‘Menys rares’: an exhibition on rare diseases research
The main objective of the exhibition «Menys rares» (Less rare) is to promote public awareness of rare diseases and disseminate the effort made by different research groups. The University of Barcelona (UB) participates in the exhibition organised by the Catalan Association for Science Communication (ACCC) and sponsored by the Centre for Biomedical Network Research on Rare Diseases (CIBERER) and the National Centre for Genome Analysis (CNAG), based in the Parc Científic de Barcelona. The exhibition can be visited at Sagrada Família Library in Barcelona (480, Carrer Provença) from 11 to 24 April
Most rare diseases are genetic in origin; thus, biomedical research is crucial for the development of new therapies and treatments. Professor Bru Cormand, head of the Research Group on Neurogenetics at the Department of Genetics, member of the Institute of Biomedicine of the UB (IBUB) and exhibition collaborator, affirms: “Autism, for example, has a complex genetic basis that includes mutations related to other neurological disorders”.
Virgínia Nunes, lecturer of the Department of Physiological Sciences II and researcher at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), explains that “Wolfram syndrome is quite uncommon, but thanks to patient registration, research can go further”. And Ivo Gut, from de National Centre for Genome Analysis (CNAG), headquartered at the Barcelona Science Park, emphasizes that “massive sequencing has revolutionized the research on rare diseases”.
The Spanish Government declared 2013 the Spanish Year of Rare Diseases. Now, this travelling exhibition wants to arouse the interest in the research on rare diseases conducted by different groups in Spain. Some of the experts who participate in the exhibition are: the group led by Dr Pascual Sanz at the Institute of Biomedicine of Valencia (CSIC) focused on Lafora disease; Dr Montserrat Milà from the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, who works on fragile X syndrome, and Dr Mercedes Serrano, from CIBERER at Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital, who researches on Lowe syndrome.