2021 November 16

Dr. Manel Esteller receives the Fernández-Cruz Award for excellence in biomedical research

At the ceremony, held at the headquarters of the Royal National Academy of Medicine of Spain, the director of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute received the corresponding parchment from the hands of Prof. Arturo Fernández-Cruz, president of the Fernández-Cruz Foundation and Mr. Enrique Ruíz Escudero, Minister of Health of the CAM.

Biomedical research is one of the great revolutions of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Delving into the ultimate biological causes of disease is allowing medicine to take giant leaps to face challenges that were thought impossible half a century ago.

In order to make visible the doctors and researchers who make this progress possible, the Fernández-Cruz Foundation awards each year the Fernández-Cruz Award for Excellence in biomedical research. In this 2021 edition, the awarded researcher was Dr. Manel Esteller, director of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute, professor of genetics at the University of Barcelona and ICREA researcher.

The discovery of epigenetics, the complex system of modifications on genetic information that limits and sophisticates its use within cells, is a paradigmatic case of this advance and Dr. Manel Esteller represents the spearhead in his knowledge at the national and international levels.

Dr. Esteller opened the award ceremony with the 40th Memorial Lecture, in which he highlighted how the study of epigenetics has provided tools capable of understanding not only basic biological aspects, such as the mechanisms for determining cell identity or the differences between chimpanzees and humans, but also biomedical ones, such as cancer transdifferentiation, determining the origin of metastases or how to improve the prognosis of a COVID-19 diagnosis, among others.

The award ceremony brought together some of the most relevant current Spanish researchers at the headquarters of the Royal National Academy of Medicine of Spain, in Madrid, to discuss the latest advances in chronic diseases and aging, cardiovascular diseases, HIV and AIDS and commemorate the centenary of the discovery of insulin.