Enfermedades Renales

Jordi Bover
Francesc E. Borràs

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is highly prevalent in Catalonia, as in other Western Countries. The prevalence of CKD is estimated to be 8-16% of the worldwide population. Data from 2018 showed a prevalence of 1,469 patients per million inhabitants in Catalonia, almost 3% more than 2017. CKDs often lead to end stage renal diseases, which require replacement therapy, such as kidney transplantation. The "OCATT" (Catalan Transplantation Organization) 2019 report revealed up to 882 kidney transplants were performed in Catalonia, a transplant rate of 115.0 per million population (pmp). All these data show CKD is a prevalent chronic health problem with a large impact on our society.

The REMAR group (from Catalan, REcerca en Malalties d'Afectació Renal, or Kidney Related Diseases Research Group) is a multidisciplinary group including more than 25 professionals from the Germans Trias University Hospital (HUGTP) & Research Institute - including doctors, biologists, veterinarians, biochemists and biotechnologists. The group was recognized as an emerging group (2014SGR804) and as a Pre-consolidated group (2017SGR301) by the Government of Catalonia. The researchers aim to foster basic, clinical and translational research in the field of kidney diseases and disorders associated with kidney failure. The research lines are focused in identifying non-invasive biomarkers and developing innovative therapies mainly (but not only) for kidney-related diseases.

In the last 3 years, the group has participated in more than 50 publications, of which 23 are from basic research (70% on Q1 journals). During this time period, we have developed several research projects with competitive and non-competitive financing, 6 PhD thesis have been defended, and 6 more PhD students are currently training within the group.


Publications available soon

Members of the Group

Group Leader


Predoctoral Researchers

Technicians and Nurses

Líneas de investigación

1.  Non-invasive Biomarkers for Kidney Diseases

PIs: Francesc E. Borràs & Javier Juega

Renal biopsy is the gold standard procedure to diagnose most of renal pathologies, but this invasive method is of limited repeatability and often describes irreversible damage. We are investigating specific biomarkers in the urine and image techniques to provide methods to replace biopsies.

Related Projects: PI19/00837, CI19/00048

2.  Morbid Obesity and renal disease

PI: Maruja Navarro-Diaz

Morbid Obesity plays an important role in promoting chronic kidney disease. Our group has participated in the development of several studies related to MO. We are currently interested in the study and definition of specific genes involved in this pathology.

Related Projects: PI18/1951

3.  Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Kidney Transplant

PI: Marcella Franquesa & Laura Cañas

The aim of this research is to develop strategies to optimize the induction of tolerance in clinical transplantation. Based on previous work on the interactions of MSC and MSC-derived extracellular vesicles (MSC-EVs) with other cells, we aim to investigate regulatory cells and anti-inflammatory environment for future therapeutic applications.

Related Projects: PI20/00097, RED2018-102411-T, PI17/00335, SAF2015-71231-REDT

4.  Peritoneal Dialysis

PI: Maribel Troya Saborido

Research on new markers to improve the classification and surveillance of patients remain a top priority on the field, thus, looking at peritoneal dialysis efflux may represent a non-invasive alternative to identify biomarkers of peritoneal membrane failure.

Related Projects: PI16/00072

Current Research Projects

Size-exclusion chomatography (SEC) isolated MSC-derived Extracellular Vesicles to pReVEnT the progression of chronic kidney disease- SERVET 

PI: Marcella Franquesa
Funding Agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III
Reference: PI20/00097
Start  date: 01/01/2021
End date: 31/12/2023

Urine extracellular vesicles and graft elastography: Combining molecular and imaging techniques for the non-invasive diagnosis of chronic kidney graft dysfunction (EV-mage)

PIs: Francesc E. Borràs; Javier Juega
Funding Agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III
Reference: PI19/00837  
Start date: 01/01/2020
End date: 31/12/2022

Fibrokit - Urine Extracellular Vesicles based diagnosis for Non-invasive monitoring of renal dysfunction and fibrosis grade

PI:  Francesc E Borras
Funding Agency: Obra Social Fundación la Caixa
Reference: CI19/00048 
Total amount: 70.000 €
Start date 01/01/2020
End date: 31/12/2021

Definición del perfil de expresión génica en biopsias renales de pacientes con obesidad mórbida y estadíos precoces de glomerulopatía de la obesidad

PI: Maruja Navarro Díaz
Funding Agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III
Start date: 01/01/2019
End date: 31/12/2021


- Investigación

Bioimplantes con vesículas extracelulares de células madre para controlar y favorecer la reparación del músculo cardiaco después de un infarto

Investigadores del grupo ICREC en enfermedades cardiovasculares, en el Instituto de Investigación Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP), continúan perfeccionando su solución tecnológica para reparar el tejido cardiaco después de un infarto. En un artículo publicado en Bioactive Materials presentan su último estudio en qué utilizan matrices implantadas que, en lugar de contener células, contienen vesículas extracelulares que favorecen la reparación del miocardio dañado en un ataque al corazón.

- Investigación

Un artículo del IGTP entre los más leídos en 2017 de la revista Scientific Reports

Un artículo del grupo de investigación en Enfermedades de Afectación Renal (REMAR) del IGTP se ha situado entre el top 100 de artículos de biología celular más leídos en Scientific Reports en el año 2017. La revista ha publicado cerca de mil artículos en el área de biología celular este pasado año, de forma que es especialmente remarcable estar situado entre los principales leídos.

Més informació


Francesc E. Borràs (Principal Investigator) Jordi Bover (Chief of Nephrology Service)

(+34) 93 033 05 26 and (+34) 93 497 88 98