The first phase of the construction of the ITB main building and facilities was recently completed. At present, the procurement and installation of the furnishings is underway, finishing the data transfer and telephone systems, and programming the relocation of the large equipment initially situated in the laboratories of the different departments. The new building, located on the Health Sciences Campus and near the HUC, has an extension of about 4,000 m2 distributed on three floors: (i) 1st floor – a state-of-the-art animal house for rodents and other small animals, especially designed for the generation and maintenance of genetically modified animals; (ii) 2nd floor – will include a space for the transfer activities organised through the Bioavance Foundation, along with laboratories to house the institute’s common large equipment, and a large space for experimental laboratories that will accommodate the researchers; and (iii) a technical plant, located between these two floors to monitor the maintenance of the building’s general facilities.
Installations and scientific infrastructures
During the construction of the new building, the ITB research groups have participated in a coordinated manner in competitive calls for infrastructure funding at the National and European level. This effort has allowed the necessary equipment to be acquired and renovated progressively but at an appropriate pace. At present, the institute’s common infrastructures consist of the following units, platforms and services:
- Advanced cell studies unit, including: (i) cutting-edge equipment for confocal microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy; (ii) a system for microdissection and the creation of optical sections at a cellular level; (iii) flow cytometry; (iv) electrophysiology for cellular and sub-cellular studies.
- Instrumentation and sample preparation service, including: (i) spectrometry, spectrofluorometry and microplate readers; (ii) bench top centrifuges and ultracentrifuges; (iii) advanced systems for protein and DNA quantification in different preparations; (iv) cell and particle counters.
- Cell and tissue culture rooms, including P2 facilities.
- Brain and tissue bank.
- Omics unit (prepared for genomics, lipidomics, metabolomics and proteomics).
- Phenotyping, genotyping and behavioural studies in rodents (in the animal facility).
- Cognitive neuroscience.
In addition, the groups at the institute have access to the General Research Support Services (SEGAI) at the ULL, at the Anchieta Campus, which include common equipment, as well as scientific and technical support for both in-house and external groups. In the case of the specific infrastructure for biomedical and biotechnological experimentation, this service includes: a general animal facility, microscopy, genomics, magnetic nuclear resonance (MNR) for chemical analysis and structural biology, and MNR for brain function studies. Moreover, the groups at the institute that are involved in translational research have access to and usually collaborate with the Clinical Trials Unit at the HUC – which is part of the Spanish Clinical Trials Center (CAIBER) and the Biobank service accredited by the Institute of Health Carlos III. In addition, through the collaboration between the ITB and the Institute of Technology and Renewable Energies (ITER), the researchers at the institute have access to the TEIDE supercomputer and the genomics laboratory at this institution.