Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Wednesday February 18th, 2009

Women hold only 13% of top posts in hospitals

Dra. Pilar Arrizabalaga

The proportion of women who study medicine and who hold posts in resident programs for medical specialization has increased considerably in the past 3 decades. They currently represent 50% of practicing doctors and more than 80% of recently qualified doctors. A study published in the  Journal of Medical Ethics and carried out in Hospital Sant Pau and Hospital Clínic, Barcelona shows that the proportion of women holding positions of responsibility in these hospitals represents only 13%, a figure which has remained constant between 2002 and 2006. The study was carried out by Dr. Amparo Santamaría of the hematology department of Hospital Sant Pau and Dr. Pilar Arrizabalaga of the nephrology department of Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, as first and second authors, respectively.

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The TRPV4 receptor plays a key role in the death of pancreatic cells induced by amyloid fibers

Anna Novials

Amyloid is a pathologic substance mostly consisting of proteins such as amylin, which can become deposited on different organs and tissues. In some degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, the formation of ordered amyloid fibers has been observed in places where cell death occurs. In patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus, islets of amyloid have been found within the islets of Langerhans, the collection of pancreatic cells with an endocrine function. These amyloid deposits are found in regions with cellular degeneration and have therefore been associated with the progression of the diabetes.

An IDIBAPS study published on the front page of Diabetologia (51(12):2252-62) by the team led by Dr. Anna Novials analyzes the mechanisms by which these amyloid fibers are associated with the death by apoptosis of pancreatic cells. The results show that abnormal concentrations of calcium play a key role in the toxicity induced by the amyloid. The hypothesis put forward in the article suggests that TRPV4, a channel to the cell surface that is sensitive to mechanical and osmotic changes, becomes activated in response to physical alterations caused by the aggregation of fibers around the cells. This would activate the process that leads to cell death by apoptosis: the entry of calcium into the cell, that the polarized nation of the membrane, and the activation of L-type calcium channels.

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Thursday January 22nd, 2009

The First Scientific Meeting of the IIS Clínic-IDIBAPS with the IRB Focuses on Cancer

The meeting was held at hotel HiltonThe Institute for Health Care Research (IIS) Clínic-IDIBAPS is a new body that was created as a result of the accreditation of our center by the Ministry of Science and Innovation. The first scientific  meeting under the umbrella of the strategic alliance, which joins the efforts of this new institute with those of the IRB, was held on 22 January. The theme of the meeting was  cancer and this allowed scientists from IDIBAPS-Clínic and the IRB to share experiences and approaches during an intense conference held at the Barcelona Hilton Hotel.

The aim of this initiative is to encourage the creation of networks of cooperation between the two institutions. New themed meetings of this type will be held over the coming months. The 3 planned themes are: Neurosciences; hepatic and metabolic diseases; and Infectious diseases, research on international health and immunology. It is necessary to continue to join forces to make the research done in Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain increasingly competitive at international level.

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Thursday January 15th, 2009

The CD5 Molecule Helps to Combat Septic Shock Caused by Fungi

Dr. Francisco Lozano and Dr. Jorge Vera

Septic shock is a serious medical condition caused by an infection that spreads in an uncontrolled manner throughout the body via the circulatory system. It produces severe inflammatory symptoms with cardiovascular failure caused by particularly virulent bacterial or fungal toxins in the blood. It is the main cause of death in intensive care units, with a mortality rate of between 30% and 50% of patients who suffer from it.

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