The Neuroimmunology Program ranges from basic laboratory to the medical consultation

The Neuroimmunology Program is dedicated to medical care and research on inflammatory diseases of the brain, such as multiple sclerosis, autoimmune encephalitis and optical neuromyelitis. It is an initiative led by researchers from the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and the IDIBAPS, which combines basic research with first-class healthcare in a unique translational research team. On May 29, coinciding with the International Day of Multiple Sclerosis, the Neuroimmunology Program coordinators have presented to the scientific community the challenges and research objectives that they face from the newly created CELLEX Biomedical Research Center of IDIBAPS. Dr. Harmut Wekerle, a leader in neuroimmunology from the Max-Planck Institute (Germany), participated in the presentation event.

The Neuroimmunology Program focuses its efforts on the study of early diagnosis and the design of more effective therapies to treat these diseases. Diseases such as multiple sclerosis are a major social problem that affects young people who, without a proper diagnosis and treatment, could have a rapidly impaired quality of life. Other diseases such as autoimmune encephalitis, discovered, described and in many cases cured by representatives of this program, are severe conditions that may be completely reversed with a timely diagnosis and treatment.

To continue producing progress like these, four experienced research teams led by doctors and researchers at the Hospital Clínic - IDIBAPS join forces within this new program. Their main lines of research, in collaboration with international centers, are:

  • Immunopathogenesis of Paraneoplastic Neurologic Syndrome PI: Dr. Francesc Graus, Chief of the Neurology Service of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.
  • Pathogenesis of Immune-mediated Neurological Disorders PI: Dr. Josep Dalmau, ICREA Professor at IDIBAPS.
  • Pathogenesis and Novel Therapies in Multiple Sclerosis PI: Dr. Pablo Villoslada, a neurologist and researcher at IDIBAPS.
  • Biomarkers and Neuroimaging in Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica PI: Albert Saiz, neurologist at the Neurology Service of the Hospital Clínic od Barcelona.

This translational research team is formed by over 30 professionals from different specialties: neurologists, ophthalmologists, nurses, biologists, biochemists, biotechnologists, bioinformatics, engineers and laboratory technicians. The uniqueness of this team is the fact that they embrace, in a single effort, from the basic research laboratory to the medical consultation and acute hospitalization area. Their extensive scientific production and their capacity to attract competitive funding are now together to serve patients with neuroimmunological diseases.