First edition of the Research Awards

3rd Research Awards

In line with our objective of supporting the progress of science, we've celebrated the second edition of the Fundación Jesús Serra Research Award, which is aimed at acknowledging the excellence and progress achieved by Spanish scientists in the fields of nutrition, diet, and health within their scopes of basic, clinical, epidemiological, and technological research.

Researcher Raúl Zamora Ros, from the private foundation of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology, and teacher and researcher Salvador Aznar Benitah, of the Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and the Biomedical Research institute of Barcelona (IRB Barcelona), have been chosen by the jury for the research prizes of the Jesús Serra Foundation as the winners in the clinical and basic research categories, respectively. This award is presented to scientists up to the age of 45 who specialise in nutrition, diet and health.

Researcher Raúl Zamora Ros is part of the team of researchers of the private foundation of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL). He received this award for his research work in the field of clinical research, and especially for his research work "Dietary polyphenols and their effects on obesity markers”, which assesses the association between exposure to polyphenols and obesity markers, as well as their effect on health parameters and weight loss during a slimming treatment.

As for researcher Salvador Aznar Benitah, from the Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and the Biomedical Research Institute of Barcelona (IRB Barcelona), he was chosen for his research work in the field of basic research, and in particular for his research on the “Impact of dietary fatty acids on metastasis-initiating cells". This project aims to delve into recent discoveries on metastatis-initiating cells with high levels of the fatty acid receptor CD36. The research team hopes to obtain essential information on the mechanisms of metastasis and how they are influenced by diet. This point is important since Western diets have a large intake of fatty acids and metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

The jury for the 2nd edition of the Research Prizes of the Jesús Serra Foundation, chaired by Dr María Blasco, director of the National Centre for Cancer Research (CNIO), was composed of Dr Mercedes Rincón, professor in the Medicine Department at the Immunology Division of the University of Vermont, Professor Lina Badimon, director of the Catalan Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (ICCC) and professor of research at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Dr Carlos Macaya, director of the Cardiology Unit at Madrid's San Carlos Clinical Hospital and chairman of the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC), Dr Pedro Mata, chairman and founder of the Spanish Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Foundation, and the two winners of the first edition of the Jesús Sierra Foundation research prizes: Dr Guadalupe Sabio, doctor of the Medical Research Council and director of a research group in the CNIC; and Dr Pablo Pérez , specialist in internal medicine and lead researcher at the Maimónides Institute of Biomedical Research. The jury considered both recipients' research track record and the important contribution of their work to both clinical and basic research.

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Winners

2nd edition

Dr. Raúl Zamora Ros

Private foundation of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology

He received this award for his research work in the field of clinical research, and especially for his research work "Dietary polyphenols and their effects on obesity markers”, which assesses the association between exposure to polyphenols and obesity markers, as well as their effect on health parameters and weight loss during a slimming treatment.

 

Dr. Salvador Aznar Benitah

Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and the Biomedical Research institute of Barcelona (IRB Barcelona)

He was chosen for his research work in the field of basic research, and in particular for his research on the “Impact of dietary fatty acids on metastasis-initiating cells". This project aims to delve into recent discoveries on metastatis-initiating cells with high levels of the fatty acid receptor CD36. The research team hopes to obtain essential information on the mechanisms of metastasis and how they are influenced by diet. This point is important since Western diets have a large intake of fatty acids and metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

 

1st edition

Dr. Guadalupe Sabio Buzo

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (National Centre for Cardiovascular Research, CNIC)

After graduating in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Extremadura in 2000, she completed her PhD on the redundant function of p38-gamma and p38-delta, under the guidance of Dr. Ana Cuenda and jointly at the University of Extremadura and at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit in Dundee (United Kingdom).

She worked as an associate researcher in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts (Worcester, USA) until she returned to Spain in 2009 with a contract with Ramón y Cajal to study diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

In 2011, she joined the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (National Centre for Cardiovascular Research, CNIC), where she leads a research group on illnesses related to obesity.

She has written a large number of publications for high-impact scientific journals, such as Nature, Cell Metabolism, Blood, Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and she has participated as a guest in major scientific forums.

Research project: the role of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPKs) in the regulation of signalling pathways which are involved in metabolism, cellular proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis.

 

Dr. Pablo Pérez Martínez

Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba (Córdoba Maimonides Institute of Biomedical Research, IMIBIC)

Having graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Córdoba in 1997, he is a senior professor of Medicine at the University of Córdoba and a specialist doctor in Internal Medicine at the University Hospital Reina Sofía, also in Córdoba. He is also the lead researcher at the Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba (Córdoba Maimonides Institute of Biomedical Research, IMIBIC), where he leads various research projects, including a project entitled ‘The Mediterranean Diet associated with probiotics improves cognitive skills in patients with slight cognitive deterioration, modulating the microbiota-intestine-brain axis’, which is financed by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Carlos III Institute of Health). With this research, he has obtained three consecutive projects from the Fondo de Investigación en Salud (Health Research Fund, FIS), and he collaborates in various projects financed by the European Union.

His scientific activity has revolved around the study of Clinical Nutrigenomics, focusing on the interaction between genes and environment, including the intestinal microbiome and the somatic genome, in the biomodulation of cardiovascular disease and in diabetes. He is the author of numerous scientific articles published in high-impact journals and he participates in projects related to innovation in education.

Research project: the role of the Mediterranean Diet in the improvement of slight cognitive deterioration, through the modulation of neuropeptides, fatty acids, oxidative stress markers and inflammation markers in the microbiota, intestine and brain.