The Human Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience Research Group (GRCFHIN) forms part of the Neuroscience Program of the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) (PIs Dr. Rafael de la Torre and Dr. Magí Farré). The role of the Program is to provide support to clinical investigation by contributing to a better understanding of mental illness and neurodegenerative disease, and developing their corresponding therapy.
The GRCFHIN of the IMIM commenced its activities in the Clinical Pharmacological Service of the Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, in 1979. In the same year the first intra-hospital unit in Spain for addiction detoxification was founded. The initial (and ongoing) areas of interest were Phase I and II clinical trials of new drugs, the clinical pharmacology of psychotropic substances, including drugs of abuse, studies concerning drug abuse liability of new substances, and drug metabolism. The GRCFHIN has, therefore, a history of more than 30 years in the clinical field of neuroscience. With its analytical laboratory infrastructure the GRCFHIN manages the Clinical Research Unit of the IMIM where the clinical studies are carried out. The GRCFHIN is a research group, consolidated by the Catalonian Generalitat (DIUE2009 SGR 718), which forms part of the innovative technological network (Xarxa IT, TECNIO, ACC1). Its researchers are actively involved in the following networks and research centers: Addictive Disorders Network-RTA (ISCIII-FEDER-FIS-RTA RD06/0001/1009), Spanish Platform of Clinical Trials-CAIBER (ISCIII-FIS-CAIBER CAI08/01/0024), and the Biomedical Research Centre Network of Obesity and Nutrition-CIBERobn (CB06/03). The GRCFHIN researchers are also members of the teaching staff at the Pompeu Fabra University and the Autonomous University of Barcelona for the degrees of Human Biology and Medicine in the fields of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
The Neurobehavioral Analysis Group from the Genomic Regulation Centre of Barcelona (CRG-Program of Genes and Diseases) directed by Dr. Mara Dierssen has extensive experience in basic research with respect to Down and Fragile X Syndrome. It has made valuable contributions to the field of neurogenetics, developing numerous competitive research projects in the field of mental retardation and pharmacological therapy. All of which have given rise to more than 100 publications in prestigious international scientific journals during the last 5 years. In addition, the group has been awarded the following prizes for research into mental retardation: Jaime Blanco (2001), Ramon Trías Fargas (2003, 2007), Jérôme Lejeune Foundation (2004), and Sisley-Lejeune (2010). Currently, the group is made up of 14 people including researchers, post-doctoral fellows, PhD students, and technicians working in the field of neuropsychiatric disease and mental retardation from basic research to therapeutic application. Its main objectives are the study of the molecular, biochemical, cellular, and genetic causes, and the evaluation of the epigenetic factors, which lead to multifactorial/polygenic disorders and therapy development. Particular attention is paid to diseases related to alterations in the gene dose through the production and behavioral assessment of murine models. The group has actively participated in the establishment of national and international collaborative groups which is reflected in the multi-institutional character of a number of its publications. Its researchers form part of the CIBER-rare disease network (CIBER-ER) and a number of European ones.