The second edition of the Fundación Occident Research Awards is launched, aimed at Spanish or foreign scientists, up to 45 years old, who carry out their research in Spain and who are specialized in the fields of nutrition, diet and health, specifically in the fields of basic, clinical, epidemiological and technological research in order to acknowledge the dedication of scientists and the advances made in the field.

This year, as a new feature, the Fundación Occident Research Awards are divided into two categories, which will recognise the trajectory of the participants in basic research and clinical research. Basic research is the one that seeks to generate new knowledge or improve existing knowledge with respect to the molecular, cellular or genetic mechanisms involved in the health/disease process; while clinical research focuses on people, data, or tissue samples from people to understand health and disease.

In this second meeting, the jury will continue to be chaired by Dr María Blasco, Director of the National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), who will be joined by leading figures in the field of biomedicine belonging to the main national and international research centres such as Lina Badimon, Doctor in pharmacy and Director of the CSIC-ICCC Centre for Cardiovascular Research; Dr Mercedes Rincón, Director of the Transgenic Mouse Facility at the University of Vermont (USA); Dr Carlos Macaya, Chairman of the Spanish Heart Foundation; and Dr Pedro Mata, Chairman of the Family Hypercholesterolemia Foundation. 

This renowned jury will also include the participation of the two winners of the first edition of the Fundación Occident Research Awards: 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 deadline for submitting applications is from 3 December 2018 to 28 February 2019. The application must be made via the website www.i and the candidates must be suggested by people linked to universities, hospitals or research centres in Spain. The jury’s decision will be announced during the month of April next year.

As stated by Federico Halpern, Chairman of the Fundación Occident: “at the Foundation we believe in the need to support young scientists and promote all research that links nutrition, diet and health because the well-being of future generations depends on it”.

Guadalupe Sabio, winner of the award in 2018, highlighted “the objective of rewarding tenacity and effort aimed at results but also the social work that research has because researchers try to promote a better society with our work. For his part, Pablo Pérez, who also won this award in the first edition, stated that “it is important that doctors and society become aware of the role that a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating have as fundamental pillars for preserving health”.

María Blasco, the Chair of the jury, stated that “a healthy and balanced diet can be the key to reducing the number of cases of diseases, including cancer. I believe that these awards encourage awareness and research for disease prevention and that, of course, they help this important work that we all have to face”.


About the Fundación Occident

The Fundación Occident, of the Grupo Catalana Occidente, is a private non-profit organisation established in memory of Jesús Serra Santamans, a renowned businessman and sponsor, and founder of Grupo Catalana Occidente. It aims to support initiatives of a cultural, business, teaching, musical, sporting, social and research nature.

Within the framework of research support, the Investigadores Visitantes Fundación Occident programme for visiting researchers also stands out, which it has run in collaboration with the Spanish National Cardiovascular Research Centre (CNIC), the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics (IAC) for the last eight years. Its purpose is to secure the placement of prestigious researchers at these institutions in order to initiate and develop lines of action arising from the generation of common scientific interests.

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