VHIR’s researchers. As a result of VHIR intention of becoming an institution that combines innovating with its values of excellence in research and COMB’s willingness to give service on its members, the agreement will contribute to the promotion of innovative projects linked to the health sector and which have been designed under the environment of both institutions.


Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona-Campus of International Excellence

Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) participated in the first meeting to define the strategies of the aggregation Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona-Campus of International Excellence (UAB-CIE), together with over 50 representatives of the centers and institutions belonging to the aggregation. VHIR’s representative was Francesc Iglesias, director of innovation.


UPC-Center for Innovation and Technology

A delegation from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) belonging to its Center for Innovation and Technology (CIT), have met at Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) with researchers and professionals from Vall d’Hebron University Hospital with innovative projects.


Foundation Step by Step

Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and the Foundation Step by Step, as part of the annual meeting of its board, have signed a cooperation agreement to promote and support new research in the field of spinal cord injury.