The award ceremony of the 3rd edition of the Fundación Jesús Serra Research Awards took place on 16th June. Learn about the winners of the 3rd edition of the Research Awards.
Dr. Borja Ibáñez, director of the Clinical Research Department of the National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) and caridologist at Fundación Jiménez Díaz, researcher Maria Carmen Collado, from the Biotechnology Department of the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology-Spanish National Research Council (IATA-CSIC), and professor and researcher Rubén Nogueiras, from the Singular Centre for Research in Molecular Medicine and Chronic Diseases and full professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela (CIMUS-USC), have been named as winners of the 3rd edition of the Fundación Jesús Serra Research Awards.
Specifically, Borja Ibáñez and Maria Carmen Collado have been named joint winners by the judges in the clinical research category, while Rubén Nogueiras has been recognised in the basic category. This award, promoted by Fundación Jesús Serra, is aimed at scientists up to 45 years of age specialising in food and nutrition.
The president of Fundación Jesús Serra, Federico Halpern said that "For the Foundation it has always been very important to support research in Spain and research focused on nutrition and food even more so. This past year has only reinforced our thinking and that is why we continue to support young scientists to help improve the eating habits of our society. This 3rd edition examined many good projects and proof of this is the career trajectory and importance of the scientists who have won and the magnitude of their projects."
The panel of judges for the 3rd edition of the Fundación Jesús Serra Research Awards, 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) in the Santa Creu i Sant Pau hospital; 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 second edition of the Fundación Jesús Sierra Research Awards: Raúl Zamora Ros, researcher at the Bellvitge Biomedical Institute (IDIBELL) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology; and Salvador Aznar Benitah, researcher at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and the Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). The judges weighed the three candidates' research careers and the important contribution of their work to both clinical and basic research.
Summary of the 2nd edition of the research awards
The researcher Raúl Zamora Ros, from the private foundation of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology, and the professor and researcher Salvador Aznar Benitah, from the Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and the Biomedical Research Institute of Barcelona (IRB Barcelona), were chosen by the jury for the Fundación Jesús Serra Research Awards as the winners in the clinical and basic research categories, respectively.
Learn about the winners of the 3rd edition of the Research Awards.More information
Maria Carmen Collado Currently, she is Scientific Research Fellow of the CSIC in the Group of Tactical and Probiotic Bacteria at the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC). Since 2007 she has been an assistant professor at the University of Turku (Finland). Dr. Collado also participates in various specialisation courses, including on Master's degrees at the UPV, University of Valencia (UV) and University of Turku (Finland).
Her research is framed by the establishment of associations between human microbiota, food and health in the maternal and child binomial. More specifically, her team investigates the impacts of early exposure (perinatal, environmental and genetic factors) on the microbiota as well as components specific to breast milk (including immune markers, metabolites, oligosaccharides, microbiota), and the impacts of these on the health of the child and the future adult.
She has been selected for her research career in the field of clinical research and, in particular, for her research work "Interaction between microbiota and diet during the first 1,000 days of life". This project aims to highlight the importance of nutrition, the microbiota and the environment during the first 1,000 days from conception to the second year of life because of their crucial importance in influencing both the growth and development of the child's body and in the prevention of future non-communicable diseases such as obesity, allergies and diabetes in adults.
Dr. Borja Ibáñez A cardiologist at the Hospital Fundación Jiménez Díaz in Madrid, and group leader at CIBER on cardiovascular diseases (CIBERCV), Dr. Ibáñez is a world opinion leader in the field of heart disease. He has been chosen by the European Cardiology Society as the chairman of the clinical practice guides for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction. His speciality is "Anthracycline cardiotoxicity: development of therapies aimed at mitochondrial protection. From mechanism to the patient."
Dr. Ibáñez leads research in the field of myocardial diseases, in particular acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and cardiotoxicity associated with cancer treatments.
He has received this award for his clinical research career and, specifically, for his research work "Nutritional approaches for the prevention of cardiotoxicity associated with cancer treatments", focused on developing a new therapeutic intervention aimed at reducing the prevalence of chronic heart failure in cancer survivors.
Rubén Nogueiras Professor and researcher on the Oportunius Programme at the Singular Centre for Research in Molecular Medicine and Chronic Diseases (CIMUS) of the University of Santiago de Compostela, where he coordinates the Molecular Metabolism group.
His career has always focused on the study of molecular mechanisms involved in obesity, a pandemic disease with a particularly high economic, social and health cost.
He was selected to receive this recognition for his project "Role of Tanycytes in Nutrient Sensing", which is closely focused on pandemic diseases that involve a high economic, social and health cost such as obesity. This research aims to provide insight into the mechanisms involved in the interaction between the central nervous system and peripheral organs to regulate energy balance, and to investigate new mechanisms involved in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a disease closely linked to obesity, whose prevalence is steadily increasing, and for which there is no treatment.
Dr. Raúl Zamora Ros
Private foundation of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and of the Catalan Institute of Oncology
He received this award for his research work in the field of clinical research, and in particular 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 Biomedical Research Institute of Barcelona (IRB Barcelona)
He was chosen for his extensive 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 examine recent discoveries on metastasis-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 significant since Western diets have a large intake of fatty acids, and metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
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.