NEWS FROM THE EMBO COMMUNITY
Molecular Medicine in Lisbon
The INSTITUTO DE MEDICINA MOLECULAR (IMM; imm.fm.ul.pt), in Lisbon, Portugal, is seeing the benefits of a focused strategy for research and innovation in the biomedical sciences. In 2011, the institute witnessed further increases in scientific productivity and funding, which were also reflected by increased international recognition for the work of its researchers.
“We have never lost sight of what is the most important objective for the institute: excellent science reflecting best practice in patient care and disease control. This is our goal and we pursue it by recruiting
outstanding young group leaders and creating a network of relevant part- ners,” says Maria Carmo-Fonseca, EMBO Member and Executive Director of the IMM.
The IMM recently created the Lisbon Academic Medical Centre joint- ly with the Santa Maria Hospital and the Lisbon Medical School at the University of Lisbon. A whole campus of facilities in Lisbon is now dedicat- ed to the development of the academic dimension of clinical practice, which provides renewed support for the concept of a teaching hospital.
This strategy already impacted the scientific productivity of the institute. In 2011, IMM attracted record funding and published a higher number of papers in high impact factor journals. Competitive funding was 5 million Euros in 2011 and total research expenditure reached 11 million Euros. In 2011, researchers at the institute published 287 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals; 23 of these publications were in journals with an impact factor of 10 or higher. Many of the published papers arose from close collab- oration between IMM research groups and hospital teams.
The recruitment of outstanding interdisciplinary researchers from around the world is also an important component of the IMM strategy. Luísa Figueiredo, for example, was awarded an EMBO Installation Grant in 2010 to establish a research group at IMM and has now been appointed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Early Career Scientist.
At the age of 38, Figueiredo leads a team devoted to unraveling antigenic variation in Trypanosoma brucei, the protozoan parasite that causes sleep- ing sickness (African trypanosomiasis).
“The research community has a responsibility to society not only to deliver high quality scientific research and training but also to support economic development,” says Carmo-Fonseca.
IMM at a glance
➔ Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM), Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa
➔ Founded: 2001 ➔ Total number of researchers: 435 ➔ Research units: 28 ➔ Start-up companies: 3 ➔ Total expenditure 2011: 11 million Euros ➔ Competitive funding: 5 million Euros
Recent International Awards:
➔ Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Early Career Scientist award 2011 Luísa Figueiredo
➔ Early Career Bayer Hemophilia Award 2011 Vanessa Oliveira Boosting dendritic cell function to facilitate tolerance induction to recombinant clotting factor
➔ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Explorations Programme 2011 João Gonçalves Nanotechnology against viral latency: Sensor strategies to eliminate HIV-1 infected cells
➔ ERC Starting Grant 2010 Bruno Silva-Santos Differentiation of pro-inflammatory T cell subsets in vivo
➔ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Explorations Programme 2010 Miguel Prudêncio A new whole-organism vaccine against malaria
14 EMBOencounters | Summer 2012 | firstname.lastname@example.org ©2012 EMBO