Page 1

HEALTH CHALLENGING MINDS STRATEGIC PLAN 2015 - 2020


Welcome to the INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION IN HEALTH UNIVERSITY OF PORTO

i3S brand was built based on a key premise: the acronym itself is the foundation for the brand, thus lending it an historical weight that will make it easily identifiable and recognizable. From there, the visual elements were designed, resulting from the deconstruction of the acronym and subsequent reconstruction into an iconic element, which reflects the strength and solidity of the building, but stands on its own. The detail that immediately catches the eye - a roughly sketched number “3” - is made up of three “i” drawn in a loop, an embodiment of the previous deconstruction. The numeral is portrayed in such magnitude that it may even seem it’s an exponentiation: it follows the underlying concept, which dictates that the whole set of competences is greater than the sum of the parts. The modular design is inspired on the building’s interior, where the metric of the building blocks is in plain sight of the visitor, and allows turning the acronym into a single visual feature. The choice of hue stems from the common denominator present in the three logos from the comprising institutes - the primary color cyan -, whereas the encompassment of i3S into the universe of the University of Porto is conveyed by the use of black.


index 01. vision 02. mission

02 03

03. history

04 04

our heritage

04. guiding principles

05

05. research

06 07 08 10

our research agenda research focus research groups list

12

06. action plan promoting excellence consolidating research and competitiveness research valorization integrated responsible research and innovation

13 14 15 16

i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020 | 01


01. VISION

an integrative institute inspiring people to design a healthier future

Our vision is to nurture an atmosphere able to attract the brightest minds and to position i3S in the forefront of European institutions dedicated to health sciences and technologies. We intend to accomplish a better and healthier tomorrow through brilliant people and by catalyzing innovation, which will be attained by making Health a priority.

02 | i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020


02. MISSION

The mission of i3S is to integrate complementary competences to become a leading international player in health and life sciences and technologies.

We are bringing together internationally recognized researchers with competences in basic, translational and clinical research to tackle complex health questions in cancer, neurodegeneration, infection and tissue repair. We are assembling a scientific critical mass in a robust university campus to steer competences and to promote the emergence of new scientific areas and solutions in strong interaction with hospitals and companies. We’re also fostering continuous advanced training for scientists and a solid implementation in the community to answer present and future societal challenges.

i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020 | 03


03. HISTORY

our heritage It results from a long-term collaboration between IBMC, INEB and IPATIMUP, with a long and successful history of excellent people encompassing joint research projects

The i3S, headed by the University of Porto, brings together three research institutes and researchers from several schools of the University. It results from a long-term collaboration between IBMC, INEB and IPATIMUP, with a long and successful history of excellent people encompassing joint research projects, co-supervision of PhD students, and sharing of large equipment under coordinated policies. IBMC – Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular – is a multidisciplinary research institute formed in 1997 with the aim of rounding up researchers working within the University of Porto and affiliated hospitals to produce a unique environment promoting research in the life sciences. INEB – Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica – is a bioengineering research institute founded in 1989. Its motto – “Engineering for life” – reflects its commitment to the development of technologies and devices aimed at improving patients’ quality of life and to continuous learning with living organisms. IPATIMUP – Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia da Universidade do Porto – established in 1989, whose main lines of research are cancer and genetics. Six schools of the University of Porto (FMUP, ICBAS, FMDUP, FCUP, FEUP and FFUP) and three hospitals (CH S João, CH Porto and IPO) are also engaged in the activities of i3S. This wide participation of schools, research institutions and hospitals in a research institute is unique in Portugal and is a valuable asset for science and technology development. This combination creates a favorable environment for real breakthrough research and translation of discoveries to the clinic. The location of the new building hosting all i3S researchers provides a vibrant environment for new scientific discoveries, which translates into improvements in health care.

04 | i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020


04. GUIDING PRINCIPLES

our guiding principles The pillars of i3S are scientific excellence and health as research priority.

Scientific excellence and health as research priority are the pillars of i3S. Excellence is raised by the brightest researchers and observed through an external evaluation carried out on a regular basis by the External Advisory Board, and by promoting integration of basic, applied and translational activities. Three trans-disciplinary programs cluster major areas of competence and realize our research priority – the human health:

A policy of valorization of research and services to the scientific community are essential aspects in the pursuit of our goals.

i3S provides regular advanced training to scientists and clinicians and prepares new generations of scientists through integrative PhD programs

We are committed to delivering high quality translation of cutting-edge knowledge to the clinic and to rendering the corresponding services and to improve general well-being

- Cancer - Host Interaction and Response - Neurobiology and Neurologic Disorders A policy of valorization of research and services to the scientific community are essential aspects in the pursuit of our goals. Therefore, the core scientific services and our advanced technologies are shared for the benefit of the scientific community, and technology transfer and entrepreneurship is actively promoted. In permanent dialogue with the the most vital sectors of the scientific system, i3S provides regular advanced training to scientists and clinicians and prepares new generations of scientists through integrative PhD programs in accordance with i3S major research lines. We are committed to delivering high quality translation of cutting-edge knowledge to the clinic and to rendering the corresponding services, and into new inclusive approaches in education for healthcare professionals. We are a leading institution in health and science communication for citizens, aiming to contribute to the knowledge society and to improve general well-being.

i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020 | 05


05. RESEARCH

research i3S revolves around three Integrative Programs: Cancer, Host Response and Interaction, and Neurobiology and Neurologic Disease. The trans-disciplinary character of our projects is addressing questions that require participation of basic and applied sciences.

06 | i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020


05. RESEARCH

our research agenda i3S revolves around three Integrative Programs: Cancer, Host Response and Interaction, and Neurobiology and Neurologic Disease.

A Clinical Advisory Panel renders translation of research from bench to bedside more effective and identifies emerging health issues

i3S revolves around three Integrative Programs: Cancer, Host Response and Interaction, and Neurobiology and Neurologic Disease. The trans-disciplinary character of our projects is addressing questions that require participation of basic and applied sciences, such as: 01. The development of fundamental research to solve basic biological questions is a priority and it lays the groundwork for future advancements; 02. The development of effective and reliable in vitro diagnostic tools, namely for early detection of gastric cancer and bacterial infection, combining molecular targets and nanotechnologies, with particular emphasis on in vivo bioimaging. 03. The development of carriers, scaffolds and cell isolation, and manipulation technologies for effective cell therapies and tissue engineering strategies in neurological diseases and trauma, particularly for elderly and diabetic patients.

We expect to achieve these objectives by hiring new researchers capable of tackling these challenges. A Clinical Advisory Panel renders translation of research from bench to bedside more effective and identifies emerging health issues.

i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020 | 07


05. RESEARCH

our research focus i3S aims to identify risk factors for cell and tissue transformation, as well as the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in cancer development and progression

Our research is organized into three Integrative Programs that cluster major areas of competence:

01. Cancer This program intends to identify risk factors for cell and tissue transformation, as well as the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in cancer development and progression. Nanoparticle-based systems functionalized with molecular probes capable of specifically targeting invasive tumor cells are also being used to design efficient new therapeutic strategies. The Program on Cancer includes research groups working on Cell Division, Cell Cycle, Oncobiology, Pathology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Cancer Genetics, and Population Genetics and Metabolism, in association with groups working in Bioengineering.

i3S aims to understand, decipher and modulate the complex crosstalk that takes place between the host immune system and foreign entities, namely pathogens and bioengineered materials

08 | i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020

02. Host Interaction and Response This program aims to understand, decipher and modulate the complex crosstalk that takes place between the host immune system and foreign entities, namely pathogens and bioengineered materials. We are developing novel prevention, diagnosis and drug-delivery systems for anti-infective strategies, as well as immunomodulatory and biomaterialbased regenerative therapies. This program is gathering internationally established groups working on pathogenesis, immunity, clinical and population genetics, biomaterials, tissue regeneration and nanomedicine.


i3S aims to understanding the biology of neurons and glia, the causes for and mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction and degeneration, on exploring the use of biomaterials in neural regeneration, and on developing therapeutic strategies to ameliorate or delay onset of neurological conditions

03. Neurobiology and Neurologic Disorders This program is focusing on understanding the biology of neurons and glia, the causes for and mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction and degeneration, on exploring the use of biomaterials in neural regeneration, and on developing therapeutic strategies to ameliorate or delay onset of neurological conditions. The groups committed to this program have international recognition, specifically on spinal networks and myelination, amyloid neuropathy, movement disorders, lysosome and peroxisome storage disorders, pain, neuro-urology, addiction, structural biology, axonal regeneration, design of biomaterials to improve nerve regeneration, and animal science.

Each Program encompasses three key components intimately linked: • Molecular and cellular basis of living systems • Mechanisms underlying disease • Novel preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020 | 09


05. RESEARCH

our research groups Addiction Biology Ageing & Stress Basic & Clinical Research on Iron Biology Biocomposites Bioengineering & Synthetic Microbiology Biomaterials for Multistage Drug & Cell Delivery Biomolecular Structure & Function Cancer Drug Resistance Cancer Signalling & Metabolism Cell Activation & Gene Expression Cell Division & Genomic Stability Cell Division Mechanisms Cell Growth & Differentiation Chromosome Instability & Dynamics Cytoskeletal Dynamics Differentiation & Cancer Epithelial Interactions in Cancer Expression Regulation in Cancer Fish Immunology & Vaccionology Gene Regulation Genetic Diversity Genetic Dynamics of Cancer Cells Genetics & Arthritis Research Genetics of Cognitive Dysfunction Glial Cell Biology Glycobiology in Cancer Immunobiology Iron & Innate Immunity Laboratory Animal Science Metabolism, Nutrition & Endocrinology Microenvironments for New Therapies

10 | i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020


Molecular Microbiology Molecular Neurobiology Molecular Parasiotology Monitoring & Simulation of Perinatal Asphyxia NanoBiomaterials for Targetd Therapies Nephrology & Infectious Diseases R&D Nerve Regeneration Neuronal Networks Organelle Biogenesis & Function Pain Research Parasite Disease Phenotypic Evolution Population Genetics & Evolution Reproductive Genetics & Embryo-fetal Development Structural Biochemistry Thymus Development and Function Translational NeuroUrology Unit for Genetic & Epidemiological Research on Neurological Disorders Yeast Signaling Networks

i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020 | 11


06. ACTION PLAN

action plan i3S is implementing an integrated strategy in order to accomplish the identified objectives in the period of 2015-2020. This action plan is following a bottom-up approach, with all members of the founding institutes and with the community at large. In this section, we focus on the major tasks that respond to the quality level that we pursue, as well as the identified gaps that we need to fill in in order to make a difference.

12 | i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020


06. ACTION PLAN

promoting excellence i3S presents itself as the perfect setting to explore inter-disciplinary interfaces, perceived as consolidated in the RIS 3 report.

The possibility to share knowledge and facilities with renowned regional hospitals will close the gap between research and the clinic

i3S is offering an array of high quality services with state-ofthe-art technologies

i3S presents itself as the perfect setting to explore interdisciplinary interfaces. It is also an excellent environment to foster synergies between our research groups and internationally reputed scientists, currently working on basic medical research, molecular and cell biology, and tissue engineering, perceived as consolidated in the RIS 3 report. The possibility to share knowledge and facilities with renowned regional hospitals will close the gap between research and the clinic, thus enabling the convergence of resources and a high-throughput of biomedical knowledge and technologies. It also ensures that clinical medicine joins the ranks of the i3S competences performed at a level of excellence. i3S is, to that end, aiming at increasing even more the present involvement of clinicians in our research activities, whether in or out the institution, in close proximity with the regional and national healthcare systems. i3S is offering an array of high quality services with stateof-the-art technologies, most of which are certified and included on international networking platforms. By rallying these services into the same location and providing the conditions for them to cooperate, the entire scientific community will benefit from a unique set of exceptional platforms: -

Genomics Biomolecular analysis Cell analysis Imaging Animal experimentation

i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020 | 13


06. ACTION PLAN

consolidating research and competitiveness i3S is actively promoting integrative research

i3S has set in motion strategies to attract and to train promising young scientists

i3S is actively promoting integrative research by articulating research groups working on basic biological sciences, molecular medicine, bioengineering, and clinical fields, whose track record was assessed by an international panel of the European Science Foundation and granted the title of ‘exceptional’ by the FCT – the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. We are regularly invigorating our research groups with new generations of scientists. In order to do so, i3S has set in motion strategies to search and attract the most promising young scientists, a goal for whose accomplishment our international and integrative PhD programs play a crucial role. To encourage participation in international projects and to raise the capacity to attract funding for research activities, i3S is providing the integrative research programs with projectmanagement support, from pre-award to grant management, bolstering the valorization of knowledge and competences developed in the institute. In addition, i3S is fostering close and fruitful contacts with relevant funding bodies, in particular with the European Commission, and with similar offices from other institutions and countries.

Pre-award support will be provided in close collaboration with technology transfer experts to effectively boost the valorization path

14 | i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020

The pre-award and grant management specialists are working in close collaboration with the technology transfer experts on: (i) mapping existing knowledge, technology and competences (ii) ensuring the identification of the best route for its acknowledgement; (iii) and cultivating innovation and entrepreneurship within the i3S scientific community.


06. ACTION PLAN

research valorization i3S is committed to the valorization of research results through technology transfer and validation of health technologies

Relevant healthcare stakeholders engagement will be promoted to ensure the knowledge translation into clinical benefits

i3S is committed to the valorization of research results through technology transfer and validation of health technologies. Therefore, a specialized team is engaging with researchers in order to transfer the knowledge developed at i3S to society. This process involves all relevant stakeholders in the endeavor of exploring and profiting from this knowledge, by subsequently translating it into high-standard products and services that fulfill clinical and healthcare needs. Achieving a widespread valorization of i3S research requires several long-term commitments: - motivating and supporting researchers in the process of technology transfer; - fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within the i3S research community; - ensuring the protection of relevant IP and its acknowledgement; - corresponding i3S capabilities and expertise to the clinical needs from healthcare environment; - providing support to the determination, elaboration and implementation of R&D clinical and translational projects; - promoting industry/academia R&D cooperative strategies. In the short to medium term, we are also setting our sights on expanding our activities on diagnosis, counseling and clinical research in neurodegenerative disorders (carried out at the Center for Predictive and Preventive Genetics), developing new diagnostic tools for early identification of cancer (involving the Molecular Diagnostics and Pathology Unit), and developing new therapies and biomaterials for regenerative medicine.

i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020 | 15


06. ACTION PLAN

integrated responsible research & innovation RRI - Responsible Research and Innovation demands interdisciplinary expertise, appropriate infrastructures and innovative thinking

our research agenda is shaped along with research ethics committees, interdisciplinary teams, advanced training programs and taking into account science with and for society timely concerns

The European concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) goes beyond tackling the ethical issues arising from research itself. It requires a broader consideration of science and innovation with all its dimensions. Implementing the concept of RRI demands interdisciplinary expertise, appropriate infrastructures and innovative thinking. In the process of developing an RRI strategy, i3S is building upon existing structures, such as research ethics committees, interdisciplinary research, science and society services, and advanced training. It is paramount that ethical issues are taken into consideration from different viewpoints, so the members of the existing ethics committees - for human research subjects and for animals – lend valuable expertise in science, law, medicine, veterinary medicine, animal care and animal welfare. Societal issues are a matter of concern for the future, as well. Our Communication Unit works closely with researchers and focuses on communicating the science carried out in the institution, both to the public at large and the academia. Similarly, we strive to answer the increasing need to improve health literacy. Our multidisciplinary team is putting together programs designed to fulfill this purpose: - Promotion of communication for health professionals; - Promotion of health literacy for schools; - Promotion of health literacy in patient associations We aim to play a crucial role in the development of a sustainable and sound regional strategy to help the northern region grow and flourish to its full potential, namely regarding the domain of well-being and health tourism.

16 | i3S STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020


great minds with a passion: solving health challenges


CONTACT US: Address: Rua Alfredo Allen, 208 4200-135 Porto, Portugal Phone: +351 220 408 800 Email: info@i3s.up.pt www.i3S.up.pt

I3s strategy plan  
I3s strategy plan  
Advertisement