Last Friday (19 November), the Palau de Les Arts in Valencia hosted the presentation of the Rei Jaume I Awards.
Dr. Eduard Batlle, head of the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory at IRB Barcelona, ICREA researcher and group leader of CIBER Cancer (CIBERONC), received the Rei Jaume I Award for Medical Research from government authorities and the Spanish Royal Family, in acknowledgment of his pioneering research on the immunology of colorectal cancer.
In the words of Dr. Batlle, "The final objective of the research in our laboratory at IRB Barcelona is to obtain information that allows the design of new therapeutic and diagnostic tools that can benefit patients."
The laboratory led by Dr. Batlle studies cancer from two angles: the evolution of cancer stem cells and their interaction with the environment during the progression of the disease. Specifically, it seeks to reveal how these aspects facilitate the development of metastasis.
His group recently discovered a mechanism involved in the exclusion of the immune system from the core of tumours, a situation that is responsible for the poor response to treatments that aim to enhance the eradication of tumours through patients’ immune systems. Blocking this mechanism can dramatically increase the success rate of these therapies in many types of cancer.
The Rei Jaume I Awards were created in 1989 to bring science and companies closer together for the promotion of research, scientific development and entrepreneurship in Spain.
These awards are granted to people whose work is highly significant and has been developed for the most part in Spain. The awards are presented annually and each honoree receives a gold medal, a diploma, and €100,000. Upon receiving this sum, the honoree commits to reinvesting part of it in research and entrepreneurship in Spain.
About IRB Barcelona
Created in 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) and University of Barcelona, IRB Barcelona is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence, a seal that was awarded in 2011. The institute is devoted to conducting research of excellence in biomedicine and to transferring results to clinical practice, thus improving people’s quality of life, while simultaneously promoting the training of outstanding researchers, technology transfer, and public communication of science. Its 27 laboratories and eight core facilities address basic questions in biology and are orientated to diseases such as cancer, metastasis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and rare conditions. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 employees and more than 30 nationalities. It is located in the Barcelona Science Park. IRB Barcelona is a CERCA center, and a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).