CNIC News and Views

European Union ERC Consolidator grant awarded to a project led by Borja Ibañez of the CNIC and the FJD

The MATRIX Project led by Borja Ibáñez, Director of Clinical Research at the CNIC, has been awarded an ERC Consolidator grant by the European Commission. The award provides funding of €2 million over the next five years to develop new and innovative treatments for the cardiac toxicity associated with some cancer treatments. MATRIX (Novel mitochondria- targeted therapies for cancer treatment-induced cardiotoxicity) will be undertaken jointly by the CNIC and the University Hospital Jiménez Díaz Foundation (FJD) within a collaborative framework begun in 2015 to study myocardial diseases.

The CNIC obtained a second project in the same ERC-2018-COG call, entitled “Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of cardiac regenerative capacity in the zebrafish” . This project is coordinated by the University of Bern, and the CNIC participates as a partner with a shared PI: Nadia Mercader.

The CNIC currently holds seven active ERC Grants

Two projects funded in the ERA- NET Cardiovascular Diseases Joint Translational Call, 2018

Transnational Cardiovascular Research Projects driven by Early Career Scientists:

1 “Fibrosis Treatment by Enhancer Targeting” CNIC as partner; PI, Luis Luna. Coordinated by Thomas Moore-Morris (INSERM UMR1251, Marseille Medical Genetics, France)

2. “Dissecting Mesenchymal-Endothelial Cross- Talk, Heterogeneity and Function to Mend Vascular Ageing and Atherosclerosis” CNIC as partner; PI, Rui Benedito. Coordinated by Universitätsklinikum AACHEN for the Medical Faculty of RWTH, Aachen, Germany

Four CNIC projects receive €2.5 million in the La Caixa Proyectos de Investigación en Salud 2017 program

Four CNIC projects have been selected by the Fundación Bancaria La Caixa within the La Caixa Proyectos de Investigación en Salud – 2017. Three of the CNIC projects are centered on cardiovascular disease: ‘Somatic mutation-driven clonal hematopoiesis in atherosclerosis - International Consortium’, led by CNIC Director Valentín Fuster; ‘The antibody immune response during vascular remodeling’, led by Almudena R. Ramiro; and ‘Therapeutic targeting of the neutrophil clock in cardiovascular disease’, led by Andrés Hidalgo. The fourth project is related to infectious diseases: ‘Readying immune cells prior to disease-inducing encounters’, coordinated by Francisco Sánchez Madrid.

Valentín Fuster awarded honorary degree by the Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio

The Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio has awarded an honorary degree to Valentín Fuster de Carulla for his extensive scientific contributions to cardiology and his tireless work in health promotion, aimed at advancing the treatment and prevention of myocardial infarction

Fuster receives the Health Care Personality Award

Fuster has been awarded the Health Care Personality Award in recognition of his contributions to research and his promotion of a healthy life style to combat obesity and cardiovascular disease through improved diet and physical activity.

the La Caixa Foundation. Xavier Rosselló received €3000 for his project “Targeting myocardial infarction consequences in the acute and chronic setting using experimental and statistical approaches”.

CNIC researcher Guadalupe Sabio receives the IV AstraZeneca Foundation Jóvenes Investigadores prize

Dr Guadalupe Sabio has been awarded the Jóvenes Investigadores prize in the Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity category for her research on “The role of p38MAPK in the development of obesity and associated diseases”. Her research focuses on the control of the p38MAPK signaling pathway. This pathway induces the transformation of white adipose tissue into brown adipose tissue (BAT), and this research is revealing the divergent potential of the distinct p38MAPK isoforms for the treatment of obesity. The prize supports Sabio’s research with an award of €20000 from the Fundación AstraZeneca. Guadalupe Sabio will also have the opportunity to visit AstraZeneca research facilities and meet with executive team in charge of selecting the talented scientists receiving these awards.

Scientific Events

CNIC Conference addresses the emerging concepts in cardiovascular biology

A new CNIC Conference under the title Emerging Concepts in Cardiovascular Biology was held at the CNIC on November 16 and 17. The meeting brought together more than 100 scientists from 15 European countries, China, the USA, Japan, and Russia. The meeting was coordinated by Rui Benedito and José Luis de la Pompa of the CNIC, José María Pérez Pomares of the University of Málaga, and Didier Stainier of the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim, Germany. The attendees included experts on blood vessel biology, the role of the cardiac endothelium in the heart development and its impact on congenital heart diseases, and the interaction between coronary angiogenesis and cardiomyocytes during tissue development and regeneration.

The CNIC hosts the third Hackathon de Salud, the biggest health programming marathon in Spanish

The CNIC hosted the third Hackathon de Salud, the biggest health programming marathon in Spanish. The event is organized by the Asociación de Investigadores en eSalud (AIES) and the COM Salud communications agency, and its commercial sponsors include Boehringer Ingelheim. The Hackathon invites patients, healthcare professionals, and managers to join with software developers in co-creating programs and applications to assist in disease management. The aim is to empower patients and ensure the adaptability and responsiveness of the healthcare system. In previous years, more than 30 multidisciplinary teams presented projects, and last year more than 120 ‘health hackers’ participated in the program.

New Partnerships

Agreement signed between the CNIC and Xerencia De Xestión Integrada de A Coruña-Fundación Profesor Novoa Santos (FPNS)

The CNIC and Xerencia De Xestión Integrada de A Coruña (XXIAC)-Fundación Profesor Novoa Santos (FPNS) have signed an agreement to launch the project ‘Development of large experimental animal models for cardiac surgery with extracorporeal circulation and cardiac arrest.’ The agreement was signed at a ceremony attended by CNIC General Director Valentín Fuster, CNIC Managing Director Alberto Sanz Belmar, XXIAC Managing director and FPNS President Luis Verde Remeseiro, CNIC Clinical Research Director Borja Ibáñez, and project leader Víctor Bautista Hernández of the XXIAC and the FPNS
The agreement covers a 4-year period until December, 2021. The lead investigator on the project is Víctor Bautista Hernández, Head of Pediatric and Congenital Surgery and Coordinator of Structural and Congenital Heart Disease Research at the XXIAC and the FPNS.

CNIC and Quirónprevención sign an agreement to promote cardiovascular health

Quirónprevención has signed an agreement with the CNIC to advance knowledge about cardiovascular health. The agreement will focus on studies into cardiovascular risk prevention and related diseases. Quirónprevención will provide a completely anonymized and untraceable database of more than 5 million medical checkups. The project will analyze cardiovascular risk in Spain and will assess a number of variables, including job type (office and manual workers have very different levels of physical activity), dietary habits, alcohol consumption and smoking, and overall daily physical activity.

The Minister for Science, Innovation, and Universities, Pedro Duque, attended the Pro CNIC Foundation Board of Trustees meeting

The Minister for Science, Innovation, and Universities, Pedro Duque, accompanied by Secretary of State for Science Pablo Martín, attended the meeting of the Pro CNIC Foundation Board of Trustees. The meeting was chaired by Pro CNIC Foundation President Luis de Carlos and provided an overview of the foundation’s activities. Pedro Duque and CNIC General Director Valentín Fuster released a joint statement in which they emphasized the need for governments to encourage private investment in scientific projects by creating the conditions to ensure the profitability of this type of enterprise and providing public funds where necessary. In his summary the Minister highlighted the importance of these measures: “There is much at stake, and the longer we delay taking the necessary measures, the harder the task will be in the future.”

Raquel Yotti, new Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) Director, visits the CNIC

The new Director of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Raquel Yotti Álvarez, was shown round the CNIC by Managing Director Alberto Sanz and Research Directors Vicente Andrés and Borja Ibáñez. Yotti, accompanied by Margarita Blázquez Herranz, Subdirector of the ISCIII Redes y Centros de Investigación Cooperativa, learned about the CNIC’s major projects and visited some of the Center’s laboratories.

Meeting with Repsol: The Future of Health, with Valentín Fuster

CNIC General Director Valentín Fuster held a meeting with REPSOL shareholders at the CNIC in an act dedicated to health promotion. The shareholders also learned about the Center’s main scientific and medical findings during an informal breakfast with Fuster and four CNIC researchers: José María Castellano, Antonio Fernández Ortiz, Pilar Martín, and Gonzalo Pizarro.


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