It has been two and a half months since the staff of the Josep Carreras Institute, a CERCA center of the Generalitat de Catalunya, were confined as a preventive measure against the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. During this time, only workers and technicians have attended the Institute to maintain cells and preclinical testing models whose interruption would pose a risk.
During this time the Institute has undertaken two new lines of research related to COVID-19 thanks to the support and help of the Josep Carreras Foundation with its campaign More Unstoppable than Ever: To identify factors of susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and to determine factors in the clinical evolution of COVID19, and to develop a diagnostic test for coronavirus. This initiative implies to reorganize and adapt some laboratories to working with samples that have been in contact with COVID-19.
On the other hand, de-escalation has been prepared through the preparation of disinfection protocols, regulations, guidelines, and documents of frequently asked questions that must be read by the Institute's workers, several posters with recommendations, reminders of conduct to maintain safe distances and prevent contagion, as well as the rotation of personnel by spaces, in which an exhaustive capacity control is carried out to ensure a low density of people. On the other hand, the Human Resources Unit has undertaken courses and workshops to overcome fears, called "We are closer," arising from the current situation and promote a new way of relating to the new measures that require physical distance.
The first online seminars have also started this week. The Institute has a 2020 calendar of seminars of top-level scientists from around the world, Invited and Distinguished lectures, which due to the COVID19 crisis, could not begin to be held in the Auditorium, as expected. For this reason, the first online seminars launched on May 26th, with the participation of Dr. José Luis Gómez Skarmeta of the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology, and his lecture "Evolution of regulatory landscapes." The next one will be this Friday, May 29th at 10:30, "Signaling and metabolic alterations at the core of prostate cancer aggressiveness" by Dr. Arkaitz Carracedo, from CICBioGune.