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Dr. Cristina Mayor-Ruiz, Group Leader at IRB Barcelona, ​​winner of the 60th Anniversary Farmaindustria Young Researchers Award



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  • Born in Soria (Spain) in 1989, she studied Biotechnology and obtained the Extraordinary Doctorate Award. Her reseach is focused on the discovery of new drugs to stop cancer, with a novel therapeutic approach.
  • The jury highlighted her impeccable academic and scientific development, her translational approach, her projection, and her leadership capacity, making her a role model for future generations of researchers.
  • The Evaluation Committee awarded four other young researchers second prizes in acknowledgement of their merits in the field of preclinical and translational research.


The members of the Evaluation Committee of the 60th Anniversary Farmaindustria Young Researchers Award have given the honour to Dr. Cristina Mayor-Ruiz for “her impeccable academic and scientific development, her translational approach and the disruptiveness of her research in the search for new treatments for different types of cancer”.


Dr. Mayor-Ruiz (Soria, 1989) leads the Targeted Protein Degradation and Drug Discovery research group at IRB Barcelona focused on drug discovery through the targeted degradation of proteins, an innovative approach that offers solutions to attack previously unreachable therapeutic targets and to overcome resistance to traditional therapies.


The jury took into account her remarkable academic career, with honours in her Biotechnology degree and an Extraordinary Doctorate Award. Likewise, Dr. Cristina Mayor-Ruiz has received two highly prestigious European fellowships, namely from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and a Marie Curie Fellowship, which she used to carry out postdoctoral research at the CeMM, in Vienna (Austria).


Dr. Mayor-Ruiz has secured international funding for her work worth more than €2M, and her postdoctoral research gave rise to the foundation of a biotech company of degrading drugs.


Furthermore, her leadership capacity and commitment to creating collaborative and multidisciplinary work environments have been given special mention, which make her a great role model for current and future generations of researchers.


“I sincerely thank Farmaindustria for this recognition, which serves as motivation for our entire team. Thank you very much for supporting the work of young researchers!”, states Dr. Mayor-Ruiz.


The Evaluation Committee announced the winner after an intense deliberation session focused on the 20 finalists and in which four second prizes were also awarded to the profiles with the greatest merits, namely the following researchers:


Dr. Arnau Busquets García, from the Hospital del Mar Research Institute, for his research in the field of neuroscience and cannabinoid drugs.


Dr. Pilar Domingo Calap, from the Institute of Integrative Systems Biology (i2SysBio), a joint centre of the Higher Center for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the University of Valencia. Her research focuses on the use of phages as a biomedical tool against resistant bacteria Her outreach engagement and translational approach have been highlighted by the jury for the award of the second prize.


Dr. Bruno David Lourenço Paiva, from the Clínica Universidad de Navarra and the Applied Medical Research Centre of the University of Navarra, for his research on hematology and monoclonal gammopathies, with a special focus on multiple myeloma.


Dr. Alfonso de Oyarzábal Sanz, from the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona, ​​whose research centres on the search for pharmacological treatments for neurodevelopmental diseases, most of which are rare. His work has led to several clinical trials in pediatric diseases such as Rett syndrome.


The jury underscored the difficulty in choosing the winners from among the 20 finalists and the 113 applications received, all of them outstanding and thus reflecting the great pool of young talent present in biomedical research in Spain. Farmaindustria has received applications from 14 of the 17 autonomous communities, with a large female representation (66%).


Created in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Farmaindustria, this award is an example of the Association's commitment and responsibility to the future of biomedical research in Spain.


The award is endowed with €40,000, 20% of which will be received directly by the winner and the remaining 80% goes to support their ongoing research projects. The funding will be transferred to the institution through which the winner manages her R&D&I activities.


The award ceremony for the first prize and four second prizes took place on 18 April during the Association's 60th Anniversary gala at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid.


About IRB Barcelona

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) pursues a society free of disease. To this end, it conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence to cure cancer and other diseases linked to ageing. It establishes technology transfer agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and major hospitals to bring research results closer to society, and organises a range of science outreach activities to engage the public in an open dialogue. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 researchers and more than 30 nationalities. Recognised as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence since 2011, IRB Barcelona is a CERCA centre and member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).