3 - ago. - 2018
First regional symposium of the small world initiative project (swi @ spain)

The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Cantabria will host on September 6 the first regional Symposium of the Small World Initiative project (SWI @ Spain).

This educational and social project, of international character, has been carried out for the first time in our region, by the IDIVAL Institute and the University of Cantabria. This project involved 170 secondary and high school students, through a strategy of learning and service to the community, to solve the problem of the increase of infectious diseases caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria and to encourage scientific vocations.

The Biomedical Research Institute Marques de Valdecilla (IDIVAL), has been incorporated into this project aimed at exploring the microbial biodiversity of soils, to discover new microorganisms that produce antibiotics.

The SWI program that has been carried out at the IDIVAL Institute during the 2017-2018 academic year has been directed by the research team of Dr. José Ramos Vivas, which belongs to the Clinical and Molecular Microbiology group. Next to him, María Lázaro Díez (Biotechnology), Itziar Chapartegui Iglesias (Biologist), César Álvarez Gutiérrez (Biotechnologist) and Carlota Carreira Nogueira (Experimental Sciences) participated.

The schools and professors participating in this course were: Marcos Bandín (Las Esclavas, Santander), Teófilo Marrón Souto and Ana Belén Alonso Rodríguez (La Salle, Santander), María Eugenia Moral, Sara Alonso Ruíz and José Alfonso Sánchez (IES La Marina, Bezana), Javier López and Alicia Gutiérrez (Calasanz-Escolapios, Santander), Cristina Fernández and Begoña Sierra (CEO of the Prince of Asturias, Ramales de la Victoria), Jesús Saíz, Clara Pérez and Marta Gordaliza (IES Besaya, Torrelavega).

On the part of the University of Cantabria, the project has been directed by Dr. Felix J. Sangari, professor of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology of the Faculty of Medicine, and researcher attached to the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (IBBTEC), which has coordinated to the first group of medical students that has participated in this project, at a national level. The team formed by Beatriz Iniesta, Jesus Fernandez Castilla, Annick Amling, and Marcos Ortiz Gutierrez, has worked with Santander's IES Cantabria, in collaboration with teachers Mar Crespo, Ana Manrique and Carmen González.

During this first regional Symposium, students from the different participating centers, accompanied by their professors, will present their results and a summary of the achievements made in terms of the isolation of bacteria producing new potential antibiotics will be made. There will be an awards ceremony for the best posters and oral communications made by the students and a diploma will be given to all participants.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports will be represented by Isabel Fernández Gutiérrez, General Director of Innovation and Educational Centers and by Carlos Cruz Vaquero, Head of the Technical Unit of Educational Innovation. The Scientific Culture Unit of the University of Cantabria will be represented by Beatriz Salas Vegue.

In this Symposium, a rebranding of the project in Spain will also be announced. For the first time a peninsular network of research centers and universities in Portugal will be integrated, and the project will gradually be called "Micro Mundo". The logo has been created by the national project coordinator Victor Cid and presents bacteria with the colors of the Spanish and Portuguese flags.

Promoted by the University of Yale (United States) and present in Spain for 2 years through the Complutense University of Madrid, the SWI project is already implemented in 13 countries. In Spain, in addition to the IDIVAL and the UC, this program is developed in 24 research centers and universities where in this course they have involved more than 2000 secondary and high school students.


Gobierno de Cantabria  Servicio Cántabro de Salud  Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla   Universidad de Cantabria     
Edificio IDIVAL, Avenida Cardenal Herrera Oria s/n,
39011 Santander (CANTABRIA).

Phone.: 942 31 55 15
Fax: 942 31 55 17




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