The Institute for Biomedical Research and Innovation – IRIB – belongs to the CNR Department of Biomedical Sciences. IRIB was created on June 1st, 2019 and puts together three formers CNR structures in located in Calabria and Sicily:
- The “Alberto Monroy” Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology – IBIM – which is now the main section of the Institute
- The Institute of Neurological Sciences – ISN – with three sections in Cosenza, Catanzaro and Catania
- A section in Messina which was previously part of the Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems “Eduardo Caianiello” in Pozzuoli.
IRIB is the only CNR biomedical institute based in Sicily and accounts for most of CNR biomedical activities in this Italian Region. The mission of the institute is to support public and private organizations that operate in the biomedical field, with the goal to promote diagnostic and therapeutic innovations.
IRIB activities include
- translational research programs developed in collaboration with Italian and foreign universities, public and private research institutions and IRCCS (Italian Research Hospitals)
- collaborations with small, medium and large pharmaceutical, electronic and agro-food companies
- Clinical activities carried out in collaboration with ASPs (public health company) to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic protocols
- Evaluation of the impact of environmental pollution on human health
- Training of young scientists
Altogether these activities demonstrate strong interactions between IRIB and social and economic enterprises and scientific organizations in Sicily and Calabria with the goal to foster growth and innovation. All these activities are made possible by 79 researchers, 16 technologists, 27 technicians and technical operators and 15 administrative units.
The focus of IRIB is the development of new diagnostic approaches and innovative therapeutic solutions. State of the art approaches in genetics, molecular and cellular biology, epidemiology, bio-informatics and bio-engineering are applied to study: 1) Environment and health; 2) Cell and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology; 3) Inflammation / Immunology; 4) Neuroscience; 5) Rare diseases; 6) Nutrition and metabolism; 7) Pneumology: Clinical Research; 8) Pneumology: Translational Research; 9) Cancer; 10) Medical Genetics and Neuroradiology; 11) Neuropsychology; 12) Translational, bioengineering and innovation; 13) Genomics and Precision Medicine.
Collaborations with pharmaceutical, biotechnological and electronic companies have been established for the development of biosensors, innovative diagnostic approaches, pharmaceutical compounds and new atypical bio-engineering tools for the dignosis of alteration of neurodevelopment and behavior. These activities take advantage of the close collaboration with the drug discovery group of the RiMed Foundation and of the interaction with private companies such as Sicily Micro and Nano Systems Technology District, ST-Microelectronics, “Alisei” National Technology Cluster of Science of Life.
Studies are accompanied by an intense clinical activity in the fields of pneumological and rare genetic diseases including lysosomal storage disorders and behavioral defects for which memoranda of understanding have be signed between IRIB and Provincial public Healthcare Companies. Thanks to its section in Cosenza, IRIB is the only CNR institute with a National Health System accreditation.
A Biobank is also available that collects more than 8000 DNA samples from patients with different genetic diseases and 12000 cell lines.
Finally, the commitment in the training of young researchers and in the dissemination of scientific culture is significant.
In addition to the main section in Palermo, IRIB has four secondary sections:
• Cosenza, Contrada Burga – Piano Lago, Mangone (CS);
• Catanzaro, c / o School of Pharmacy and Nutraceuticals – Nini Barbieri Complex, Roccelletta di Borgia (CZ);
• Catania, Via Paolo Gaifami 18 (CT);
• Messina , c / o Istituto Marino, Via Torre Bianca, Mortelle (ME).