Joan Lluís Vives Corrons is Professor Emeritus of the University of Barcelona , and honorary researcher assigned to the Josep Carreras Institute for Leukaemia Research (IJC). He has accumulated a long trajectory in the diagnosis of rare anemias, and the study of the molecular bases of red blood cell (RBC) enzymopathies, membranopathies and hemoglobinopathies.
During his more than 30 years of activity at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (HCB) as Head of the Haematology Laboratory Department (1976-1997) and of the Red Blood Cell Pathology Unit (1998-2016) , his research activity has been focused on the physiopathological study of anemia in general, but especially in the molecular and genetic mechanisms of congenital anemias due to RBC defects. He has been IP of more than 35 research projects , mainly on enzymopathies , such as glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and pyruvate kinase (PK) , sickle-cell disease (SCD), and hereditary membranopathies.
In 2002, the European Commission (EC) approved the co-financing of the European Network for Rare and Congenital Anaemias (ENERCA) within its Public Health System (SANCO-Public Health) with the aim to create a pan-European network for diagnosis, treatment and epidemiology (registry) of rare anemias (RA). This project was coordinated by Prof. Vives Corrons.
In 2009, the Red Cell Pathology Unit received the financial support of the TV3 Marato Foundation for "rare diseases" (2009- Ref. 101730). This allowed the creation of the Catalan Network for Diagnosis and Monitoring of patients with severe hemoglobinopathies (CATGLOBIN) with the collaboration of professionals from 15 hospitals in Catalonia. As a consequence of this multicentre activity, cooperation was established between the Marato Research Group and the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya) to undertake a Pilot Newborn Screening Programe for SCD in Catalonia. As the consequence of the successful results obtained with this Pilot Project, the Catalan Government decided, in 2015, to incorporate the newborn screening programme for SCD into its official Neonatal Screening Program (CN) . This has been the most important outcome of this Marato Project.
In 2013, the coordination of the FP7 European Project CoMMitMent (HEALTH-F5-2013-602121) allowed the identification of new genes and therapies related to RA through the development of a team composed of different experts that investigate alterations in erythrocyte ion homeostasis (channelopathies) and their rheological behaviour (microfluidics).
In 2016, after the European Commission (EC) Call for European Reference Networks (ERN) on Rare Diseases (RD), ENERCA appointed for the ERN for Rare Haematological Diseases that, in addition to the rare anemias, included all the blood rare diseases, both oncological and non-oncological. This ERN Project was approved by the EC under the name EuroBloodNet.
In 2017, after Prof. Vives Corrons, retirement, the research staff of the HCB Red Cell Pathology Unit moved to the Josep Carreras Institute for Leukaemia Research (IJC) where the research activity in rare anemias remains active.