The science that regenerates heart tissue after a heart attack or inactivates respiratory viruses


According to the WHO, myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death in developed countries and the third in developing countries. Because of its high risk, a heart attack is considered a medical emergency. Its recovery is complicated due to the low regenerative capacity of cardiac tissue and current treatments are still far from achieving substantial improvement.

However, let us imagine that in an ideal world we manage to regenerate tissues through the control of genetic factors and through new drugs.

Josep Dalmau, August PI from the I Sanair Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS), and Thais Armague, from the Sant Joan de Deu Private Foundation for Research and Teaching

“La Caixa” Foundation

In that same ideal world, a new technology is able to purify the air through light and temperature to inactivate a large number of respiratory viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, that live in indoor spaces in our real world. and are mainly broadcast. through aerosols. With this project, an unusual therapeutic nanotechnology that internalizes an enzyme in the brain could prevent neurodegeneration and halt the progression of Parkinson’s, the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease and which currently has no effect. There is no cure.

The good news is that, as utopian as it may seem to us, that exemplary environment is now closer than we thought: these three projects are already mentioned, along with 30 other solutions for the future of health. All of them have been selected in the fifth edition of the CAIXA Research Call for Health Research 2022, which aims to identify and promote initiatives of great scientific excellence and high social impact in biomedicine and health research in Spain and Portugal.

Retain and attract talent to fight diseases with the highest social incidence

With a total investment of 23.1 million euros by the “La Caixa” Foundation, these projects will develop new solutions of both medical and technological excellence in the fields of infectious diseases (11 projects), neuroscience (9), oncology (8). and related cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (5 projects). Grants are awarded up to EUR 500,000 over three years for projects submitted by a single research organization and up to EUR 1,000,000 over three years for projects submitted by a consortium between two and five organizations.

The call aims to retain talent and attract more researchers from around the world to work in centers on the Iberian Peninsula and help transform them into centers of excellence in the fight against diseases with the greatest social impact. Thus, there is also an initiative selected by a committee of international experts that aims to understand the effect of “jumping genes” on tumor spread and another that seeks to elucidate the effect of the intestinal microbiota on loss of control of intake. Is. obesity.

Experts in vaccines, nanoparticles and bioinformatics will study how to enhance the immune system’s response so that vaccines do not lose their effectiveness

In addition, thanks to the support of the research in this year’s call, it will be possible to study the role in aging of the cells that line the interior of blood vessels, whose density decreases over the years, and in healthy aging. looking for solutions.

Experts in vaccines, nanoparticles and bioinformatics will do their part to study how to enhance the immune system’s response so that vaccines do not lose their effectiveness. and the creation of a platform to rapidly develop and produce new biopharmaceuticals to combat emerging virus threats.

next call continues

In this edition, 546 proposals were submitted, 20 of which were eventually selected from Spanish research centers and universities in various autonomous communities, and 13 from various centers in Portugal. For CaixaResearch’s new Call for Research in Health 2023, researchers who wish to do so can now begin sending their applications to qualify for grants based on certain needs.

The Caixa Research Health Meeting will be held annually from this 2022, to bring together researchers who have received scholarships in previous editions. This year, which took place on 28 and 29 September, the 2018 edition brought together leaders, co-leaders and principal investigators from selected 25 projects who participated in multidisciplinary debates about their specialties such as neuroscience, oncology, cardiovascular and ran away. Metabolic diseases, infectious diseases and enabling technologies.

Teresa Correa, from the Algarve Sea Science Center (CCMAR) (Portugal)

Teresa Correa, from the Algarve Sea Science Center (CCMAR) (Portugal)

“La Caixa” Foundation

The CaixaResearch call for health research of the “La Caixa” Foundation is carried out in partnership with the Fundação para a Ciência ea Tecnologia (FCT) of the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, which subsidizes three of the 13 selected Portuguese countries. projects. In addition, the Luzon Foundation collaborates by co-financing a project on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Since the start of the program in 2018, the “La Caixa” Foundation has allocated 94.8 million euros to 138 innovative research projects with social impact, 95 of them led by Spanish teams and 43 of the sole for grants by Portuguese research groups. are on call. Health research that exists in the Iberian region.


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