Neurociencias


Co-creation Team

UPV/EHU Pedro Grandes
Javier Meana
Marian Martínez de Pancorbo
BERC ACHUCARRO -UPV/EHU Carlos Matute
Tecnalia José Miguel Azkoitia
Jesús Valero
Biocruces Juan José Zarranz
  Manuel Fernández
Biodonostia Adolfo López de Munain
CIC biomagune Abraham Martín
Hospital Santiago Ana González Pinto

Neurosciences

Strategic Framework

The knowledge Hub for Neurosciences resumes and old ambition of the research community in this knowledge area to boost the multidiscipline and institutional collaboration.  With this perspective, the co-creation team has defined a series of strategic objectives that must guide the actions in collaboration:

  1. Look for the excellence in education, in investigation and technological development making profit of the critical mass that today exits in the field of neuroscience, both in  the existing quality in basic research and in technological development, activating to do so capabilities in all areas of knowledge that could provide solutions that improve the quality of life of people and the increasing impact that ageing is causing in our society.
  2. Narrow the chain of value in basic research – clinic research in relation to pathologies with high social impact making profit of the existing capabilities both in basic research and clinic research.
  3. Boost the existing high quality basic research promoting the collaboration in first line research in the existing intersections among the main research lines that are being developed nowadays.
  4. Catalyzing from Euskampus Knowledge Hub greater and closer interweaving of hospital and university research in the CAPV making profit of the figure of university hospitals as well as the development of Institutes of Research BIODONOSTIA and BIOCRUCES.

The fields of work are multiple and include the main research lines in the field of neuroscience such as:

  • The ordinary functioning of the nervous system
  • The cognitive deterioration
  • The neurodegenerative illnesses
  • Vascular brain pathologies
  • Psychiatric illnesses
  • The prevention of diseases of the nervous system
  • The cognitive disease therapy
    • Drug Treatments
    • Rehabilitation
    • The environmental conditions of the nervous system
      • Food
      • Harmful environmental factors
      • Social factors
      • Anthropological factors

Objectives

To give impetus to the research and technology community within the Euskampus aggregation around the social and global challenges expressed in the strategic framework of this Knowledge Hub, activating its capacities to design and implement measures to train, do research, and transfer knowledge to society. The Knowledge Hub comes under the quality of life and healthy ageing specialization area of the CEI Euskampus Project.

SOCIAL AND GLOBAL CHALLENGES OF THE KNOWLEDGE HUB
Normal functioning of the nervous system.
Cognitive and motor deterioration
Pharmacological therapies and rehabilitation
Environmental conditions
Neuromimetics

Summary of the work done and the role of the aggregation

In the field of the training, highlights are as follows :

  • The search for a strategic alliance with the Bordeaux research community for postgraduate training;
  • The active participation of staff from Tecnalia’s International Excellence Group in Neurorehabilitation in the UPV/EHU’s Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering. (5 people of which 4 are not Spanish nationals);
  • The leadership of the UPV/EHU in coordinating a University Masters degree in Neurosciences.

In the research field, collaborative research projects, developed in the two last years, are particularly notable. It should be stated that these represent new lines of collaboration in emerging and future fields. The connecting work within the Neurosciences Knowledge Hub represents the start of collaborations between current research groups in the Basque network of science technology and innovation. They used to collaborate with groups in other Autonomous Communities but not previously within the Basque Country. In effect, there are Basque research groups in the Biomedical Research Centres both in the Mental Health Network (CIBERSAM) and in Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED) but they had not collaborated internally.

This failure to collaborate is partly due to the lack of Autonomous Authority mechanisms that would allow it. The mechanisms of autonomic finance have further encouraged fragmentation. Nevertheless, this is set to change for the better through the Basque Government’s ELKARTEK Program which articulates the most ambitious collaborative project of the Neurosciences Knowledge Hub. This is translational research around the neuro-inflammation processes in neurodegenerative and psychiatric illnesses that affect cognitive or motor capabilities of patients with these illnesses.

To date, 12 collaborative projects with a total investment of 158,000 euros have been done, and 16% of the Investment fund used.

All this has allowed various capacities to be activated, not only in the bio-sciences but also of the fields of engineering, computational images, modelling, simulation and computation, robotics, artificial intelligence, physiotherapy, etc.

Most significant results

  • The development of collaborative projects spanning disciplines that up to now have been disconnected and with great potential to offer new results to help tackle the challenges within this Knowledge Hub.
  • The presentation of a collaborative translational research project on the neuro-inflammation processes in neuro-degenerative and psychiatric illnesses that brings together a group of specialists from the Basque Network of Science Technology and Innovation in the field of neurosciences.
  • The internationalization of neurosciences in the Basque Country with the University of Bordeaux and the Aquitaine neuroscience cluster of excellence.

The most outstanding projects in the Knowledge Hub are:

  • Project for the development of the HAPTIC device for the rehabilitation in hospitals of people that have suffered strokes. Collaboration between Tecnalia and UPV/EHU that involved the participation of a Masters of the School of Engineers student and and that subsequently developed into a doctoral thesis with the help of the Basque Government’s pre-doctoral support program.
  • Collaboration in computational neuroimaging between UPV/EHU, Biocruces and BCAM that involved the participation of a Masters of Medical Bio-engineering student and that subsequently developed into a doctoral thesis with the help of the Basque Government’s pre-doctoral support program.
  • Project “Mechanisms of transmission of the Dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s Disease”, with the participation of BERC Achucarro and the University of Bordeaux. This is the first world-wide study that uses bioptic human material in combination with innovative technologies like microfluidics and the organotypic crop technique, patented by the BERC Achucarro and the UPV/EHU.
  • ISMORE Project. Development of a neurorehabilitation therapy based on a Brain Machine Interface (BMI) for patients with severe motor disability caused by a stroke. This is an international and multidisciplinary project with the participation of the University of Berkeley, University of Tubingen, Donosti Hospital, Biodonostia, Tecnalia and the UPV/EHU.
  • Gliomagen Project. Retrospective study for the analysis and characterization of gliomas (degree, infiltration, and recurrence) by using technologies of post-processing and segmentation of the neuroimage. The participants are the of Computational Neuroimage department of the Quantitative Biomedicine Unit, BioCruces, the Neurosurgery and Pathological Anatomy departments of the University Hospital of Cruces, and Tecnalia’s Computer Vision Group.
  • Translational research project on neuroinflammation listed in the new ELKARTEK convocation of the Basque Government (support to undertaking collaborative research between members of the Basque Network of Science, Technology and Innovation). This is the first Basque community structuring project in neurosciences to develop a CIBER (Networked Bio-medical Research Centre) in neurosciences, using the Basque Strategy of Intelligent Specialization RIS3 framework.

International outreach

One of the core areas pivotal to the development of the Euro-regional Campus in the framework of the Euskadi-Aquitania Euro-region Strategy is the creation of a Knowledge Hub of transnational excellence in neurosciences that helps activate and reinforce collaboration between the neurosciences community in the Basque Country and that of Bordeaux. The neurosciences Knowledge Hub has therefore developed into a highly important area of work as much in quantitative terms as qualitative.