The Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) is a biomedical research center funded through a pioneering public-private partnership between the Spanish Government and the ProCNIC Foundation (composed of 12 Spanish companies unrelated to the biomedical sector). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the principal cause of death worldwide. The exponential increase in costs of the treatment of CVD in its symptomatic phase is creating an unaffordable burden on individuals and health systems. The CNIC’s mission is to improve cardiovascular (CV) health by advancing scientific knowledge and its effective transfer to clinical applications.
The performance of the Center and its Group Leaders is regularly evaluated by an external Scientific Advisory Board, composed of leading international experts who provide guidance on scientific strategies and recruitment of Group Leaders.
CNIC scientific area is organized into two departments, under the direction of Dr. Valentín Fuster, focused on Basic Research and Clinical Research, fully interconnected through five focused programs organized to maximize collaboration between basic and clinical researchers and to encourage networking with hospitals (https://www.cnic.es/en/research-programs):
- Novel mechanisms of atherosclerosis
- Myocardial homeostasis & cardiac injury
- Cardiovascular regeneration
- Novel arrhythmogenic mechanisms
- Cardiovascular risk factors & brain function
The Technical Units (https://www.cnic.es/en/investigacion/unidades-tecnicas) provide key Scientific Services to the CNIC´s research groups and to external users by arrangement. The Units also provide expert training in research techniques and the use of equipment.
The center is equipped with a state-of-the-art infrastructure that includes unrivalled advanced imaging technology recognized by the Spanish government as a national Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructure (ICTS), and dedicated to the transmission and preservation of knowledge, technology transfer, and innovation. Training at the CNIC is one of the highest priorities and is structured into 12 programs, including dedicated programs for clinical CV researchers.
The Center’s ten large translational studies, including several randomized clinical trials, have already changed clinical practice worldwide. These studies bear testimony to the enthusiastic participation of researchers, healthy volunteers, patients, and emergency service personnel to defining the causes and risk factors of CVD. This commitment of citizens and professionals outside the research community is making essential contributions to advancing the use of noninvasive imaging technology for diagnosis and research. Through these endeavors, the CNIC is making a comprehensive, across-the-board investment for societal benefit that integrates biomedical research into the wider society. As a result, the CNIC was one of four leading cardiovascular research centers in Europe featured in a live session within the official program of the European Society of Cardiology and its annual scientific meeting (//www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhSQREQm-ls&feature=youtu.be)
As we move forward, the CNIC will maintain the drive and focus established in its initial phases and ensure that the Center’s basic and clinical scientists continue to work closely together to devise innovative projects that help reduce the health and socioeconomic burden associated with CVD, and to train the researchers of the future.