PiE-UPV/EHU, according to the Strategic Research Plan, has got three main Research Focus (priorities) that will be described below: Ocean Health, Human Health (oceans as human health source) and Oceanosphere.
Ocean Health Research Focus
- Its goal is to understand how the human activities can represent an effect on the health of the ecosystems and how certain alterations in ecosystem health can embrace a risk for human health and wealth.
- This focus is comprised by four Research Programmes:
- DIAGNOseas: aimed at understanding marine ecosystem health and disease, at developing methodologies and technologies for marine ecosystem health assessment, and at applying these biotools in biological effects monitoring programmes (e.g., Mussel Watch and Fish Disease Monitoring) of interest for the compliance of environmental protection policies (EWFD, EMSD, etc.).
- ECODIseas: aimed at characterising and understanding the effects of environmental alterations (stress, chemicals, biotoxins, pathogens) on the health of marine wildlife and resources (fisheries, aquaculture).
- PROPHEseas: aimed at understanding how global syndromes (global warming, ocean acidification, invasive species) impinge on the health of the ecosystems and its assessment. It includes the integration of scales at different levels of biological complexity, the transgression of time scales, the forethought of tools of the future such as most advanced analytical and molecular technologies, and the development of an environmental biospecimen bank (environmental time capsule useful for retrospective studies of historical data series at the present and in the future).
- PROGNOseas: devoted to the development and applications of assays for environmental regulatory policies (Environmental Risk Assessment). It deals with methodologies and technologies for integral ecotoxicological assessment of the environmental risk of chemical compound and spills (scenario specific models, in situ characterization, REACH, substances of special interest such as pharmacological products, etc.).
Human Health Research Focus
- The goal of this emerging research focus is to explore marine biological resources and biotechnological approaches suitable to improve human health and wealth.
- This focus is comprised by two Research Programmes:
- DELICATESseaN: covers diverse but related aspects such as fish and shellfish wellbeing, pathogens, biotoxins and chemical pollutants in seafood, and environmental factors affecting seafood quality (seafood safety and quality research).
- BIOMEDIseaN: The marine resources for biomedicine research programme is gaining promising relevance. It includes biodiversity exploration, marine chemical ecology, identification and cloning of genes of pharmaceutical interest, characterisation and risk assessment of biologically active natural compounds (biotoxins, biodrugs, bioprobes) of biomedical interest, and the use of alternative animal models in biomedical research and environmental risk assessment.
- This “out-of-focus” box provides the PiE-UPV/EHU research strategy with complementary actions for logistic, strategic and methodological support, as well as to incubate emerging multdisciplinary ideas: Presently, further development of activities in the fields of biomimetics, time-series of environmental data, global environment issues and modeling and integrative characterization and modeling of estuaries that emerged during the previous years will be prioritized.