The annual scientific retreat of ISGlobal and its allied centre CREAL took place on January 14th at the CosmoCaixa in Barcelona. Around 200 people, including researchers from the Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM), attended the event.
During the morning, principal investigators, predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows presented their results in two parallel sessions: infectious diseases (ISGlobal) and non-communicable diseases and environment (CREAL). A joint session took place in the afternoon, where results of collaborative projects were presented, including one on health impact evaluation of urban transport policies in developing countries and one on the association between malaria, environmental exposure and Burkitt´s lymphoma. Newly funded projects by organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Commission's Horizon 2020 program were also presented, including MALTEM (on malaria elimination in Southern Mozambique) and CHAI (on the impact of air pollution on cardiovascular health).
In view of the merger between both centres, that started in 2013 and will be completed this year, the common theme of the meeting was "going together", and each speaker presented in one slide his or her view of what that means. Dr. Antoni Plasència, director of ISGlobal and Dr. Josep M. Antó, scientific director of ISGlobal and current director of CREAL, emphasized that the fusion will expand the diversity in health research projects, strengthen the innovative public-private partnership and boost a model based on research, training and translation with high global impact.
After CREAL's fusion, ISGlobal will have a young and international workforce (around 400 people with an average 37 years of age and 25 different nationalities) that will conduct an important task in research (about 25 groups and 200 scientific projects) but also in training (3 Masters and several courses) and translation to public policies, with an overall budget of more than 27 million euros. Both centres already coordinate 6 collaborative projects funded by CERCA's SUMA program, offer joint seminars and lectures, and have organized two annual scientific retreats, including this one.