Dr. Barberà, coordinator of the new CIBERES research program in pulmonary hypertension

Dr. Joan Albert Barberà coordinates the Corporate Research Program (CRP) on pulmonary hypertension that has launched the Networked Biomedical Research Center for Respiratory Diseases (CIBERES). The program's main goal is to identify markers that will help in the diagnosis and to find new therapeutic targets for this disease. Dr. Barbera is pneumologist at Hospital Clínic, leader of the IDIBAPS team Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Respiratory Ilnesses and researcher at CIBERES.

Pulmonary hypertension is the abnormal increase of blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. It occurs in diseases that affect these arteries, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), as a result of thrombosis in the pulmonary arteries, or may arise in the context of other chronic respiratory or cardiac diseases. When not treated properly, the disease causes heart failure on the right side of the heart and can be a cause of death.

This new program will investigate on different forms of pulmonary hypertension: pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), pulmonary hypertension associated with respiratory diseases and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. "The identification of new biomarkers and therapeutic targets, the use of new imaging techniques for early diagnosis, assessment of the role of epigenetic changes and the research in innovative pharmacological approaches to target new signaling pathways, are some of the specific objectives to be achieved", Dr. Barbera lists.

In the pulmonary hypertension program there are involved 16 research groups belonging to seven CIBERES health research institutes, four university departments, four university hospitals and the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC). The program will also collaborate with the REHAP Register, the Register REHIPED and Cardiovascular Research Network; with researchers from the UK, USA, Austria, Netherlands and Germany; and with patient organizations such as the Foundation Against Pulmonary Hypertension.