Josep Manuel Menchón, appointed new Scientific Director of IDIBELL

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The Board of Trustees of IDIBELL has appointed Josep Manuel Menchón as new Scientific Director of the centre. Dr. Menchón is a renowned physician and researcher in the field of psychiatry and mental health. The new Scientific Director will replace, from October 1st, Gabriel Capellá, who has held this position since 2009. The Board has also appointed the researcher Manel Esteller as Director of Strategic Projects, a new position. The Board of Trustees has approved these appointments during a regular meeting held this morning at the Duran i Reynals Hospital of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

Dr. Menchón (54) is the head of the research group of Psychiatry and Mental Health of IDIBELL, head of the Psychiatry Department of the Bellvitge University Hospital and Professor at the University of Barcelona. The new Scientific Director joined the Bellvitge Hospital in 1991 as a consultant physician. In 2004 he was appointed as head of section and, four years later, as department head. He is author of over one hundred scientific papers and co-author of several books on Psychiatry, particularly on obsessive-compulsive disorders, his specialty. The appointment of Josep Manuel Menchón as new IDIBELL Scientific Director responds to the desire to increase the weight of the translational research in the institution.

The members of the IDIBELL Board of Trustees, representatives of the partner institutions of the centre (Ministries of Health and Economy and Knowledge, the University Hospital of Bellvitge of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology and the University of Barcelona), thanks for the work made by Dr. Capellá in recent years. The former Scientific Director has led the reorganization of the IDIBELL research groups and has strength the collaborations among researchers on the campus. During the years that Dr. Capellá has served as Scientific Director, the institute has significantly improved its results to become one of the leading research centres of the country.

Moreover, with the creation of the new Strategic Project Direction, IDIBELL expects to increase the visibility of the work conducted by its researchers, get new financing and generate business opportunities. The IDIBELL Board members stressed the suitability of Dr. Esteller for the position.

With 44, he is an international leader in research on the mechanisms that regulate the genome activity. Since 2008 Dr. Esteller is the Director of the Program of Epigenetics and Cancer Biology at IDIBELL, ICREA researcher and associate professor at the University of Barcelona. He has authored over three hundred scientific articles, is member of numerous international scientific societies and publishers, and reviewer for several publications. Currently, Dr. Esteller holds the position of president of the Epigenetics Society. He has received numerous international awards and is one of the most recognised faces of IDIBELL.

In addition to new appointments, during the meeting held this morning the Board has approved the 2011 accounts of the institute. The CEO of IDIBELL, Emilià Pola, highlighted the most significant events conducted during the first half of 2012, among others, the inauguration of the Laboratory of Metabolism and Cancer led by the prestigious researcher George Thomas, the increase in institute’s scientific production and the clear commitment to increase the transfer of research results.

At the meeting, trustees have appointed the general director of the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Candela Calle, as President of the Executive Committee and the Managing Director of the Bellvitge University Hospital, Alfredo Garcia, as Secretary of the Board.

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