The CSIC has held on March 17 the Scientific session "A year of Global Health in the CSIC", which has commemorated the creation of the Interdisciplinary Thematic Platform Global Health one year ago in March 2020, to try to face the COVID-19 pandemic. During the day, the results of the main projects of the different thematic areas that make up the platform were summarized: prevention and impact; disease; diagnosis and containment; therapies and vaccines; and communication, outreach, and education.
The PTI Global Health has mobilized and coordinates more than 300 researchers from more than 90 CSIC research centers from very diverse areas of knowledge, representing an unprecedented common effort. Moreover, the economic contribution has come from calls and direct donations from the public and private entities and individuals, thanks to which the CSIC develops more than 100 research projects and actions, ranging from the development of antivirals and anti-inflammatory treatments, the monitoring of transmission, the study of the virus genome and the impact of mutations, the genetics of patients, their immune response to infection and vaccination, until the placing on the market of systems of diagnosis and containment of the virus, as well as studies on the social perception of the measures, especially on the impact on nursing homes.
The CIB Margarita Salas is very present in the PTI Global Health and this has been reflected during the session. Nuria Campillo and Mercedes Jiménez are part of the project "Scientific, philosophical and social analysis of COVID-19: social impact, ethical implications and culture of prevention against pandemics", which has had a great impact on the media (108 articles, 33 TV appearances, 39 radio interviews, 62 written press interviews, 25 webinar, and round table appearances, and 3 books and book chapters).
José María Sánchez-Puelles, who has participated in the event, has coordinated the drug repositioning sub-thematic, in which Ana Martínez and Carmen Gil have also played an important role. From the CIB, three drugs have been proposed for clinical trials, one from the Prestwick commercial library and two proposed by the Laboratory of Translational Medicinal and Biological Chemistry, led by these two researchers.
The advances of the vaccine project led by Vicente Larraga have also been presented. This vaccine candidate, which consists of a DNA plasmid expressing the SARS-CoV-2 protein S, has now completed preclinical development.
In addition to those already mentioned, other researchers from the CIB Margarita Salas, such as Ángel Corbí and María Montoya, have participated in the coordination of some areas and sub-thematics. In addition, and although they were not discussed during the day, there are more on-going COVID projects running at the CIB Margarita Salas that are part of the PTI Global Health.
In addition to the results achieved by the Platform so far, the future of the PTI has also been presented. This will be reorganized into eight initiatives: genomic surveillance and impact of SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations in real-time; immune response to infection and vaccines and anti-inflammatory treatments (to be coordinated by María Montoya and Ángel Corbí); transmission and containment of viruses and pathogens; contagion diagnosis systems; vaccine development (Vicente Larraga participates); antiviral development platform; comprehensive study of the vulnerability of the elderly population and platform of epidemic models. All these initiatives will be transversal and will be related to each other.
The conference explained the first of these new initiatives that will form the backbone of the PTI Global Health in the future: genomic surveillance and the impact of mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in real-time. The CIB Margarita Salas will participate in performing screenings that will allow studying the biology behind the new variants of the virus, which will help in the speed of reaction when new variants appear that might threaten public health again.
After one year, PTI Global Health continues with a new structure, but with the same collaborative and multidisciplinary base; in order to respond to the present and future challenges that threaten global health that can only be faced with different points of view, coordinated and in constant collaboration through a strong system and R+D+i+d.
You can watch the Scientific session here:
Follow this link to our Newsletter where we summarize our COVID work.
The book "Una visión global de la pandemia covid19", in open access, summarizes the results of one year of research about SARS-CoV-2 developed by the PTI Global Health. More information can be read here and the book downloaded at this link.