2014 February 13

Sandra Ibarra visits the Laboratory at Campus Clinic-UB

Sandra Ibarra, President of the Sandra Ibarra Foundation visited the laboratory of Dr. Pablo Menéndez at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Instiute (IJC) Campus Clinic-UB today to personally present the Karactermania Grant for 2014

Sandra Ibarra, President of the Sandra Ibarra Foundation visited the laboratory of Dr. Pablo Menéndez at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Instiute (IJC) Campus Clinic-UB today to personally present the Karactermania Grant for 2014.

The project, entitled Infant pro B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: secondary oncogenic events in the transformation by the oncogene MLL-AF4 in the human model based on hemapoietic progenitors CD-34+ from umbilical cord has been awarded a grant of 12.500 euros for one year to support much needed research for this devastating fatal infant cancer.

This cancer occurs in new-borns, who never survive the disease. The fact that the cancer appears before they are born and the shortness of their lives means that it is not possible to study the progress of the disease to find out why it occurs and how to stop it. Dr. Menéndez is developing an in-vitro cell model, this means the team will take stem cells from umbilical cord blood and create a community of cells, which scientists can study and use to test different techniques that could become treatments. An in-vitro model allows the researchers to test a great many things that cannot be done on people.

Sandra Ibarra was greeted by Dr. Álvaro Urbano, coordinator of the IJC campus and the Vice Dean for Research of the Faculty of Medicine of the of the University of Barcelona Dr. Neus Agell, who escorted her to meet Dr. Menéndez and his team.   Ms. Ibarra went on a tour of the laboratory and visited the cell culture area; she also watched a demonstration of one of newest machines in action. Afterwards she spent a long time chatting with the junior and senior scientists and discussing cancer research in general and the work of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute in particular. Before leaving Ms. Ibarra thanked the scientists and assured them that she was sure that cutting-edge research was the key to winning the war against cancer.