The Journal of the American College of Cardiology garlands the CNIC author of a PESA-CNIC-SANTANDER study

10 Apr 2024
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  • El Dr. Valentín Fuster con la Dra. Guiomar Mendieta

Guiomar Mendieta has been awarded the 2023 William W. Parmley Young Author Achievement Award for a paper published in JACC that is considered to an outstanding contribution in the field of atherosclerosis

The researcher Guiomar Mendieta has received the 2023  William W. Parmley Young Author Achievement Award for the paper Determinants of Progression and Regression of Subclinical Atherosclerosis over 6 Years,, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) in November 2023. The study was led by Dr.Valentín Fuster, Director General of the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) and Dr.  Borja Ibáñez, CNIC Scientific Director, a cardiologist at Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz, and a member of the Spanish cardiovascular research network (CIBERCV).

The study shows that young people may be more susceptible to the damaging effect of risk factors that promote atherosclerosis. Specifically, the results indicate that younger people are more vulnerable to the detrimental effects of 2 key risk factors: high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The William W. Parmley Award, named in honor of former JACC Editor-in-Chief Dr. William W. Parmley, recognizes papers published in JACC whose lead authors are completing their PhD.

Papers are evaluated on the basis of originality, methodology, presentation, and importance. The award commends not only Guiomar Mendieta but also the research program she works on, PESA-CNIC-SANTANDER.

"William Parmley was a pioneering innovator in cardiovascular research," said Valentín Fuster, who is also the current Editor-in-Chief of JACC. "I am proud that JACC continues to celebrate his legacy by recognizing emerging researchers, as well as their mentors and institutional research programs."

The PESA study has already made a very important contribution to our knowledge of cardiovascular disease and is considered the most advanced in this field

The PESA-CNIC-Santander study (Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis) began in 2009 and is the result of close partnership between the CNIC and Banco Santander. More than 4000 apparently healthy middle-aged volunteers from Banco Santander in Madrid participate in a comprehensive noninvasive imaging study in which different arterial territories (the carotid, femoral, and coronary arteries and the aorta) are examined at 3-year intervals. Blood samples are also collected for advanced studies in areas such as genomic medicine, proteomics, and metabolomics. "The PESA study has already made a very important contribution to our knowledge of cardiovascular disease and is considered the most advanced in this field," said Dr. Fuster. With this award, PESA-CNIC-Santander has received further international recognition.

Dr. Mendieta is a beneficiary of the CARDIOJOVEN SEC-CNIC training program, a joint program funded equally by the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC) and the CNIC. She is currently a Clinical Cardiologist and Fellow in Advanced Cardiac Imaging at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and a Clinical Scientist at IDIBAPS in Barcelona. She received her medical degree from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and completed her residency in cardiology at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. She defended her doctoral thesis in 2020 based on basic and translational research. For the past 3 years, she has completed a Master's in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London and conducted clinical research at CNIC in combination with clinical practice at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.

The goal of the CARDIOJOVEN SEC-CNIC is to establish the profile of the cardiologist–researcher through specific training in statistics and methodology, clinical and translational research, and the latest basic research techniques used in cardiovascular biomedicine, all focused on the specialty of cardiology. The program seeks to train future research cardiologists who will be integrated into a network formed by national hospitals and the CNIC.

CARDIOJOVEN SEC-CNIC is part of the CNIC Training Plan, a comprehensive program covering all levels from secondary education to the training of postdoctoral fellows and young professionals. The CNIC Training Plan is designed to bring biomedical research closer to young people and to create a pool of researchers of excellence in the cardiovascular area. "Training is one of the CNIC’s core activities," said Dr. Ibáñez.

The William W. Parmley Award is also an endorsement of the research plan linked to the CNIC’s status as a Severo Ochoa center of excellence, added Dr. Ibáñez, because "it shares the same emphasis on training, clinical–basic collaboration, and internationalization that secured the Severo Ochoa award.” This Spanish research award provides funding and accreditation to public research centers and units, in any scientific area, that demonstrate an impact and scientific leadership at an international level and that actively collaborate with their social and business environment.