Valentín Fuster, Director General
Dr. Valentín Fuster, General Director of Carlos III National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC)

More than a year and a half after the appearance of Covid-19, society has realized that the only way to face a health crisis of these dimensions is to have robust health systems capable of providing a coordinated response and based on scientific evidence.

Health care systems, in addition to the availability of resources, are made up of professionals in the health field who have received the best possible training. And that is what we have been doing since 2008 at the CNIC with our global Training Plan, called CNIC-Joven, which covers all levels, from secondary education to the training of postdoctoral and young professionals.

This program is designed to bring biomedical research closer to young people and create a pool of future researchers and health professionals of excellence in the cardiovascular area.

In 2020 and 2021, the CNIC Training Plan has continued, but adapting to the situation generated by Covid-19, and a total of 11 people have been trained in the field of biomedical research through two of the CNIC programs: CNIC-Acciona Master Scholarships and Carolina BBVA CNIC Foundation Master Scholarships.

Because science should not and cannot stop, says Dr. Akiko Iwasaki: “Once we have overcome this pandemic, we cannot stop.” And not just basic research, to which she refers, but applied research that has a tangible benefit on the patient.

Science cannot and should not stop

Two good examples of applied science that we do at the CNIC are detailed in this issue of CNIC Pulse: RESILIENCE (REmote iSchemic condItioning in Lymphoma PatIents REceiving ANthraCyclinEs) and the ERC-AdG “EU-Rythmy” project, coordinated, respectively, by Dr. Borja Ibáñez and Dra. Silvia Pirori.

RESILIENCE is an ambitious project specially designed to develop a new medical intervention aimed at reducing the prevalence of chronic heart failure in cancer survivors and tries to respond to two major unresolved clinical needs in relation to cardiotoxicity associated with the use of anthracyclines, a drug commonly used to treat cancer: the lack of therapies capable of preventing or curing this condition and the absence of specific markers to identify the problem in its early stages.

ERC-AdG “EU-Rythmy” has, among others, the objective of developing a gene therapy strategy to prevent cardiac arrest in patients with arrhythmias of genetic origin, something that is extremely necessary because traditional treatments are not enough to address some of the worst diseases in the industrialized world.

These are just two examples of the work that we do daily at the CNIC and which endorses our commitment so that research can give back to society in terms of health.