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Institute of Biological Sciences

ISSB-P

The institute is acting in 4 research axes: Molecular and Cellular Biology, Biomaterials and Nanomaterials for medical & drug delivery applications, Epidemiology, and Machine Learning applied in Biological and Medical Sciences. Our professors and researchers are experts in their fields, as well they work in a transversal and cross-disciplinary way, in association with world’s leading researchers, aiming at the development of new tools for personalized medicine, nanomedicine and biotechnology.  ISSB-P take part of the large-scale research and development dynamic focusing on research in current and highly relevant topics with clinical purposes relating to cancer, neuroscience, protein production including monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis and therapeutic purposes, and immunology.  The mission of the institute is to support research from fundamental basics to clinical application that increases understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention as proficient as providing innovative solutions in medical and biological research.

Initial education: training future professionals for better delivery of health care services, by integrating the bachelor’s system dynamics and taking part in the implementation of the bachelor’s degree in health care.

Continuing education: through University Diplomas and Certificates, executive masters, and modular training for Medical and Paramedical professionals beneficial for career development.  As these formations will enhance their knowledge and skills for better delivery of health care services.

 

 

The ISSB-P research center welcomes PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and research professors who are part of the research dynamic and focusing on current topics with a clinical and Research and Development purpose for the implementation Biotechnology tools at the service of Morocco and Africa. The research within the ISSB-P institute is structured around 4 thematic areas: 

 

- Antisens RNA and Genome editing for cancers and neurodegenerative diseases: 

In this topic, our main objective is to better understand the involvement of long non-coding RNAs in the molecular pathology of brain cancers including gliomas and neurological diseases, particularly cases of neurodegenerative disorders and pathologies or tauopathies especially Alzheimer disease. The ultimate objective is to find new therapeutic targets using the latest approaches in RNA therapy by genome editing and RNA antisense. We will set up locally the synthesis of antisense RNAs as part of the development of tools for Biotechnology.

- Immunology and production of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies

Antibodies have first found many applications in basic research and in vitro diagnostics. In the clinical biology laboratory, monoclonal antibodies are used as reagents in immunoassays, often replacing traditional antisera. Many years of development and innovation have been necessary spent to humanize monoclonal antibodies, in order to make them usefully applicable in human therapy. This laboratory has as ambition to produce monoclonal antibodies for research, diagnosis and for therapeutic purposes.

- Biobank and Stem cells:

In collaboration with several Moroccan and international pharmaceutical groups, the institute will coordinate the setting up and monitoring of the tissue biobank with the development of a stem cell laboratory for therapeutic purposes. The biobank will host various tissues including tumor biopsies, blood, and urine samples to serve as a reference at the country level.

 

- Health and Food Security

As well as Health and Food Security thematic which will be dedicated to issues affecting food security. Moroccan regulations protect the health of the consumer by obliging manufacturers to guarantee the food products safety before placing them on the market, thus following the requirements of Law 28-07. The development of a research programs linked to the contamination of soil and vegetable crops and the monitoring of the bioaccumulation of biological and chemical contaminants in the food chain, could provide answers to health issues and propose monitoring program for food matrices. By the development of analytical methods for biological and chemical contaminants, specific training will be provided for the development of technical skills including microbiological analysis of food contamination by pathogenic bacteria (Salmonella sp, listeria monocytogenes, etc.), heavy metals and pesticides.

 

The research work of the biomaterials team aims to enhance the value of natural resources, especially phosphates in the development of biomaterials for applications in the field of health. A part of the research activities related to this theme is focused on the synthesis, physicochemical characterization, and the study of the reactivity of calcium phosphates, particularly the hydroxyapatite and the biomimetic nanocrystalline apatites for application in orthopedic surgery, as a filling substitutes in losses of bone substances. Another part of the activities is dedicated to the development of cement-like biomaterials based on calcium phosphates combining therapeutic agents (antibiotics) in order to confer to the system a therapeutic function additional to that of supporting bone growth. The team’s new projects aim to design new families of biomaterials associated to biomolecules for a potential use in the treatment and repair of cartilage / osteoarthritis and for anti-bacterial or anti-inflammatory use.

The epidemiology and public health team focuses on themes related to the highest priority health issues, with a particular focus on the role of the prevention in mitigating the negative effects of the various epidemiological burdens on the economic and social well-being of the population. The establishment of intelligence systems in public health able to generate robust data will help to provide data on the population health needs and to assist decision-makers in public health to the design of public policy based on scientific evidence, thus ensuring better access to health care and a better quality of service. 

Machine learning for medical imaging and diagnostics and hospital logistics  

Research on hospital logistics aims to manage the patients flow, products, materials, and information in order to ensure quality and safety at a defined level of performance and efficiency. A part of the research activities related to this theme is focused on the planning, modelling, and optimization of hospital flows. A second part of the activities is dedicated to the construction of cost models for the entire hospital supply chain. A final part of the research activities concerns the digitalization of hospital flows (cooking, pharmacy, emergency, etc.). Machine learning tools will be set up to meet current and future challenges including diagnostics from medical imageries and new drug discoveries.

 

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