On November 23 and 24, the 17th Scientific Conference of the INMA Project was held in San Sebastian. INMA (Childhood and Environment) is a research project similar to BiSC that began in 2004 collecting data from different cohorts in Spain (Sabadell, Valencia, Gipuzkoa, Ribera d’Ebre, Granada, Menorca, and Asturias). The study aims to describe and evaluate the impact of exposure during pregnancy and the postnatal period of different environmental pollutants on the growth, health, and development of children.
As we do in the BiSC project, follow-up was done during the gestation of the volunteers who wanted to sign up for the study and after the birth of their babies. Some of these children are now teenagers and still participate by providing data to INMA (for more information, visit their website: (https://www.proyectoinma.org/ca/).
Every year there is a scientific meeting with all the researchers and collaborators of the INMA project in order to share results and generate spaces for dialogue between the different teams that have worked on it over time, this year was the 17th edition (held in person on the 23rd and 24th but also with online working group sessions throughout the week November 29 to December 3, and the BiSC and MOOD-COVID team was invited to participate!
That’s why on November 22 Zoraida García, Paula Llabrés, Pol Jiménez, Paula de Prado and Neus Rosell traveled to San Sebastian to present the BiSC and MOOD-COVID projects. Dr. Jordi Sunyer, one of the principal investigators of the BiSC project also attended the conference; he as other ISGlobal colleagues were involved in both the creation of the INMA project and BiSC. Although we still don’t have many results (BiSC babies are just born!), we were able to present the structure of the project, what kind of monitoring we do for mothers and children and our analysis plans for the future. On the other hand, we also presented the results on the stress perceived on pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Barcelona (MOOD-COVID project funded by AXA Research Fund).
We believe that meetings like this are very important to make the BiSC cohort known to the scientific community as well as related studies such as MOOD-COVID. With the large amount of data we are collecting thanks to the participation of more than 1000 women and their babies in Barcelona, it is essential to establish networks with other research centers and with researchers from all over, so that we can draw the maximum possible results and achieve a greater impact to improve the quality of life in the city. The experience in San Sebastian was also very enriching to know how the INMA cohorts have evolved over time and to identify strengths and weaknesses to be able to take this into account in the monitoring of BiSC. The presence of other researchers from the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (BiSC coordinating center) made it a good opportunity to strengthen the team’s ties.
We hope that in next year’s edition we will be able to present some preliminary results, but above all, we hope that the pandemic situation will give us the opportunity to continue having face to face meetings for the generation of these much-needed debate spaces in the scientific field.
The text has been written by Neus Rosell, project manager of BiSC project.