The Scientific Communication and Culture Unit (UCCC) of the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Sols-Morreale (IIBM) was created at the end of 2021. This Unit is committed to enhance the communication and dissemination of the research work of all IIBM staff. From the UCCC we promote, advise, coordinate and disseminate both outreach activities and scientific communication.

We have the challenge of contributing to improve the scientific culture of people, bringing our research to the whole society in a didactic and entertaining way. In particular, we are very involved with students, from elementary to high school, so that they appreciate from a young age the relevance of science for the future of society.

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The IIBM organizes and participates in multiple outreach initiatives, some of them are:


This Catalogue is aimed at the Education System of the Community of Madrid, mainly at Primary, Secondary and Baccalaureate students. The speakers are the CSIC scientific community at all levels, from research professors to pre-doctoral students. The Catalogue is coordinated by the CSIC Delegation in the Community of Madrid. For years, the IIBM has been involved in this task, in particular Juan Bernal, María Monsalve, Isabel Varela and Belén Peral.

During the year 2023 the Catalogue of Conferences has also been offered to other interested institutions such as the National Museum of Science and Technology (MUNCYT), the Nave de Villaverde, Cultural Centres and Libraries. In this context, Belén Peral was invited to the Public Library "José Hierro".

In the academic year 2023-24, the number of scientific-dissemination lectures given by members of the IIBM scientific community has increased considerably. Thus, in the new Catalogue published for the years 2023-2025, the following have been included: José Orgaz, Soledad Bárez, Jorge Melones, María Alieva, Jesús Pacheco, Ángela Martínez-Valverde, Silvia Murillo, Alberto Bartolomé, Lisardo Boscá, Manolo Izquierdo and Rafael Garesse, as well as Isabel Varela, María Monsalve and Belén Peral.

Science in the Neighbourhood

Science in the Neighbourhood is a science outreach initiative of the Scientific Culture and Citizen Science Unit of the CSIC. It aims to bring science to the most vulnerable neighbourhoods of Madrid. In the 2022-23 academic year, 12 secondary schools, an Adult Education Centre (CEPA), a Therapeutic Education Centre and a Centre for the Elderly took part. The IIBM joined this initiative for the first time in the academic year 2022-23. Members of the IIBM participated with three conferences and a guided visit to our Institute.

The scientific route was carried out by the Sebastián Cerdán Biomedical NMR Service. Students from IES Arcipreste de Hita were chosen to visit our Institute.

Dr. Adrián Palencia, from Dr. Bruno Sainz's group, gave an informative talk at IES Conde de Orgaz to talk about rare diseases. Dr. Belén Peral visited two IES and one CEPA.In IES Ciudad de los Ángeles and in IES Madrid Sur he gave a lecture on skills to avoid/relieve stress and in CEPA Aluche he gave a lecture on good habits for healthy ageing.

Rare Disease Day

Since 2008, World Rare Disease Day has been commemorated on 28 February to raise awareness in society of the existence of rare diseases and to raise the visibility of people suffering from one of these rare pathologies, so that they can receive a diagnosis as soon as possible and thus lead a better life.

At the IIBM, all members of the Rare Diseases Department, which brings together the eleven groups working on rare diseases, met for the first time on 28 February 2023 in order to take a "family" photo and tell us about their research.


International Day for Women and Girls in Science

11 February marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In 2015, the UN established this international day to recognise the role of women and girls in science.

In the year 2022 we participate extensively in 11F.


In 2023, the UCCC also promoted the celebration of this International Day. The proposals of the IIBM researchers were very varied: workshops for children, conferences, wine and neuroscience, meetings with scientists, interviews and social networks. Twenty-four members of the IIBM, belonging to 13 research groups, carried out 19 outreach activities in the 2023 11F campaign, far exceeding the activities proposed for the 2022 11F.



This programme, organised by the Community of Madrid, aims to bring the world of work closer to students through one-week stays in companies and scientific institutions, such as CSIC centres.

In the 2022 call only two research groups participated in this activity. They were the groups of María Monsalve and Ángela Martínez Valverde who hosted three students.


In 2023, four research groups were encouraged to participate in this event: the groups of Dr Isabel Sánchez, Dr María Monsalve and Dr Ángela Martínez-Valverde, as well as Teresa Navarro from the Sebastián Cerdán Biomedical NMR Service. All of them invited seven students to spend a week in their laboratories.



The Biology Olympiad competition is held annually and involves students in the 2nd year of Bachillerato from each region. The winners then compete at national level. The prize for these "Olympians" is to spend a week doing research in a Biology and Biomedicine laboratory.

In the 2022 call, the research groups of Dr Juan Manuel Zapata and Dr Ángela Martínez Valverde welcomed two "Olympic" students from the province of Barcelona.


In 2023 the IIBM also participated in the XVIII Spanish Biology Olympiad. The groups of Dr Juan Manuel Zapata and Dr José Orgaz admitted two students from the 2nd year of Bachillerato from the provinces of Badajoz and Madrid, respectively.



The CSIC and the Spanish Association for the Advancement of Science (AEAC) developed a pilot project in the Community of Madrid to foster scientific talent in students from schools located in vulnerable areas of the Community.

Dr. María Monsalve participated in this pilot project. She visited the Miguel Delibes Secondary School (IES) in Ciudad Lineal where she explained her research project at the IIBM to the students. In addition, as part of this project, two students from this secondary school spent a week in Dr. Monsalve's laboratory.


In 2023, four research groups committed to the "Scientists in practice" programme, three more than in 2022. In addition to María Monsalve's group, researchers Soledad Bárez, Juan Manuel Zapata and Ángela Martínez-Valverde participated in this activity, going to the assigned IES to talk about their respective projects and hosting eight students from these IES for a week.



Every year in November, the doors of research centres across the country open to commemorate Science and Technology Week (STW). The CSIC encourages its institutes to organise informative activities for the non-specialist public in order to encourage society's interest in science.

A large number of IIBM researchers, both from the scientific and technical services and from the research groups, took part in Science and Technology Week 2022. Eight activities, scientific workshops, conferences and scientific routes, brought the science of the IIBM closer to many people, both adults and young people, although at the IIBM we pay special attention to students of ESO and Bachillerato, in our mission to stimulate scientific vocations.


The next SCT call will be held in November 2023 and six activities have already been scheduled and are announced on the CSIC website. More activities will be announced in September 2023.


Researchers' Night is a European celebration in which science is made accessible to the public through various scientific and cultural activities, the aim of which is to raise awareness of the role of researchers and the importance of their work for the well-being of society. This initiative is being held in 350 European cities.

In autumn 2021, Dr Ricardo Escalante's research group presented an activity entitled: "The Dicty amoeba helps us to study rare diseases".

The CSIC centres on the campus of the Autonomous University of Madrid, where the IIBM is included, organised two events for the European Researchers' Night, at the Casa Encendida and at the CSIC headquarters. The IIBM, in particular, contributed with the activity "Escape Road: in search of Nobel and non-Nobel women scientists". 

Also, in the context of the European Science Night event, Dr. Alberto Muñoz participated in the course "Colon cancer: reality and expectations".



In addition, other outreach events take place at the IIBM, most of them published on our Twitter: @IIBmCSICUAM.

Some of the activities that took place in 2022 include:

Interviews in different media, such as radio, where Ana Aranda was interviewed about the action of hormones (Radio Euskadi), or Ana Guadaño who talked in Radio Libertad about the Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome. In the written press, El Mundo interviewed Juan Carlos López Gil. At the Madri+d Foundation, Gema Moreno Bueno was interviewed about her research work in breast and gynecological cancer.

A large number of IIBM researchers are very committed to scientific dissemination in schools, giving lectures in Secondary Schools (IES), such as the group of Ángela Martínez Valverde, Manuel Izquierdo or Belén Peral, or collaborating in a day of games for children, or carrying workshops in primary schools

A good number of researchers also participate in round tables, such as Isabel Varela's group or Alberto Muñoz, as well as in the production of popular science videos, or present their outreach work in contests, such as Carmen Grijota, winner of the XI contest of outreach work of the Complutense University of Madrid, with the article that you can download here

Other researchers have submitted their outreach work to contests through Twitter threads, such as Elisa Fernández Núñez who won the first prize in the III Virtual Congress of Twitter threads organized by Desgranando Ciencia (@Sci_Granada), or Sandra Franco Caspueñas who won a well-deserved third place in #FallingWallsLab talking about Vestibular Schwannomas.

In 2023 we can highlight the following dissemination activities:

Scientific dissemination in Educational Centres is an activity in which many members of the IIBM continue to participate. For example, Ana Monfort Vengut, Alejandro Samhan Arias and Óscar Martínez-Costa, Guillermo de Cárcer, Alberto BartoloméBelén Peral, Gema Moreno-Bueno, Alicia González-Martín and Gemma Ferrer, Paula Pallarola (from Alberto Bartolomé's group), Sandra Franco, Laura Doblado and María Monsalve. Manuel Izquierdo gave an informative talk at the "Nanotechnology comes to the Institute" lecture series of the 8th Festival of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Also, in this same cycle, Jesús Pacheco gave his lecture in two Educational Centres.

Conferences for the general public were held, for example, on Parkinson's, by Dr. Isabel Lastres-Becker, or on Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome by Marina Guillén and Víctor Valcárcel. Dr. Ricardo Sánchez-Prieto also gave an informative talk at the Villanueva de la Jara Day Centre.

We have participated in round tables and debates to discuss science. Isabel Varela took part in a round table to talk about rare diseases; Ramón Díaz Uriarte contributed his knowledge at the LifeHUB.CSIC symposium; Isabel Varela and Silvia Murillo spoke on World Hearing Day to talk about sign language. Alberto Muñoz, for his part, illustrated health journalists and health communication professionals in a new event called "Science a Day".

In 2023 we have also participated in one of the most popular international informative events: Pint of Science. This year it was Dr. Gemma Domínguez who came to the bar "La Lata de Cascorro", in Madrid, to talk about her lines of research.

Several members of the IIBM have collaborated in books and journals, such as Marina Guillén (Ana Guadaño's group), who has collaborated in the journal "CSIC Investiga", in the 5th issue dedicated to the brain: "El cerebro. Desvelando los mecanismos del órgano más complejo" (the pdf can be downloaded here). Drs. Isabel Varela and Gemma Rodríguez have contributed to a popular book: "Las moléculas que comemos", which was presented at the Residencia de Estudiantes del CSIC.

Other young researchers have used social networks to disseminate science, such as Marina Guillén, who was interviewed on the @sherezade_mr programme to great acclaim. Dr. Carmen Grijota has also participated in several podcasts.

At the IIBM we have also ventured into the inclusive dissemination of science in different areas. Drs Manuel Izquierdo and Dr Belén Peral coordinated a visit to our Institute by secondary school students from the Fundación Colectivo Gitano. In this context, Sandra Franco Caspueñas took part in the "Disability Awareness Days" organised by the Árula School. Sandra prepared a "Twitter thread" to explain everything that happened in this initiative. The IIBM is very committed to the need to make scientific dissemination accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of their physical, sensory or mental characteristics, age, socioeconomic status or educational level. To learn more about this purpose we will participate in the I Inclusive Science Congress, organised by the University of Alcalá and the CSIC.