Spain Barcelona

Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)

Non-communicable Diseases & Environment

Brief Overview

ISGlobal is a consolidated hub of excellence in research that address the challenges in global health; first started in the world of health care by the Hospital Clínic and the Parc de Salut MAR and in the academic sphere by the University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra University. The pivotal mechanism of the model is the transfer of knowledge generated by scientific research to practice, a task undertaken by the institute’s Education and Policy and Global Development departments.

ISGlobal mission is to improve global health and promote health equity through excellence in research and the translation and application of knowledge.

Research Areas

COPD/ Environmental medicine/lung diseases/Epidemiology/Tuberculosis/Physical activity

Host center eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only)\ European fellowships

Research infrastructure/facilities

Computational facilities: Intensive computing, such as simulation procedures, genomic data analyses, -omic data integration methods, and GIS analysis.

Bioinformatics Unit: Services of consultation, planning next generation sequencing (NGS) and genomic and transcriptomic experiments, NGS data processing, analysis and management, software and database development.

Genomics Unit: support to users using high-throughput sequencing technologies from an experiment planning to delivery of results.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Unit: generating and managing large spatial databases, processing satellite-based data, use of geospatial data to characterise exposure to environmental factors.

Evaluation, Support and Prevention Unit: management of research, quality improvement (GSP, GCPs), methodological and ethical support

Biomarker evaluation: process/screen samples for a wide variety of diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers in acute and chronic respiratory infections

Research funding/Resources

ISGlobal addresses global health challenges through ongoing relationships with international institutions, as reflected in the large number of partnerships in high-, medium- and low- income countries. Some figures from the last 5 years reflect our international leadership and collaborations: 16 large international projects coordinated, 43 work-packages led in EU projects, >60% funding from international agencies (EC, NIH, BMGF), >75% publications from international collaborations. Relevant respiratory partners are Imperial College, INSERM, University Zurich, KULeuven. Relevant EU funded respiratory projects are PROactive (tools to measure physical activity in COPD), ALEC (determinants of low lung function along the lifecourse), ongoing MOBILISE-D (algorithms to measure digital mobility outcomes). The institution has incorporated a new research area on eHealth with relevant expertise in respiratory diseases.

Links to non-academic sector

Innovation is a key strategy at ISGlobal. The Innovation team provides support to protect intellectual property and to transfer knowledge and technology, as well as to develop models to make knowledge available to larger communities. Moreover, the team has put the “Responsible Research and Innovation” components as core elements of its strategy, therefore giving strong attention to the public engagement in research and innovation endeavours. Specifically, we foster and support the development of technological, service and/or organizational innovations. ISGlobal has established the basis for the Innovation and Industrial Property Management Policy through a detailed Knowledgment and Technology Transfer policy

Experience hosting international researchers, career development & training programmes, outreach activities

ISGlobal is fully committed to researchers’ development. In July 2015, the Human Resources Excellence in Research accreditation (HRS4R) accreditation was received and re-awarded in 2021. The ISGlobal Postdoctoral Programme is distinctly international, over 40% of the fellows are foreigners, and includes both research work and complementary training. Postdoctoral fellows play a key role in the Mentoring Programme. High-performing postdocs can be appointed as Assistant Research Professors; even if they are not included in tenure-track positions. The Programme benefits directly from the ISGlobal Training Programme. This includes access to the PRBB Intervals Programme (leadership, innovation, communication and good scientific practices); the European Summer Programme on Epidemiology; internal training activities; ISGlobal seminars and other PRBB and Hospital Clínic seminars. Outreach is contemplated as part of the centre’s strategy, thus ISGlobal facilitates a creative and dynamic dialogue and interaction with society, through several activities on science communication, outreach and citizen science.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award