7 July 2012
First Stone Laid for the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute
The first stone of the new building of the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute was laid on Saturday 7 July. The new building will be next to the IMPPC in the grounds of the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital.
The Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute was constituted in 2010 with the aim of promoting biomedical research and developing personalized medicine for malignant hemopathies, especially leukemia. The principle goal is to make advances in biomedical research for these diseases. The new center is the fruit of a new joint initiative between the Generalitat of Catalonia and the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation, which aims to make the institute an international center of reference in the field.
The event was attended by Artur Mas, President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, José Carreras, President of the Leukemia Research Institute and the Foundation that bear his name, Xavier Garcia Albiol, Mayor of Badalona, Boi Ruiz, Minister of Health for the Generalitat of Catalonia, Prof. Evarist Feliu, President of the Executive Board of the institute and Vice-President of the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation.
The new building will not be the only site of the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, which will have two campuses: one, Campus Clínic in the medical faculty of the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona and the other in the new building at the ICO/Germans Trias i Pujol campus in Badalona. The City Council of Badalona has ceded a lot of land of 4,550 m2, next to the IMPPC for the building.
The president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, assured those present that the new building gave a very positive message of hope to leukemia patient. "Today's ceremony means not only are we placing the symbolic first stone, but we are also starting out on the path to bring us close to those we most wish to imitate," he added. During his speech he also thanked Josep Carreras for his "spirit of generosity and service to his country, demonstrated by the institute and the Foundation that carry his name." Finally, he highlighted the spirit of solidarity shown by the Catalan people, shown by the fact that Catalonia is high in the ranking for organ donation.
José Carreras made the following declaration. "Both campuses give us an excellent combination of health care and research environments. Our project aims to add to, integrate with, share and promote the already excellent level of research even more. We are already doing this at a management level by simplifying structures and we will also do it in the scientific area by integrating services and sharing facilities avoiding unnecessary duplications."
The Mayor of Badalona, Xavier Garcia Albiol highlighted the collaboration between private and publicly funded entities in the project and stressed Badalona's satisfaction at being able to contribute to making the project a reality. He went on to say that the site of the new institute in Badalona is another step in consolidating the town as a centre of excellence for biomedical research.
Prof. Evarist Feliu, as Scientific Coordinator of the ICO/Germans Trias i Pujol campus, declared his hope that there will be more campuses in the future. During 2012 the institute has been working on creating a new campus at Hospital Sant Pau, under the coordination of Prof. Jordi Sierra. At the moment, several research groups are publishing their work under the name of the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute. Dr. Álvaro Urbano is the scientific coordinator of the Campus Clínic.
In the next few years the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation will invest 14 million euros in the buildings and equipment of the two campuses. The Foundation "Fundació Obra Social la Caixa," will also participate in the funding of the building and fitting of the institute as part of their strategy of promoting research of excellence. As part of its annual budget the Generalitat will designate a sum of money for the running costs of the institute, while other funding will come from competitive grants and private donation.