Once more this year, IDIBAPS, in cooperation with La Marató, the telethon fundraiser organised by TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio, has scheduled visits open to all citizens to show how scientific research advances thanks to the projects funded by the initiative. First launched in 2015, but cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, La Marató returns this year. IDIBAPS has been an active participant since its first edition.
IDIBAPS organised four visits in 2023. Two took place on March 8, when a score of people learned at first-hand about a research project aimed at preventing intravenous catheters, frequently used in hospitals to administer liquids and drugs, from becoming colonised by bacteria, increasing the risk of infections that can have severe effects on the patient’s health. The project, financed by the 2018 Marató, devoted to infectious diseases, is led by Cristina Garcia de la Mària and Josep Maria Miró of the IDIBAPS Endocarditis. Cardiovascular infections. experimental model research group. The participants visited the IDIBAPS experimental laboratory on endocarditis and its animal house facility, as well as the University of Barcelona Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences auditorium and lecture theatre.
The other two visits, which took place on Wednesday, June 14, focused on a research project linked to mantle cell lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the white blood cells for which there is still no effective treatment. Although a promising new drug has been developed, not all patients respond to it. With support from La Marató 2019, devoted to cancer, the research conducted by Sílvia Beà of the Molecular pathology of lymphoid neoplasms group is attempting to determine the genetic characteristics that cause this difference so that personalised treatments can be provided in each different case. The participants also visited the Inter Unit, the Clinical Trials Unit of the Hospital Clínic Barcelona’s Institute of Haematological and Oncological Diseases, the IDIBAPS biobank, the genetics platform and one of the research laboratories.
IDIBAPS programmes a series of activities to enable the general public to discover its work and learn about the importance of biomedical research for improving patients’ quality of life and life expectancy. Examples include: a season of talks on health at the Casa Golferichs Community Centre; Generació Ciència (Science Generation), a series of scientific workshops for secondary school pupils; the IDIBAPS open day; a children’s summer camp; and visits for patients and patients’ associations.