The Chairman of the Fundación Occident, Federico Halpern, presented this afternoon the 1st Fundación Occident Research Award ex aequo to Dr Guadalupe Sabio Buzo from the Carlos III National Cardiovascular Research Centre (CNIC) in Madrid and Dr Pablo Pérez Martínez of the Reina Sofía University Hospital in Córdoba.

Dr Sabio has stated: “I am grateful to the Fundación Occident for their important role in making Spanish scientists’ work public. In a time when the culture of quick and easy is on the rise, it is very important to recognise the step by step advances made by science, which have enabled us to live and grow older every day in a better way”.

Dr Pérez Martínez, for his part, has stated that the award represents “an acknowledgement of my work as a clinical researcher, in an area of growing interest such as human nutrition. Healthy eating is the most powerful weapon we have to prevent chronic illnesses. Therefore, we must raise awareness among society of the importance of investing in health, which is why diet is the fundamental tool. The fact that there are organisations, such as the Fundación Occident, that give visibility to this type of project, together with adequate institutional investment, are essential to continue generating knowledge that our patients can benefit from”.

The award ceremony, which took place in the Rafael del Pino Auditorium in Madrid, included a round table in which, in addition to the award-winning doctors, María Blasco, Director of the National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and Chairperson of the jury, Prof. Lina Badimon, Director of the Catalan Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (ICCC), Research Professor at the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and Member of the jury, Dr Carlos Macaya, Chairman of the Spanish Heart Foundation and Member of the jury, Dr Pedro Mata, Chairman of the Family Hypercholesterolemia Foundation and Member of the jury, and the Journalist Manuel Campo Vidal, Moderator.

The event was attended by the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela, as well as numerous representatives from the scientific, research and business fields, as well as the main directors of the Fundación Occident and Grupo Catalana Occidente.

The award is a bronze sculpture on a marble base by artist Daniel Krawietz. For the latest news, you can follow Fundación Occident Research Awards on social media via the hashtag: #PremioInvestigacionFJS.


About the winners

Dr Guadalupe Sabio Buzo has been leading the CNIC research team that studies the incidence of obesity in diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and cancer for 6 years. Her most recent research work is linked to the growing obesity epidemic and the rise in

Illnesses associated with it that make it necessary to identify new therapeutic targets. The project aims to study the changes that occur in our body when we gain weight, and how these changes can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes or liver cancer.

Dr Pablo Pérez Martinez, professor at the University of Córdoba and the Reina Sofía University Hospital in Córdoba, has been awarded for his research career in the area of nutrition.

Currently, he focuses his research work on studying the beneficial effects of lifestyle for the prevention and treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or ageing. He is conducting a research project on the Mediterranean diet associated with probiotics and its importance in improving cognitive capacity in patients with mild cognitive impairment. The project is multidisciplinary in nature and therefore experts in high-precision technologies collaborate in its development, including neuropsychologists, specialists in functional neuroimaging by positron emission and in genomics. The results, which will be obtained in two years, can be of great help to people with cognitive problems, with totally innocuous measures.

The Fundación Occident Research Award, which is worth €50,000 (in this case €25,000 for each winner for being ex aequo), aims to encourage research in a field that has been shown to be of fundamental importance: the link between nutrition and health, recognising the professional career of young specialists in these fields. For years, this direct link has been consolidated to confirm 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.

About the Fundación Occident

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

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.