The Kings of Spain visit the CNIC

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10 Feb 2017
About the CNIC
Research

Dr. Valentín Fuster, General Director of CNIC and Luis de Carlos, President of the Board of Trustees of the Pro CNIC Foundation, explained to Their Majesties some of CNIC’s and Pro CNIC Foundation’s most important research projects

Their Majesties the King and Queen visited the Carlos III National Cardiovascular Research Center (CNIC) accompanied by Dolors Montserrat, Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality; Carmen Vela, President of the Board of Trustees of CNIC and Secretary of State of Research, Development and Innovation, and Jesús F. Crespo, Vice-president of the Board of Trustees of CNIC and Director of Carlos III Health Center. Their Majesties got to know about the most relevant investigations that are taking place at this center of excellence, thanks to the explanations Dr. Valentín Fuster, General Director of CNIC and Luis de Carlos, President of the Board of Trustees of the Pro CNIC Foundation.

Their Majesties met with the representatives of the 14 companies and institutions that through the Pro CNIC Foundation have achieved that since 2006 CNIC has become a leading institution worldwide, as demonstrated by its renewal as one of the “Centers of Excellence of Severo Ochoa”. At the meeting, Dr. Valentín Fuster, General Director of CNIC, was also present. He explained the current situation of the center, whose financing is guaranteed until 2020, with a contribution of 100 million euros in this period.

The Pro CNIC Foundation is made up of a group of companies that in 20005 signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health, where they committed to financing the center. The agreement also included the incorporation of the prestigious cardiologist Valentin Fuster to lead this ambitious scientific project. As a result, CNIC became the first elite research center in Spain articulated through a Foundation that combines public and private, in both funding and management. On one hand, economically, providing more than 20% of the total budget in these last years, and on the other hand, with its participation in the management of the Center through its Board of Trustees and Executive Commission.”

Social Commitment

Furthermore, added Luis de Carlos, the contribution of the companies not only means a firm commitment to R&D, but also “a firm commitment to an issue of great social interest: the health and quality of life of the Spanish people”. De Carlos underlined how the stable funding that the Foundation gives to CNIC allows research to be planned on a long-term basis and permits investing in training during all stages of the research career.

Among the numerous initiatives that the CNIC has conducted with the collaboration of the Pro CNIC Foundation and that have a measurable impact on the health of the Spanish population, and of course its economy, four were highlighted: the development of the Pollypill; the study of the Metocard that revolutionized the action protocols for heart attacks; the study of PESA, and the development of a new software that will substantially reduce the time necessary to capture an image in an MRI scan.

Furthermore, in these last years, the Pro CNIC Foundation has also contributed to the improvement of health in citizens by promoting healthy habits. “In all the companies that are sponsored by Pro CNIC, Comprehensive Health Plans that have favorably impacted employees and their families, have been put into operation, under the supervision of Dr. Fuster.  Pro CNIC has also approached society with more general campaigns such as “Women for the Heart”, that her Majesty the Queen knows very well, or launching mobile applications such as “The Circle of Health” with healthy tips and challenges.”

On his part, Dr. Valentín Fuster highlighted that thanks to this funding formula, it has been possible to develop a global training plan, called CNIC-JOVEN, which brings biomedical research closer to young people and allows the creation of a quarry of researchers of excellence in the cardiovascular field. He also mentioned the use of “applied medicine” as one of the significant features of the CNIC and how important it is for the private sector to support the work of centers like CNIC, a “paradigmatic model of private-public collaboration”.

Their Majesties and the rest of the authorities visited the laboratories of the center and were able to speak to three research group leaders from CNIC, Ana Dopazo, Jacob Fog and Enrique Lara, in order to know first-hand some of these projects that are being conducted at CNIC.

Finally, Their Majesties, attended a scientific debate called “Cardiovascular Research Excellence in Spain”. Also present were the three winners of the Princess of Girona Foundation Award in Scientific Research of CNIC Dr. Borja Ibáñez, Dr. Guadalupe Sabio and Dr. Rui Benedito, as well as CNIC investigators Pilar Martin, Almudena Ramiro and David Sancho.