Interview with Francisco Javier Rodríguez Berrocal. Molecular Biomarkers.


Francisco Javier Rodríguez Berrocal is a Full Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and secretary of the department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Immunology at the University of Vigo. In addition, he is also Principal Investigator for CINBIO’s Molecular Biomarkers group (BB1).

The BB1 group is multidisciplinary and it contains three different teams: Protein Biochemistry, Glycoproteomics, and Human Genetics. Despite this spread, they share a common aim: to find new genetic, proteic or glycidic markers, with the view of their potential application to various human pathologies.

What are the main lines of research being worked on, both individually and as a whole?

The three groups are working on the use and development of biological molecules as diagnostic, prognostic and disease monitoring markers in both humans and animals. We apply them to a wide range of diseases, from prevalent diseases such as cancer to rarer diseases such as ciliopathies.

How do you articulate the cross-disciplinary aspect of the group? In what way does working allow that in your day to day research? Could you give an example of the most transverse project in which all three teams participate?

By having a basic common goal, which is our joint work with biomarkers. Each group has a Lead Researcher and I am coordinator for the whole group (BB1). In day to day functioning we share biochemical techniques and equipment. For instance, methylation studies are particularly important and can be applied to various projects.

With regard to results transfer, you have a remarkable track record to date. What milestones would you highlight in this area? 

We have been producing research contracts for companies such as CZVeterinaria for the past number of years, and we put together a high number of reports every year to facilitate the diagnosis of ciliopathies in different hospitals. The three groups have all obtained patents, and 5 out of 6 senior researchers in the group are shareholders in the INBIOGAL spin-off company (Biological Research of Galicia).

Meanwhile, the group has had numerous collaborations with research groups both nationally and internationally. Which of these collaborations would you highlight in particular?

I think our collaboration with research groups from Barcelona, Alicante and the Canary Islands is one of the most important we have been involved in. In this project we developed an Applied Research Program for cancer diagnosis, lasting 5 years and funded by the Asociación Española Contra El Cáncer with 1.200.000 €.

What would you say are the main milestones that you have reached as a group on an international level? 

We do not have a specific relevance on an international level, but the group’s track record both in publications and in projects, contracts and patents, has led to 3 of the 6 senior researchers being made Full University Professors, and 2 have obtained the accreditation allowing them to become one.

CINBIO is a multidisciplinary ecosystem which you have been a part of since its beginnings. Which of CINBIO’s strengths would you highlight? To what extent does it help your competitiveness as a research group?

On the one hand, CINBIO is a “melting pot”, where groups offer new ideas and methods to projects that we have all been developing for years. On the other hand, it gives us much more visibility, and the possibility of obtaining aid together, aid to which individually we would not have access.





The first Annual Meeting CINBIO will take place from 16-17 October 2017 in Lagoas- Marcosende Campus, Univeristy of Vigo. It will be a platform to facilitate interactions between researchers, medical doctors, scientists, health professionals from Galicia, Spain and other countries.

In this edition the scientific topics are Cancer, Immunity & Inflammation and Nanotechnology.

The deadline for submission is October 10, 2017. Compulsery the registration in

Provisional programme   Poster presentation guidelines

Debido á situación de emerxencia ocasionada no Campus Universitario de Vigo (Lagoas-Marcosende), suspendeuse a xornada de hoxe 16 de outubro do I Annual Meeting CINBIO, o congreso celebrarase o martes 17 e mércores 18 de outubro. Pode consultarse o novo programa no link: ÚLTIMA HORA – NOVO PROGRAMA



Interview with Jacobo de Uña-Álvarez, PI for SIDOR, Statistical Inference, Decision and Operational Research group


“We have a very high degree of internationalization, with collaborators in prestigious institutions from all five continents”

Jacobo de Uña-Álvarez, Ph.D in Mathematics, coordinates SIDOR (Statistical Inference, Decision and Operative Research group); a group created in 1998 at the University of Vigo which specialises in statistic models and methods. With a team made up of more than 30 researchers, SIDOR has been recognised as a Competitive Reference Research Group by the Xunta de Galicia since 2008.

What are the group’s main lines of research and what differences in approach do you have in comparison to similar groups? What are your main added values as a research group? (e.g. cross-disciplinary aspects of the group, established collaboration networks, etc.)

SIDOR group carries out basic research in the field of Statistics and Operations Research. Within biostatistics, our main lines of research are: survival analysis and multi-state models; the evaluation of diagnostic and prognostic tests; regression and prediction in high dimensional data and omic data; and multiple comparison methods.

SIDOR is the only research group with these capabilities in the south of Galicia.  Besides carrying out basic research in Mathematics and developing statistical software, it is a group that collaborates with researchers from many diverse fields (Medicine, Biology, Engineering, Economics…). We have a high degree of internationalization, with collaborators in prestigious institutions from all five continents. To demonstrate this, we have just organised the Annual Conference of the International Society for Clinical Biostatistics in Vigo for more than 600 professionals in this field from all over the world.

High-quality, rapid analysis of large arrays of data is one of the challenges of the future faced by fields such as biomedicine and economics. In what way does your group contribute to optimising these highly complex analytical processes?

Nowadays, mass data storage is a reality. This fact has generated some interesting questions about the storage, management and use of this kind of data. Statistical techniques and models make possible to identify patterns or unique characteristics within that huge cloud. High dimensional data and Big Data have led to the appearance of new lines of basic research in Mathematical Statistics, such as inference techniques in the ‘small n, large p’ context, which refers to situations where many variables measured in a small sample of individuals. SIDOR has developed solutions in this context during the last years. It is an exciting moment for methodological research.

In this respect, what are the most significant applications of your research results? What social and / or economic benefits (either currently or in the future) does it offer to society / industry?

Applications are diverse given that Statistics is transversal science. Specific examples include applications in health, such as the identification of markers for cancer or for the progression of HIV; the detection of alterations in regions of DNA from sequencing experiments, which is of great interest in the study of various pathologies. In other fields, such as economics and engineering for example, SIDOR group has favoured the overall progress of knowledge through the development and application of the appropriate statistical models.

What is the goup’s view and experience regarding processes related to technology transfer?

Members of SIDOR have participated in various patents. However, the group’s vocation is that of contributing to knowledge progress accessible to everyone. Most of our statistical software is developed in the free environment R.

We do understand, however, that companies have restrictions regarding the communication of results. SIDOR’s researchers participate in various national and European projects (H2020) with partners from the business world and we work together perfectly.

What are the main achievements of the group in its nearly 20-year research history? What are the challenges for the future as a research group? 

Without any doubt, the main achievement is the transformation from what SIDOR was in 1998, a small group of Ph.Ds in Mathematics, into an established Statistics and Operations Research group which generates knowledge of the very highest level. This task has represented a great responsability, but also a great honour.

We have consolidated a fantastic postgraduate training product: a Master Degree in Statistical Techniques and a Doctorate Program in Statistics and Operational Research. We also collaborate in offering statistics courses as part of many other degree courses.

We have also managed to secure funding for research at a both national and international level, and the group is world-renowned for its quality. The main challenge for the future is to remain aware of the needs that are being generated by the changing society in which we live, so we can continue offering a useful service and preserve the fantastic research environment which has been a key element of the group since its origins. Thanks to the professional and human quality of our team, the researchers recruited by the group have adapted themselves extraordinarily well to our work dynamic.

What does CINBIO offer to a group like yours in terms of maximising potential and international relevance?

SIDOR’s potential and its degree of internationalisation are already quite high. We view SIDOR’s participation in CINBIO as a chance to make a qualitative leap forward in knowledge transfer to the field of biomedicine. All of us must now make a joint effort to ensure that CINBIO becomes much more than just the sum of its parts.

Besides your participation in CINBIO, what other relevant networks or consortiums are you actively participating in?

SIDOR participates in the Spanish Network for Mathematics and Industry (Math-in), whose aim is to promote mathematical knowledge transfer to industry. Some of its members are also part of the Technological Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITMATI), a Galician consortium which promotes the interaction between the academia and the private companies in the field of mathematics.


Interview with Florentino Fernández Riverola, PI of the Next Generation Computer Systems Group (SING)

We have the capability to take on complex problems and work in teams in which the coordination of professionals belonging to different fields of knowledge is essential

 Florentino Fdez-Riverola has a doctorate in Computer Engineering and is a member of the Department of Informatics at the University of Vigo, where he heads the Next Generation Computer Systems Group (SING), a multidisciplinary group which focuses on the research and development of new computer applications and methodologies.

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Interview with PI Jorge Pérez-Juste, and postdoctoral researcher Gustavo Bodelon from the Colloid Chemistry Group

“The quality and impact of our scientific output is our main endorsement as an elite research group”

The Colloid Chemistry Group was formed in 1996 not long after the opening of the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vigo.

The group is currently integrated into the CINBIO Biomedical Research Centre and is made up of 10 researchers, most of whom have a background in chemistry. The Principal Investigators are Jorge Pérez-Juste and Isabel Pastoriza and their research focuses on the synthesis, characterization and application of metal nanoparticles.

Meanwhile, Gustavo Bodelon, molecular biologist and postdoctoral researcher, offers a biological viewpoint to the group and his research is focused on plasmonic colloidal particles and their application in diagnostics and biodetection.

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