Following the merger with CREAL in July 2016, the new ISGlobal, with 385 employees from 31 different countries and an average age of 38.5 years, presents its annual report 2016. The merger has marked “the beginning of a new stage that saw ISGlobal, with a substantial increase in high quality scientific production, become an international centre of excellence in research , knowledge translation and training in both global and public health” write Antoni Plasència, General Director and Josep M. Antó, Scientific Director in their introduction letter. “The broadening of our research scope to include non-communicable diseases and environmental factors is coherent with the worldwide epidemiological shift and the growing importance of climate change”. In the letter, they also identify the main challenges that lie ahead, such as the need to find new funding sources, recruit and retain talent, and upgrade infrastructures.
In 2016, the research department published 359 peer-reviewed papers, of which 39% are in top decile journals. The incorporation of the new Climate and Health programme; the renewal of the WHO accreditation as collaborating centre for Malaria Control, Elimination and Eradication; the funding of CADMIA-plus to further the investigation of causes of death in low-income countries; and ISGlobal’s leadership in birth cohort studies such as the European HELIX project, are some of the outstanding scientific achievements of the year.
With more than 600 students in training courses during 2016, ISGlobal became an affiliated research institute of the University of Barcelona and the University Pompeu Fabra. For the first time, the Master of Global Health, coordinated by the institute, was imparted entirely in English. In addition, the institution became a member of the Consortium of Universities of Global Health (CUGH), “which allows us to network with other leading global health programmes” writes Nuria Casamitjana, Training and Education Director at ISGlobal.
In terms of translation, Policy and Global Development Director Rafael Vilasanjuan highlights the launch of the institute’s fifth initiative (Urban Planning, Environment and Health) with the aim of promoting informed decision-making to improve health in cities through studies on the impact of mobility patterns and urban design. The institute also strengthened its presence in the Mediterranean (with a Health Observatory project based in Morocco) and Latin America (with a study for UNDP on the socioeconomic impact of the Zika virus epidemic in the region).
The Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal, is the fruit of an innovative alliance between the public and private institutions that compose its Board of Trustees: the Spanish and Catalan Governments, the Barcelona City Council, the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, the Parc de Salut MAR, the University of Barcelona, the Pompeu Fabra University, the "la Caixa" Foundation and the Ramón Areces Foundation.