The Fundación Occident creates the Fundación Occident Research Award aimed at Spanish or foreign scientists up to 45 years of age who carry out their research in Spain, specialized in the fields of nutrition, diet and health, specifically in the fields of basic, clinical, epidemiological and technological research.

Dr María Blasco, Director of the National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), is the Chairperson of the jury, which includes leading figures in the field of biomedicine belonging to the main national and international research centres: the Doctor in pharmacy and Director of the CSIC-ICC Cardiovascular Research Centre; 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 Familial Hypercholesterolemia Foundation. The deadline for submitting applications is from 12 December to 9 March 2018. 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 goal of the Fundación Occident Research Award, which is worth €50,000, is to encourage research in a field that has been shown to be of fundamental importance: the link between nutrition and health. For years, this direct link has been consolidated until it has been confirmed that lifestyles and eating habits are capable of preventing and improving the clinical situation of some diseases such as ischemic heart disease, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, cancer or obesity, among others.

As Federico Halpern, Chairman of the Fundación Occident, has pointed out: “From the entrepreneurial and humanistic spirit that drives our Foundation, we firmly believe in the need to support young scientists and promote all research that relates to nutrition and health because the well-being of future generations depends on it”.

The Chair of the jury, María Blasco, has stated: “We know that a healthy and balanced diet can be of fundamental importance in reducing the incidence of a significant number of diseases, including cancer. This is confirmed by the World Health Organization, which includes incorrect diet and also physical inactivity as risk factors that influence the onset of this illness. The figures tell us that up to 30-50% of all cancers could be avoided by reducing risk factors. It is therefore essential to raise awareness of the importance of our lifestyle and of research into the prevention of frequent illnesses in today’s society. These awards, whose jury I chair, make a fundamental contribution to achieving this and will undoubtedly be of great help in this important work, which we must tackle together”.

For her part, Dr Lina Badimon is convinced that “We must give young people a future choice in research, without research there is no progress”.


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.

For the latest news, you can follow Fundación Occident Research Awards on social media via the hashtag: #PremioInvestigaciónFJS.