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Since it was inaugurated in March 2015, CREBA (Science and Applied Experimental Biomedical Research) in Torrelameu (Lleida) has finished installing top-notch materials and technology in its facilities and carrying out the first pilot training programs to prepare the level of excellence the center aims to demonstrate.

This April it will open its doors with a first course on liver surgery techniques for 24 professionals in this area from around Spain, taught by eight surgeons with experience in the field.

CREBA’s activities for 2016, which aren’t fully scheduled yet, will involve both training and biomedical research, its two core goals. The center will offer highly specialized surgical courses (3D minimally invasive surgery, gastric, thoracic and pancreatic surgery, among others) and research programs for the University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova (on abdominal wall surgery) and the IRB Lleida.

Director of the center and head of surgery at University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova Jordi Olsina explains that training is very important because it must facilitate the research, in addition to covering the center’s economic costs. The courses are geared towards professionals in all medical specialties, including doctors, nurses, residents and postgraduate and masters students.

Our aim is to create a research cluster and support any residents or professionals who want to get accredited training. This is why the courses are given by highly qualified surgeons from around the world,” says Olsina.


A groundbreaking, well-equipped initiative

CREBA stands out for its specialization in groundbreaking research with pigs, which it will conduct thanks to the collaboration of the Swine Research Centre of Catalonia (to accredit animal survival) and spin-off Vall Companys (which supplies the pigs).

This has attracted the interest of several pharmaceutical companies in Europe looking to collaborate on funding courses on new surgical techniques with pigs and get other international hospitals involved.

According to Olsina, this is a groundbreaking project in Catalonia. “We needed a center like this because accredited training for surgeons is more and more necessary and so far our professionals have had to go abroad to get this type of specialization,” he believes.

The center also has top-notch technology, with operating rooms with color LEDs to control lighting in the surgical field, 3D laparoscopic surgery and live streaming of courses, broadcasting them from the operating room to any place in the world. Olsina hopes over time they will be able to incorporate training in robotics surgery.

Construction of the center, which cost more than €3 millions, was funded mainly by the Lleida Regional Council. From now on, management and funding will be taken care of by IRB Lleida.

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