The Institute of Health Research Pere Virgili (IISPV, in Spanish) is an umbrella organisation that coordinates all the biomedical and health research activities in Southern Catalonia. It was founded in 2005 with the aim to promote and strengthen research in health across the prosperous regions of Tarragona and Terres de l’Ebre. The uniqueness of the IISPV lies in its member organisations spread across the region: the University Rovira i Virgili (URV), our hospitals in Tarragona (University Hospital Joan XXIII), Reus (University Hospital San Joan de Reus) and Tortosa (Hospital Verge de la Cinta), a mental health hospital (Pere Mata Institute) and our association with the Tarragona primary care services (Centre d’Atenció Primària (CAP) Sant Pere), ensures that our research lines respond to the specific needs of our local community.

In terms of scientific quality, the IISPV has 345 affiliated and 51 associated researchers distributed in 21 research groups (64% are women). Additionally, a total of 360 indexed articles were published in 2018, with an average impact factor of 4.9 and an accumulated one of 1765.0. Sixty-nine percent of the publications were indexed in journals of the first quartile, reaching almost 17% for those that are also in first decile journals.

The Institute was from its origins an organisation embedded within the local population and has remained true to its day. Thus, research at IISPV focuses not only in unravelling the most prevalent diseases, but also in understanding their causes. We have expertise in a broad range of diseases, but particularly in diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, toxicology and mental health. However, our research focuses in 3 visions:

  • A healthy life from the cradle to the grave: Understanding the impact to health of our cultural, socioeconomic and environmental surroundings.
  • Sustainability of healthcare systems: Finding technological solutions to maximise efficiency and improve patient benefit.
  • Personalised medicine: Understanding the aetiology of diseases to find better treatments.

The collaborative ethos that triggered the foundation of the IISPV has fostered inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations. In Spain, we belong to 3 thematic networks: Ciberdem (Diabetes), Ciberobn (Obesity) and AIDS networks. We also have 14 research groups recognised by the Catalan Research Agency (AGAUR) and we participate in 2 national platforms from the Instituto Juan Carlos III (i.e. Biobank and the AIDS research network).