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Change in Barcelona’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine due to need for direct management, say authorities

Referring to yesterday’s announcement, Carles Constante, the Director General for Regulation, Planning and Health Resources at the Catalan Ministry of Health, said that the Director of Barcelona’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CMRB), Juan Carlos Izpisúa had resigned due to the need for a more direct management. Constante explained that even though research centres now had a “high level of interconnection and ongoing dialogue”, they also needed “direction, management and a drive of energy within the centre itself, something that could be difficult to maintain from a distance”. Constante stressed that Izpisúa working from the United States for most of the time had been the main reason for him stepping down.

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16 January 2014 07:28 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Referring to yesterday’s announcement, Carles Constante, the Director General for Regulation, Planning and Health Resources at the Catalan Ministry of Health, said that the Director of Barcelona’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CMRB), Juan Carlos Izpisúa had resigned due to the need for a more direct management. Constante explained to ‘Catalunya Ràdio’ (Catalonia’s Public Radio broadcaster) that even though research centres now had a “high level of interconnection and ongoing dialogue”, they also needed “direction, management and a drive of energy within the centre itself, something that could be difficult to maintain from a distance”. He stressed that Izpisúa working from the United States for most of the time had been the main reason for him stepping down. Carles Constante insisted the economic resources had not been altered, and that Izpisúa had not stepped down due to a lack of financial and political support, as it was first announced yesterday by the CMRB. He added that the Catalan Ministry of Health’s goal is “to give continuity to the project and strengthen it because we believe it is important to do so” although “probably in a slightly different context from what we had”.


Constante said that Barcelona’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CMRB) had been a “unique and pioneering” research centre for the past 10 years, as well as the “driving-force” in this field. However, he indicated that the Catalan Ministry of Health was now more favourable to a “network approach” with “different connotations”." In this regard, he referred to the concept of “translational research” and the need to bring the research nearer to the patient. The Catalan Government wants to turn this concept into its new signature brand, “to launch a new phase” for the CMRB, according to Constante.

The change in directors “is an issue that we had discussed and both parties have deemed appropriate to launch this new phase and we have made a commitment to first class by appointing Professor Àngel Raya” he explained, stressing that Izpisúa stepping down had been an “agreed departure”, rather than a resignation.

Projects will continue under the authority of new Director Professor Àngel Raya

Professor Àngel Raya, a specialist in the field of stem cells, was appointed as the new Director of the CMRB. Raya has become recognised nationally and internationally for developing new strategies to study and treat genetic diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. He was deemed an ideal choice to maintain the “scientific excellence” that has always characterised the Barcelona research centre.

Regarding the 21 projects that are the intellectual property of Izpisúa and were conducted by the CMRB, Constante said the best scenario was probably not for one person, as the head of research, to capitalize on the whole or the most important part of the research projects. He added that the continuality of projects did not only depend on the researcher but also on the whole centre and on the bodies and institutions financing the research.

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  • Barcelona's Park of Biomedical Research building, where the CMRB is located (by ACN)

  • Barcelona's Park of Biomedical Research building, where the CMRB is located (by ACN)