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A symposium entitled What Challenges do Imported Diseases Pose to Catalonia? will be held in Barcelona on March 10. It is organized by the International Center for Scientific Debate (ICSD) —an initiative of Biocat supported by the "la Caixa" Welfare Projects— plus the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB), and the Institute for Global Health of Barcelona (ISGlobal).

The symposium, open to the entire scientific community, is being held at the same time as a private two-day conference called Migrant Health and Imported Diseases: meeting research challenges, in which international experts will discuss current clinical research and public policy on imported diseases, and the frequency of occurrence of these diseases in Europe. The conference and the symposium together mark the beginning of the ICSD’s program of activities for 2011. “A program that includes events ranging from conferences on basic research to debates on the relationship between culture and science,” explained CIDC director Miquel Martí.

The aim of the symposium is to analyze the challenges posed by emerging diseases resulting from global migration shifts; possible climate change scenarios; the presence of vectors in Catalonia; lessons learned from recent experiences; and the capacity to respond to the arrival of new diseases. “The Center is demonstrating its commitment to providing answers to real social concerns, from both the scientific and the health perspectives,” affirmed Martí.

Representatives and experts from international public health, clinical research, and climate science will participate. Once the speakers have completed their talks, a debate session open to all attendees will begin.

The opening speech, to be given at 4 pm, will be given by Dr. Montserrat Vendrell, CEO of Biocat.


  • Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director – CRESIB
  • Dr. Antoni Trilla, Head of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology – Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. Professor of Public Health – University of Barcelona
  • Dr. Xavier Rodó, Director – Institut Català de Ciències del Clima (IC3). ICREA Research Professor
  • Dr. Carlos Aranda, Co-director – Servei de Control de Mosquits – Consell Comarcal del Baix Llobregat
  • Dr. Ned Hayes, Research Professor, Efficacy and Safety of Vaccines, and Arboviral Diseases – CRESIB
  • Dr. Antoni Plasència, General Director – Department of Health of the Catalan Government

(Symposium Program In Catalan)

The symposium is geared towards experts, researchers, students, companies and professionals from the fields of healthcare, health sciences, environmental science, and social sciences (dealing with migration).

Registration is free, but must be completed before 8 March. To register, send an email to or call Laia Arnal at 93 310 33 30.
Date: Thursday, 10 March 2011
Time: 4 pm to 6 pm
Venue: CosmoCaixa • C/ Isaac Newton, 26 • Barcelona (Spain)




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