The incorporation of new technologies that facilitate molecular profiling and gene regulation has led to innovative research into heart disease. The great diversity of the groups in this area gives research varied perspectives, whether in developing or testing the effectiveness of new biomarkers (as in the investigation of the metabolic and genetic bases of diseases) or improving the range of results and possible applications in short-term therapies.
Genetic, Metabolic and Inflammatory Diseases
Identifying the genes and mutations responsible for genetic diseases is an essential component of knowledge and understanding of the physiological bases of metabolic pathways and also in the development of new forms of treatment for common diseases aff ecting large proportions of the population. Diseases of this type include nutrition-related disorders, such as diabetes and obesity, and a large number of hereditary diseases, infectious diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis and rare diseases that, while not well known, may have a devastating impact on those affected.
Haematological and Oncological Diseases
A broad range of research is conducted in this area, particularly head-and-neck, breast, ovary, colorectal and haematological cancers, among others. Research covers a wide range of fields, with disciplines that include nanomedicine, new anticancer agents and predictive molecular markers, to name but a few. Initiatives of specific relevance include the GAIT (Genetic Analysis of Idiopathic Thrombophilia) project, a world pioneer in the identification of genes influencing the risk
of thromboembolic disease, and research into antitumour immunotherapy in animals and humans.
Neurological, Mental Disorders and Ageing
This structure covers research in a broad range of disciplines. Besides the study of ageing and the most common neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer and Parkinson, neurological research is also focused on stroke, neuroimmunology and neuromuscular diseases. Research into cognitive, affective, psychotic and personality disorders ranges from identification and evaluation of new therapeutic targets to neurogenesis and the eff ects of deep-brain stimulation. Research in this field has the support of the Drug Research Centre, which assesses the eff ectiveness of new drugs and therapies in humans.
Uronephrology and Experimental Surgery
IIB Sant Pau promotes experimental surgery in the knowledge that this area has a promising future both as an independent research line and as a complement to general surgery. This interdisciplinary approach ensures valuable new insights, techniques and procedures of great clinical relevance. Current areas of interest clude the development of minimally invasive techniques and the application of deep-brain stimulation in different pathologies. The Puigvert Foundation is a leading centre in Spain for research of this type in the fields of andrology, urology and nephrology.
Epidemiology, Public Health and Healthcare Services
Research into epidemiology and public health aims both to determine the magnitude and distribution and identify the determinants of public health problems in order to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of public interventions and prevention practices. This area also aims to reduce patient risk and make healthcare
safer by promoting evidence-based medical practice and ensuring the use of conscious, explicit and rational decision, making concerning patient care.
Molecular, Genomic, Cellular and Kinetic-Dynamic Bases for Diseases and their Treatment
This area focuses on the structure of proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases and infl ammatory processes and on factors linked to the innate immune system. Research is also conducted in the area of osteoporosis, ageingrelated macular degeneration and coagulation-cascade factors closely linked to cardiovascular disease and haemophilia. Such studies are vital to the understanding of diseases of the heart, blood and nervous systems and to advances in the
fields of cancer and epidemiology.
This line includes HSCSP Research Institute groups that do not form part of the IIB Sant Pau because they have not, as yet, been accredited by the External Scientific Committee. Nonetheless, their activities are listed in this report and their scientific production is taken into account in annual official calculations for the IIB Sant Pau.