The IGTP is leading two large strategic infrastrucutre projects, which are consolidating the positon of the Can Ruti Campus as a highly technical cluster of resources for biomedical research in Spain. These projects provide state of the art facilities to researchers in Catalonia, Spain and the rest of the world working in both national and international partnerships and networks.
A new integrated model for bioimaging to promote research, pioneering clinical practice and training on the Can Ruti Campus
The Centre for Comparative Medicine and Bioimaging (CMC & B) is under construction and will be completed at the end of 2017. It will provide 4,500 m2 for research, support and training activities, meeting the needs of researchers all along the pipeline from basic to clinical research. Based on the Can Ruti Campus the CMC will be jointly managed by the IGTP in partnership with other institutions with key roles in research and healthcare in the Barcelona area and it will constitute a new model of international biomedical facility.
The integral bioimaging service will include state-of-the-art technology to enable researchers to produce high quality data in vivo for a very wide range of research ranging from the follow up of molecules, bacteria, biomarkers or cellular expression in live small animals to the development of pioneering surgical techniques.
Part of the building will house an audiovisual classroom, which will allow students to follow bioimaging techniques taking place in other parts of the building. Training will make up an important part of the activities of the CMC and will take place at various levels from technical courses in imaging technology to the training of medical students in surgical techniques and prestigious courses on new surgical technologies.
The building itself is of innovative design; fully integrated into the hillside behind the research buildings of the IGTP and the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute and the Teaching Unit of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) it will be constructed of sustainable materials and will be virtually self-sufficient in recycling and residue treatment.
A powerful research tool to identify the factors that play a part in the development of the most common diseases. These, often chronic conditions, represent a major part of the cost of healthcare in the aging population
GCAT is a prospective cohort study of up to 50,000 individuals between 40 and 65 years old living in the autonomous region of northeast Spain, Catalonia.
Recruitment is being coordinated by the Catalan blood and tissue bank, through campaigns to encourage people from across the demographic and from all over the territory to take part. Volunteers donate a small blood sample, which is processed to extract DNA and blood, serum and plasma are stored in the biobank. They complete an extensive questionnaire on lifestyle, including information on diet, smoking and exercise, diseases and medication past and present and family health history.
Participants sign a detailed informed consent and their donation is completely altruistic. Their data is protected under Spanish data protection law and data is anonymised for research purposes. The GCAT is part of the Biobanking and Biomolecular Research Infrastructure - Large Prospective Cohorts (BBMRI-LPC) and complies with European biobanking guidelines.
A large part of the cohort has been recruited and the first 1,000 genomes are being sequenced. This data is in the database with the detailed lifestyle data from the questionnaire. Through a cooperation agreement with the Catalan Agency for the Quality and Evaluation of Health Services (AQuAS), researchers will also have access to the medical records associated with genomic and lifestyle data under a program being rolled out to allow access for researchers in public institutions to anonymised data under strictly regulated conditions to further biomedical research in Catalonia.
This prospective study will follow the individuals by tracking health records and crossing checking with health registers, such as the Medical Register, Cancer Register, Death Register and local registers from hospitals making patient diagnoses. Limited further questionnaires and samples may be requested from some individuals for certain studies.
By carrying out and promoting the study of data from this cohort, either by itself, or in the context of larger cohorts being studied internationally, the GCAT Project provides a powerful research resource for the country. The massive amount of data being generated is being analysed by bioinformaticians who will tease out the factors that protect against disease and identify markers for the onset of chronic conditions. Specific projects will identify markers for future onset of diseases such as neurodegenerative illnesses, cardiorespiratory disease, diabetes or cancer, amongst others.
GCAT is open for use by all researchers looking for cohorts with specific characteristics.