Spain Barcelona


Respiratory Institute, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona

Brief Overview

Our research Institute performs research projects in the area of respiratory infections and critically ill patients. Our mission is to improve the clinical practice and to work for the living quality of the patient by translational research combining clinical trials, microbiology laboratory and animal experimentation.

Two groups are available:

  • “Applied research in infectious respiratory diseases and critically ill patients” – lead by Prof. Antoni Torres, pulmonologist at Hospital Clinic of Barcelona and full professor of Medicine at the School of Medicine in the University of Barcelona
  • “Inflammation and repair in respiratory diseases” – lead by Dr. Agusti director of the Respiratory Clinic Institute of Hospital Clinic of Barcelona and Dr. Faner accredited researcher.

Our motto: “We care about investigation because we care about you. We investigate to improve clinical care”.

Research Areas

Acute Lung Injury (ALI)\Bronchiectasis\COPD\Infection\Intensive care\Interstitial lung diseases

Host center eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only)\ European fellowships

Research infrastructure/facilities

This FRCB-IDIBAPS host centre has 8 main research lines aimed at study Respiratory infections in different populations (critically ill patients, in the community, chronic respiratory diseases, in immune compromised patients, during invasive and non-invasive ventilation, in our animal experimentation division and in the microbiology laboratory for the study of microbiome and biofilms). The FRCB-IDIBAPS host centre published seminal studies in the medical literature. Some of the concepts that Prof. Torres promoted are now universally applied in intensive care units and the research of Drs. Agusti and Faner have direct applications in the treatment of COPD patients. The research Institute uses the infrastructure and facilities of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, the FRCB-IDIBAPS, the University of Barcelona and the CELLEX laboratories.

Research funding/Resources

The FRCB-IDIBAPS host centre achieved important competitive grants recently funded by: ISCIII, La Marató TV3, “La Caixa”, H2020 and a Marie Slodowska-Curie BITRECS programm fellowship (Total>2.500.000 euros).

Applied research in infectious respiratory diseases and critically ill patients (Dr Torres) research lines of the next five years will focus in the following projects:

  1. Host-targeted Approaches for the Prevention and the treatment of Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (HAP2)
  2. Biotrauma and driving pressure in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  3. Bacterial lung chassis for treating human lung infectious diseases
  4. Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms and microbiome in patients with bronchiectasis
  5. Phenotypes related to short and long-term outcomes in community-acquired pneumonia

Inflammation and repair in respiratory diseases (Dr. Agusti and Dr. Faner) focuses on the study of chronic respiratory diseases, such as COPD, asthma, bronchiectasis and interstitial diseases. In this context we focus on the investigation of:

  1. “Natural history”, which seeks to delve into the different clinical, pathophysiological and structural aspects of COPD and interstitial diseases.
  2. “Pathobiology”, which focuses on the aspects most related to the origin or cause of the diseases and their alterations at molecular and cellular level, including from the initial effects of tobacco to the subsequent inflammatory, immune and remodeling mechanisms.
  3. “Systemic effects and multimorbidity” to identify the mechanisms of extrapulmonary involvement of the entity, as well as its clinical consequences.

Links to non-academic sector

The FRCB-IDIBAPS host centre actively collaborates with industry under different types of agreement (Pfizer, Cubist, Bayer, Medimmune, Theravance, Cardeas, Polyphor, Toray, Biovo, Biofilm Control). Thus, the host centre takes part in international randomized clinical trials and clinical studies in the field of community or nosocomial acquired respiratory infections. In addition, the animal model and the research laboratory result in an attractive translational platform for preclinical studies.

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

Applied research in infectious respiratory diseases and critically ill patients (Dr Torres)

In the last 5 years, Prof. Torres supervised 17 PhD theses and mentored 20 International fellows. Thus, he will mentor 5 international fellows per year during the next 5 years. Outreach activities: He is the coordinator of 4 course of medicine subject “Diseases of the respiratory system”, he is the director of the World Bronchiectasis congress 2020, He organizes the International symposium on infections in the critically ill patients, he has created the association of pneumonia patients, he organizes workshops for patients with bronchiectasis. He coordinates international guidelines for HAP and VAP and severe CAP. He coordinates the European Network for ICU-related respiratory infections (ENIRRIs) supported by the ERS. The research group actively participates in the most relevant international and national conferences.

Inflammation and repair in respiratory diseases (Dr. Agusti and Dr. Faner)

Dr. Agusti is a well-known leader in the field of COPD presiding the Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) since 2016. Dr Faner is a brilliant young scientist that joined Dr Agusti group in 2009 and became an independent PI in 2016. She has become an emerging figure in the growing field of network biology for the study of COPD complexity and heterogeneity. Dr. Agusti an Faner started in 2018 an international collaboration network for clinical research on chronic airways diseases supported by the European Respiratory Society (ERS CADSET). CADSET includes more than 40 different cohorts in European countries, and since 2019 are in charge of the Spanish branch of airway diseases of the IMI project 3TR. The group has proved capacity in mentoring students with 8 PhD and 5 master students since its foundation in 2009.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award


Contact persons

Dr. Torres group:

Dr. Agusti group: