A scientific project coordinated by CIC bioGUNE receives the ‘Young Researchers’ award from the AstraZeneca Foundation

Bizkaia, News

The AstraZeneca Foundation has awarded the VII Young Researchers Awards under the slogan “People who change lives”, an initiative that promotes the development and consolidation of young scientific talent in Spain.

The CIC bioGUNE centre is leading research into the molecular and cellular basis of intercellular communication in lethal prostate cancer: LetalCHAT, coordinated by Principal Investigator Arkaitz Carracedo.

As a sign of the AstraZeneca Foundation’s firm commitment to attracting and retaining scientific talent in our country, the budget for this edition continues to be one million euros to be shared among the four winning projects.

A project coordinated and led by Arkaitz Carracedo, Ikerbasque Research Professor in the Signalling and Metabolism of Cancer Cells Laboratory at CIC bioGUNE – member of BRTA -, has just received the Young Researchers Award in the category ‘Oncology, Precision Medicine and Immuno-oncology’, granted by the AstraZeneca Foundation. This is an initiative that, in its seventh edition and under the slogan “People who change lives”, recognises and promotes the development and consolidation of young scientific talent in Spain.

The project ‘Deciphering the molecular and cellular basis of intercellular communication in lethal prostate cancer: LetalCHAT’, has received 225,000 euros, an amount that will help improve the quality of life of thousands of patients. The Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and the Carlos III National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) are also collaborating in this project.

The AstraZeneca Foundation’s Young Investigator Awards seek to promote research between groups from different autonomous communities, structured in a networked research project, which facilitates the obtaining of results and generates greater scientific knowledge through the promotion of synergies between the different research groups.

The project coordinator, Dr. Arkaitz Carracedo, explained the reasons for this research: “This project is based on an emerging clinical need in oncology: there is a small group of patients with prostate cancer who present metastasis at the time of diagnosis, and whose disease presents an alarming aggressiveness and mortality. We propose to unravel the mechanism underlying this aggressiveness with the most modern experimental and technological approaches, and through the creation of a young and highly synergistic team composed of clinical, computational and experimental researchers”.

Dr. Carracedo added: “The recognition of the AstraZeneca Foundation is an exciting challenge for us for two main reasons. On the one hand, the Foundation is the promoter of the fact that we have structured a young research team around an ambitious question. The participation of 3 centres of excellence such as CIC bioGUNE, VHIO and CNIO is proof of the highly competitive ingredients of the proposal. On the other hand, with this funding, the AstraZeneca Foundation will be a catalyst for a research project that may mean the creation of new groups and lines of research in oncology in the near future”.

The AstraZeneca Foundation’s commitment to promoting science and research

Already last year, the AstraZeneca Foundation increased its budget to one million euros and, in this sense, has decided to maintain its strong and solid support for young scientists in our country. The budget will be distributed among the winners to promote the development of research projects.

In addition, the main novelty of this edition is that the projects have been able to present, optionally, a letter of support issued by a patients’ association in which the expected impact of the results of the research project aimed at health care, improvement in health and quality of life of patients, an aspect that has been positively valued when selecting the winning projects. In this case, the project was supported by the Association Against Cancer in Bizkaia.

Marta Moreno, Vice President of the AstraZeneca Foundation and Director of Corporate Affairs and Market Access at AstraZeneca, said: “This seventh edition of the Awards consolidates our commitment to young researchers and to initiatives that allow us to support, promote and raise the recognition of science and those who bring it to life. The AstraZeneca Foundation is proud to promote innovation among research groups from different autonomous communities through network projects, which facilitate the achievement of results, working collaboratively and jointly. This is the way to provide answers to new challenges to improve people’s lives”.

Rick R. Suarez, Chairman of the AstraZeneca Foundation and President of AstraZeneca Spain, said, “AstraZeneca’s fundamental purpose in awarding these prizes is to drive innovation and promote excellence in scientific research. Because we firmly believe that the next generation of researchers have the power to transform the global healthcare landscape and find solutions to the great medical challenges of our time. Spain is one of the countries that contributes most to the development of new medicines; we are leaders in research, scientific talent and infrastructure. This leadership in research must go hand in hand with the opportunity for patients to have access to it. It is crucial that institutions, organisations and all actors in the healthcare chain understand the great value that innovation brings to our society.


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