Greece Athens

Biomedical Sciences Research Center Alexander Fleming

Institutes for Bioinnovation (IBI) and Fundamental Biomedical Research (IFBR)

Brief Overview

BSRC Fleming is a top-ranked Greek non-profit research organisation focusing on scientific and technological excellence, training and innovation in biomedical sciences. The Center was established in 1998, and operates under the supervision of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) of the Hellenic Ministry of Development. The Center has gained international recognition for its pioneering research towards understanding the molecular and cellular basis of human diseases such as autoimmune diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, pulmonary fibrosis and others, and the development of new approaches for their diagnosis and treatment.

Research Areas

Fibrosis\Immunology\Interstitial lung disease\Lung cancer\Molecular biology

Host center eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only)\ European fellowships

Research infrastructure/facilities

Over the last decade Fleming has established state-of-the-art facilities that offer services for translational research to the Center internally, but also to researchers and companies in Greece and abroad, including an Animal House (currently with the highest capacities in Greece), as well as Transgenesis and Cryopreservation, Genomics, Proteomics, Flow Cytometry, Bioimaging, MicroCT, Endoscopy and Histopathology Units. Fleming is the Coordinator of 2 National Research Infrastructures: InfraforntieGR/Phenotypos and ELIXIR-GR, active in the areas of generation, archiving and phenotyping of animal models of disease and bioinformatics/biocomputing resources, respectively.

Research funding/Resources

Enabling respiratory research, the division is also equipped with FlexiVent, allowing measurements of respiratory mechanics, a micro‐computed tomography (microCT) instrument, allowing noninvasive pulmonary disease monitoring, as well as dosing chambers for drug administrations. Facilities are funded though national funds and Fleming’s strategic participation in the ESFRI infrastructure INFRAFRONTIER that addresses phenotyping and archiving for the mouse genome mutagenesis programs. Furthermore, in the context of respiratory research, local expertise include a large number of animal models including bleomycin-induced pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis, endotoxin- and ventilation- induced acute lung injury, ovalbumin-induced pulmonary allergic inflammation, as well as KRAS-driven or chemically-induced lung cancer.

Links to non-academic sector

The Center’s major goal is to support excellent research with a focus on innovation. To that end, in 2005 the Center established an Innovation and Enterprise Unit (IEU), which acts as a one stop shop for all aspects of the successful exploitation of inventions and technologies arising from Fleming research activities. Its mission is to guide and assist researchers and to work with external collaborators to ensure Fleming research is disseminated to the wider community for best use, both socially and economically. The IEU has already established 12 patent portfolios around core Fleming technologies, has established streamlined procedures for the management of Fleming intellectual property (more than 500 MTAs) and has concluded a number of licensing contracts with industry. In 2006, Fleming established the spin-off company Biomedcode Hellas SA , a CRO company providing full preclinical drug evaluation services to small and large pharmaceutical companies worldwide, commercialising proprietary animal models of chronic inflammatory diseases.

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

Over the last 5 years, Fleming researchers participated/coordinated 23 EU funded projects of which 4 ERC grants, 11 Marie Curie ITN and independent fellowships (including a RESPIRE 2 fellow), 3 infrastructure grants related to ESFRI infrastructures Infrafrontier and ELIXIR, 5 Integrated/Collaborative projects, including an IMI project (BTCure). The Center co-coordinates the International MSc program in Molecular Biomedicine, and participates in the International MSc program in Neuroscience. Through participation in large EU infrastructure networks (e.g. Infrafrontier, ELIXIR), Fleming is playing a pivotal role in bringing access to state-of-the-art biotechnology platforms to Greece as well as the Balkans region. Fleming organizes a series of outreach activities, including student visits to the Center, external seminars by internationally recognized scientists, including the Distinguished Affiliated Scholar Program, organization of international conferences, as well as hosting the Fleming Museum of Contemporary Science. Fleming Researchers supervise and host several international students, postdocs and collaborators, fostering a unique and diverse research environment.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award