The proximity of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) with two reference healthcare centers such as the Bellvitge University Hospital (HUB) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), is essential for the interconnection of research and clinic. This bidirectional transfer is necessary to put the patient at the center of the research and, ensure that the research has a direct impact on people’s quality of life.
This ecosystem has allowed IDIBELL to accumulate knowledge about many diseases for more than 15 years. This has shown that there is no single way to address them; each patient is different, develops the disease in its own way and, it is necessary to personalize their management. This is precisely the objective of Personalized Medicine, to offer individualized treatment based on the needs of each patient.
However, in order to implement personalized medical approaches in clinical practice, it is necessary to know the characteristics of each person and her/his pathology. In this sense, the pillar of this new discipline is the collection of a multitude of patient’s molecular data, combined with clinical data and, a deep bioinformatics analysis, that allow the identification of patient peculiarities to adjust the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.
The Generalitat of Catalonia has granted IDIBELL a project of 2 million euros that will promote Personalized Medicine on campus. The objective is to make that the patients from the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) and the Hospital de Bellvitge (HUB) benefit from new and improved infrastructures while helping to create new knowledge.
This field of medicine is based mainly on the sequencing of the patient’s genetic material (DNA). Although in recent years new information has been added, such as the analysis of the modifications of this genetic material, the differential expression of genes at each moment, or their molecular profiles. Dr. Gabriel Capellá, director of IDIBELL, points out that “IDIBELL’s cross-sectional research, integrated into the four areas of research, cancer, neurosciences, regenerative and translational medicine, has allowed that research groups from the different scientific fields generate and store these data and samples“. Dr. Fernando Fernández-Aranda indicates that “the awarded project will allow bringing together all these actions that, spontaneously, have been emerging since it will allow improving the infrastructures and the organization of the spaces related to the obtaining, processing and storage of biological samples, and the sensitive data derived“. And he continues: “An important aspect of Personalized Medicine is that the security, integrity, and traceability of these samples must be guaranteed, to ensure the privacy of patients“.
The renewal of IDIBELL to strengthen Personalized Medicine
The money from the project will be used to carry out three main actions at the IDIBELL facilities. On the one hand, new spaces will be set up for the preservation of samples where a high volume of biological materials will be stored in the best conditions and under the strict surveillance of all environmental parameters.
On the other hand, more and more IDIBELL groups obtain molecular data of different kinds. For this reason, in parallel to the improvement of the Biobank, new spaces will also be set up for the processing of samples and data collection.
Finally, the project includes equipping the new IDIBELL Bioinformatics unit to manage all the data derived from the analysis of these samples. “A key aspect in this proposal is to harmonize the processes of management and storage of samples with their associated data. We understand that the coordination of these two essential processes is needed to fully exploit these valuable assets”, concludes Dr. Capellá.
With the support of the ” Departament de Recerca i Universitats de la Generalitat de Catalunya“ (grant number IU16-016544). We thank CERCA Programme / Generalitat de Catalunya for institutional support.
The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).