Genetics, Vaccines, Infectious Diseases and Pediatrics research group

Infectious diseases are the main cause of morbidity and mortality among children and infants across the world. Five million children are killed by an infection every year. This is one of the greatest challenges for global healthcare.

GENVIP is a research group in paediatrics devoted to the study of infectious diseases and the conduct of vaccines clinical trials. The team is based in Santiago de Compostela, a historic town with a strong cultural background and university tradition. The group is a part of the Institute of Healthcare Research IDIS, an institution that brings together the strengths of the University of Santiago with the clinical power of the University Clinical Hospital.

GENVIP’s mission is to advance knowledge of the genetical basis of paediatric infections, and to contribute to the development of individualised strategies for their prevention and treatment. The team is led by Prof Federico Martinon-Torres, a paediatrician with substantial clinical and research experience in the field of infectious diseases, and Antonio Salas Ellacuriaga, professor at the Faculty of Medicine and an internationally renowned geneticist.

Prof. Antonio Salas: “Our research team, GENVIP, is basically focused on infectious diseases and vaccines. What we try is to provide an integral, renewed approach to the topic, which we could term ‘wholeomics’. This not only includes a genomic perspective, but it incorporates the other ‘omics’ as well, such as metabolomics, transcriptomics or even vaccinomics.”

GENVIP has created a world-class clinical trial unit for vaccines. This unit channels a large proportion of the clinical trials carried out in Spain for paediatric vaccines, from phases 1 to 3. Furthermore, it collaborates with several promoters in the design of protocols and clinical development programmes for a range of vaccine candidates”

GENVIP has established a number of national and international clinical networks of paediatric patients with infectious pathologies. This work is allowing the collection of numerous clinical data as well as the creation of an important biobank – both of them key for the development of further scientific research. GENVIP coordinates the Translational Research Network in Pediatric Infectious Diseases (RITIP), a network of networks endorsed by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III.

Prof. Federico Martinon-Torres: “So far we have focused primarily on genomic aspects, particularly bacterial diseases and more specifically meningocococcal disease, through the ESIGEM and EUCLIDS projects. These are projects funded on a competitive basis by the Seventh European Framework Project as well as FEDER funds through the FIS programme of Instituto de Salud Carlos III."

GENVIP’s activity is closely linked to that of the National Centre for Genotyping of Santiago de Compostela and the Galician Foundation for Genomic Medicine. Thus, GENVIP has considerable experience in a range of techniques for the massive genotyping of SNPs, next generation sequencing and bioinformatic data analysis.

Thanks to a young and multidisciplinary team, cutting-edge tools and competitive funds, GENVIP aims to consolidate its position on the forefront of international paediatric research. GENVIP is committed to continuing collaborating with a range of research groups worldwide to become an important player in the battle against paediatric infectious diseases.

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