David Sancho wins the 28th Carmen and Severo Ochoa Award for Research in Molecular Biology

31 Oct 2023
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  • David Sancho

Dr Sancho heads the CNIC Immunobiology Laboratory, whose work focuses on research into the function of dendritic cells and macrophages, as key immune cells that modulate immunity and inflammation, and the use of these cells in immunotherapy in a wide range of diseases

Dr David Sancho Madrid, researcher at the Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC), has won the Fundación Carmen y Severo Ochoa’s 23rd Carmen and Severo Ochoa Award for Research in Molecular Biology, presented to scientists who undertake their work in Spain, in recognition of their research work in the field of molecular biology.

Dr Sancho leads the  CNIC’s Immunobiology Laboratory, whose work focuses on researching the molecular mechanisms regulating the function of dendritic cells and macrophages as the key immune sentinels that initiate and modulate immunity, inflammation and tolerance. From the knowledge gained, new strategies can be identified to control the function of these cells and enable their use in immunotherapy for many diseases that have an immune component, including infectious diseases, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases or cancer.

Dr Sancho’s laboratory has secured prestigious research grants from major European funding programmes, such as the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant and the ERC Consolidator Grant  —endowed with 1.5 and 2 million euros respectively—. This CNIC researcher, who has taken postdoctoral positions at the London Research Institute (Cancer Research UK) also holds a PhD in molecular biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the National Prize in Biology.

“It is a great honour to receive this award in on behalf of my research group. This prize is for the whole laboratory because science, now more than ever, is about teamwork. That’s why we work with other CNIC scientific groups, and with national and international groups on the application of our research in disease models. Progress is only the result of cooperative work”, asserts Dr Sancho, who defines being able to use immunotherapy to successfully tackle diseases with an immune component as “a motivation” and “a dream”.

The jury of the 23rd Carmen and Severo Ochoa Award for Research in Molecular Biology consisted of the president of the Fundación Carmen y Severo Ochoa, Regina Revilla Pedreira; the vice president Nombela Arrieta; the general secretary, César de Haro Castella; members Luis Blanco Dávila, Carlos López Otín, Isabel Fariñas Gómez, Elena Bendala Tufanisco; and the representative of the Vegal Group, Antonio Velasco Ibáñez.  In awarding the prize, the jury valued Dr Sancho’s work in the context of both his current progress and the body of his research work.

This award has been given annually since its creation in 1994 and has a value of 12,000 euros.