Studies from Hospital Clínic and IDIBAPS in the Spanish Science Top5 of the year

2012 is ending, a difficult year also for science due to the crisis affecting much of the world. Despite this, it's not all are bad news. The spanish researchers continue making relevant contributions to the international scientific scene. The website Materia made a top five of the Spanish scientific initiatives of the past year. In this ranking, there are three studies involving professionals from the Hospital Clínic and the IDIBAPS.

The first initiative is concerned with the study conducted by the HIVACAT on HIV vaccine, developed by the National Research Council (CSIC) and presented at the end of last year. Phase I of this study was performed at the Hospital Clínic, with Dr. Josep Maria Gatell,  and at the Gregorio Maranon of Madrid. In this first phase was produced an immune response to the virus in a 90% of the 30 healthy volunteers participating. In the second, the vaccine was tested on infected people and the results have not yet been published.

The second of the highlighted researches with the participation of the IDIBAPS-Hospital Clínic, is one about the epigenetic changes that causes chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This study, led by Dr. Elías Campo, Scientific Director of the Clinic and leader of the team of human and experimental oncomorphology at IDIBAPS , is focused on the epigenome of leukemia, the set of molecular mechanisms that define the proper functioning of cells. In this study, they have discovered more than a million epigenetic alterations in this disease. This research continues producing significant results, as the study published in Nature in which was identifyed a subset of patients with poor prognosis, or the project published in Clinical Cancer Research which studies the effects of Sorafenib on the disease.

Thirdly appears the malaria vaccine tested by the researcher Pedro Alonso, Director of the Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB) and ISGlobal, and physician at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and for many years team leader at IDIBAPS. The project he leads, with important contributions from patrons like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is a great hope for countries where malaria is still an endemic disease. In 2011 Science selected the malaria vaccine between the top 10 research issues of the year

In addition to these three studies, the Top5 is completed with: the development of the weather station of the Curiosity module which landed on Mars this year, by a team from the Centre for Astrobiology (CAB) in Madrid; the participation of Spanish scientists in the Higgs Boson discovery; and finally, the malaria vaccine developed by Spanish researcher Pedro Alonso, from the Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB).

More information: Materia