News and Events

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BIOCAPS will tackle nanomaterials and multiple sclerosis in two simultaneous scientific seminars

The IBIV will dedicate October 24th to tackling these two topics from a biomedical perspective with participation by international experts

On October 24th, the Instituto Biomédico de Investigación de Vigo (IBIV) [Institute of Biomedical Research of Vigo] will hold two simultaneous scientific seminars at the Vigo Campus, which will bring together international experts from six countries to share knowledge about the latest advances in multiple sclerosis and nanomaterials applied to biomedicine.

Both workshops are organised within the BIOCAPS framework and are the last two scientific meetings prior to the project’s main annual event, the Annual IBIV Workshop, which is in its second year and will take place on November 20th and 21st with aging as its main focus.

The seminar about Advanced Nanomaterials for Bioapplications is being organised by the BIOCAPS area of ‘Biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine’. It will be held at the School of Industrial Engineering of the University of Vigo in morning and afternoon sessions. Registration is free and open until October 22nd here .  

In eight sessions, the speakers will give details about current trends regarding advanced nanomaterials, from the perspective of basic research and that of applied strategies. The organisers of the seminar have designed the programme and its agenda so that knowledge sharing will be encouraged in an interdisciplinary environment.

The event will focus on obtaining and developing so-called “intelligent materials” on a nanoscale for their potential application in the biomedical field as sensors, nanoreactors, nanoarchitecture for imaging and therapy or bioactive nanomaterials.

The use of nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery, their application in the treatment of tumours and in DNA recognition, as well as their potential use in tissue engineering are some of the topics that will be discussed by the scientific participants from Spain, Portugal and Italy.   

Among the speakers are Professor Luis Liz-Marzán, Scientific Director of the Centre for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials (CIC-Biomagune, San Sebastian); Dr Teresa Pellegrino, Research Team Leader at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT, Genoa); and Dr Joao Mano, Vice-director of the 3B’s Research Group: Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics of the University of Minho (Portugal).

The IBIV will be represented by Dr Miriam López and the University of Vigo by Dr Verónica Salgueiriño, leader of the Magnetic Materials Group, and Dr Gustavo Bodelón, of the Colloid Chemistry Group. Two researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Professor José Luis Mascareñas and Dr Marcos García-Fuentes will complete the list of speakers.

Advances on multiple sclerosis

In the Experimental Sciences building of the same campus, the second seminar will be held simultaneously, and will focus on the basic and clinical strategies for studying multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system, mainly among young women. The workshop is being organised by the BIOCAPS area of ‘Infectious diseases, inflammation and immunity’. Registration is free and can be completed here .

The speakers are four scientists representing research groups that are participating, together with the Immunology Group of the University of Vigo -integrated BIOCAPS– and four others, in a proposed European project that will be presented in October, which pools the research skills of seven countries.

Currently available therapies for MS reduce the relapse rate and the speed of the progression of this disease, but cause significant side effects. “It is essential to develop alternative therapies with minimum side effects and the ability to halt the evolution of the disease, and this can only be achieved by understanding the mechanisms involved in its progression”, explained IBIV researcher Dr Luiz Stark, who added that the integration of basic and clinical research is necessary to acquire this knowledge. During the seminar, recent results of important European research institutions about MS will be presented from both the basic and clinical research perspectives.

The researcher Dr Veerle Somers, from Hasselt University (Belgium), will focus on the role of B cells in MS, as well as the discovery of biomarkers that are essential both for the selection and evaluation of new therapies for patients. The talk of Dr Luisa María Villar, from the Hospital Ramón y Cajal in Madrid, will also focus on biomarkers, but on those present in cerebro-spinal fluid, and their importance regarding the prognosis and treatment of patients.

Dr Abdelahadi Saoudi, from the Centre of Physiopathology of Toulouse-Purpan (France), will speak about the molecular mechanisms involved in the activation of T cells in MS and allergic processes. Completing the list of speakers is Dr Lesley Probert from the Hellenic Pasteur Institute (Athens, Greece), who will explain the role of antigen-presenting cells in the activation or regulation of the immune system against the disease.