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The Spanish Red Cross awards its Gold Medal to IRB Barcelona's Colorectal Cancer laboratory




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Dr. Eduard Batlle, group leader, and Dr. Elena Sancho, associate researcher, receive the award from Her Majesty the Queen of Spain, on behalf of the entire team.

World Red Cross Day was celebrated on Tuesday 30 May in Spain with the presentation of the Spanish Red Cross 2023 Gold Medals. The Colorectal Cancer laboratory, led by ICREA researcher Dr. Eduard Batlle at IRB Barcelona, has been recognised for its important contributions to cancer research. In this regard, the Red Cross has highlighted the discovery and characterisation of the cells responsible for causing colon cancer metastases. This finding was published last year in the journal Nature.

The award ceremony took place at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid and was attended by representatives of the Government of Spain, figures from some of the most significant associations in the non-profit sector, representatives of the army and civil society, and Her Majesty Queen Letizia. On behalf of the entire team, Dr. Eduard Batlle, and Dr. Elena Sancho, associate researcher in the same laboratory, received the Gold Medal from Her Majesty.

In addition to IRB Barcelona's cancer research, the Spanish Red Cross has recognised the following: the Ukrainian Red Cross for the commendable response work it is doing in the context of the conflict in their country; the Sociedad Española de Geriatría y Gerontología (Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology) on its 75th anniversary as one of the largest and most active European societies working for active and healthy ageing; the Brigadas de Refuerzo en Incendios Forestales (Forest Fire Reinforcement Brigades), which last year faced one of the most intense periods on record regarding the extinguishing and prevention of fires, and Ethic magazine, a media outlet that arose in 2011 with the mission to address social and environmental challenges through journalism with a critical and constructive spirit.

“It's an honour to receive this award. In our line of work, we greatly identify with the principles of Humanity and Universality of the Red Cross because we pursue knowledge about cancer so that one day we can provide patients with solutions, and because this disease affects all countries and all ethnic groups. If we can cure cancer one day, it will benefit patients worldwide,” said Dr. Batlle, also a group leader within the cancer CIBER network (CIBERONC).


World Red Cross Day

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is held on 8 May in the 192 countries in which the Red Cross operates. This year, on 30 May, the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid hosted the main celebration of this day.

The organisation explains that the central theme of this year's commemoration is “We Do It From the Heart”. It is focused on people in communities, “the person next door”, who is often the first to step up and support those in need around them. It could be someone in our place of work, a neighbourhood salesperson, a Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteer, someone at our gym, store or market, or someone who lives nearby who has always been there for us.


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).