VHIO´s participation in Bioinformatics Barcelona platform

• The Bioinformatics Barcelona (BIB) platform, a joint initiative of the Government of Catalonia and the Welfare Projects Division of the “la Caixa” Foundation, comprises more than 40 organisations including universities, research centers of excellence, and companies.

• Bioinformatics Barcelona (BIB) aims to become an international reference in promoting multidisciplinary research, training, and technology transfer in bioinformatics.

Barcelona, April 24, 2014.- The Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) joins 43 other partners incorporating research centers and clinical institutes, universities, pharmaceutical and IT companies, among others, to support and participate in the Bioinformatics Barcelona (BIB) platform — a joint initiative of the Government of Catalonia and the Welfare Projects Division of the “la Caixa” Foundation.

BIB will establish itself as a central point and facilitator of new initiatives to respond to the needs of the bioinformatics community. By capitalizing on the critical mass of like-minded, internationally renowned researchers, currently available IT infrastructures, and an entire network of biotech companies, this platform aims to become an international reference within the bioinformatics field.  

Bioinformatics represents one major scientific and technological arena due to its applicability to all life sciences and its current and future impact on numerous and diverse spheres, including healthcare. This rapidly expanding corpus of knowledge and suite of technologies — along with how best to apply them, are crucial to generating critical resources and services in healthcare, particularly in personalized medicine.

VHIO´s purely translational research model that has long since positioned it as a leading research center in oncology at national and international level. While its preclinical, translational and clinical researchers and physician scientists work together to advance multidisciplinary cancer discovery, early phase I and phase II clinical studies designed and carried out at its Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer – “La Caixa” (UITM), establish new treatment models for patients with highly selective drugs, expanding the knowledge of tumor diseases and how to treat them in an individualized way. Crucial to these endeavours in personalized cancer medicine is the processing and analysis of bioinformatics data, positioning VHIO as a key BIB partner. 

Overarching goals of the BIB platform include: raising visibility of the partnering organisations and their respective expertise within the field; promoting new opportunities in training such as a uniquely dedicated Degree in Bioinformatics within the Catalan university system; supporting collaboration between academia, healthcare and commerce in order to enable institutions working in the field of bioinformatics to better outreach beyond the internal limits of their respective organisations; and acting as a catalyst for initiatives that foster the transfer of novel data and technologies.

BIB is dedicated to developing a bioinformatics portal through which to serve all potential end-users of bioinformatics including Catalonia´s strong business network in the fields of health, agriculture and biotechnology, its research system of excellence, its internationally renowned universities, as well as more than 400 research groups working in the life sciences.

Presented by Ana Ripoll, Chair of Computer Architecture and Technology and former President of the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), BIB´s strategic plan was announced on the 22nd of April. Other speakers included Ferran Sanz, Science Director at BIB; Mateo Valero, Director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS); Enric Banda, Director of the Science and Environment Department of the Welfare Projects Division of the “la Caixa” Foundation, Antoni Esteve, President of the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI). Roderic Guigó, Coordinator of the Bioinformatics and Genomics at the Genomics Regulation Center (CRG), gave the keynote presentation on Bioinformatics: the unforeseeable coming together of two disciplines of science.

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For more information surrounding VHIO´s participation in the BIB platform please contact: Amanda Wren, Communication Manager, Tel. +34 93 4893021, Email:awren@vhio.net.

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