14th Scientific Conference and 24th Vall d'Hebron Annual Conference

The conference has included oral presentations of research and results of the VHIR, posters and scientific monologues.


Prof. Alberto Mantovani, scientific director of the Humanitas Clinical Institute of Milà, president of the Humanitas Foundation for research and emeritus professor of the Humanitas University, has been the protagonist of the 24th Annual Vall d'Hebron Conference. This year, the conference could be followed from the Vall d'Hebron Teaching Pavilion and also online. For two days, it has hosted 15 oral presentations, from each of the 8 research areas and Nursing, a session of scientific monologues and the presentation of the Task Force COVID-19. Once again, the Conference has had the support of Roche.

Prof. Mantovani talked about immunity, from cancer to COVID-19. “COVID-19 has revealed how little we know about immunity to microbial challenges. As for cancer, a better understanding of the interaction of immunity with SARS-CoV-2 is likely to pave the way for new diagnostic and therapeutic tools”, highlighted Prof. Mantovani.


14th Scientific Conference

The 14th Scientific Conference started on Thursday, December 10 with the oral presentations corresponding to the Multidisciplinary Nursing Research group. A total of 5 projects of various themes were presented: impact of COVID-19, perception of patients admitted to the ICU, needs of people with multiple sclerosis, the Zero Interruptions program and smoking cessation.

The most outstanding works of the eight VHIR research areas were presented below in two blocks. In the first block it was the turn of the following areas: Neurosciences; Obstetrics, Paediatrics and Genetics; Oncology; and Infectious Diseases. In the second round, the areas of Vascular Biology and Metabolism, Digestive and Liver Diseases/Nursing, Research in Surgery; and Immune-mediated Diseases and Innovative Therapies.

The morning ended with the poster session. This year, 86 posters were presented: 16 corresponding to the Nursing category, 27 to the residents category, 3 in the postdoctoral category and 40 in the pre-doctoral researchers category. The Vall d'Hebron evaluation committee selected the best three from each category. The chosen ones made a presentation in front of the committee, which decided the winners.

Friday 11 gave the starting signal with humour thanks to the session of scientific monologues by five professionals from Vall d'Hebron, held for the second consecutive year and which was well received by the public.

Next, the most voted publication of 2019 by the VHIR IPs was presented: “Brain tyrosinase overexpression implicates age-dependent neuromelanin production Parkinson's disease pathogenesis”, published in the journal Nature Communications and presented at the conference by Dr. Miquel Vila i Bover, head of the research group in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

On the other hand, Dr. Joan X. Comella, director of the VHIR, together with Fátima Núñez, María de Valles, Inma Fuentes, Xavier Cañas, Laia Arnal, Fran Garcia, Montse Giménez and Núria Gavaldà, presented the annual results of the VHIR highlighting the quality of scientific production and the increase in the number of international projects, the evolution in the HR Excellence in Research strategy, developments in clinical trials, experiences in knowledge transfer, the new research building, the achievement of the 2020 objectives and the main points of the new strategic research plan 2021-2025.

Doctors Fátima Núñez, deputy director of the VHIR, and Susana Otero, researcher of the Epidemiology and Public Health group, presented Task Force COVID-19, a multidisciplinary work environment made up of researchers from Vall d'Hebron with the aim of giving the best possible service to citizens while responding to many of the challenges still posed by COVID-19.


Best posters award

Another outstanding part of the Conference has been the awards ceremony for the best posters in each category. The prizes have been distributed according to the volume of posters presented in each category.

The winners in the Residents category have been: In third place, José David Cardoso Landivar, from the Pulmonology Service, for the poster ‘Histological findings in transbronchial cryobiopsies obtained from patients after COVID-19’. In second position, David García Illescas, from the Medical Oncology Service, with the poster ‘Influence of recent administration and type of oncological treatment (T) in survival of oncological patients (p) with COVID-19: experience of Vall d'Hebron University Hospital’. And in the first position, Alejandro Garcia Álvarez, from the Medical Oncology Service, for ‘Análisis de tasa de respuesta (TR), supervivencia libre de progression (SLP), y toxicidad en pacientes (pts) mayores de 65 años con cancer de mama metastásico luminal HER2 negativo tratados con inhibidores de kinasas dependientes de ciclinas 4 y 6 (iCDK4/6)’.

In the Nursing category: In second position, M Montserrat Aran Esteve, from the Multidisciplinary Nursing Research group, with the poster ‘Percepció dels pacients sotmesos a ventilació mecànica ingressats a la Unitat de Cures Intensives de l’Hospital Vall d’Hebron: Estudi qualitatiu exploratori’; and, in first position, Luis López Pérez, from the Infectious Diseases Service, for ‘Consulta de enfermería en ITS/VIH: studio de las características clínico-epidemiológicas de los nuevos diagnósticos de HIV durante 2014 y 2019 en la Unidad de Infecciones de Transmisión sexual Drassanes – Vall d’Hebron’.

Regarding the postdoctoral category, an award was given to Dr. Miren Bravo, from the Liver Diseases group, for the poster ‘Synergic effect of atorvastatin and ambrisentan in a rat model of NASH’.

And in the predoctoral category, the second position has been awarded Ex aequo to Guillem Pons, from the Translational Research group on Cancer in Childhood and Adolescence, for ‘Targeting MDM2-p53 interaction in rhabdomyosarcoma: restoration of p53 and FBXW7 tumor suppressor activity’ and to Alejandro Solís Peña, from the Colorectal Surgery Unit for ‘Profilaxis antibiótica endovenosa frente a oral más endovenosa en cirugía colónica: ensayo clínico prospectivo, aleatorizado y multicéntrico’. In first position, Laura Vilar Ribó, from the Psychiatry, Mental Health and Addictions group, for the poster 'Genetic Overlap and Causality between Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Attention-Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)'.


Delivery of the Friends of Vall d'Hebron Training Grant

Apart from the scientific and institutional results that have been achieved in the VHIR in the last year, the new granted young researchers by the Friends of Vall d'Hebron and collaborating companies were announced. Thus, the diplomas of the pre-doctoral aids were awarded to the six new young researchers thanks to their collaboration. With this program, researchers will be able to develop their training for three years, complete their doctoral thesis and obtain a doctorate. This year's grants recipients have been: Marta Palau Gauthier, Nuria Massana Martinell, Eddie Pradas Gracia and Almudena Sánchez García.

Finally, the FSE grants were awarded to Manuel Requena Ruiz, Matías Vicente Goma-Camps, Marta Olivé Gadea, Piero Arturo Alberti Delgado and Anna Curell.  

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