Skip to main content

The Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) awards funding to three researchers at IRB Barcelona




Press & Communications Section Head
Tel.+34 93 40 37255

Salvador Aznar-Benitah has received a grant in the AECC Project category.

Two postdoctoral fellowships have been awarded to researchers Magdolna Djurec and Erika López Arribillag.

Coinciding with World Cancer Research day, which is held on 24  September each year, the Spanish Association Against Cancer (Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer, AECC) has announced the research projects and scientists who have been awarded funding for the coming years, among them a project and two women scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona).

Salvador Aznar-Benitah, head of the Stem Cells and Cancer Laboratory at IRB Barcelona, is one of the beneficiaries of the funding awarded by the AECC, within the AECC Project category. The project, which will receive funding over the next three years, seeks to unravel why metastatic cells need saturated fats to be able to invade and colonize other organs.

The postdoctoral researchers Magdolna Djurec and Erika López Arribillaga, from the Stem Cells and Cancer Laboratory and Biomedical Genomics Laboratory respectively, have also each received a 4-year AECC postdoctoral fellowship.

Like Aznar-Benitah,Djurec studies the role of saturated fat during metastasis. “Understanding how certain types of fat enhance metastasis gives us the opportunity of develop new therapeutic tools with which to prevent and inhibit metastatic colonization,” explains the researcher.

López Arribillaga’s project aims to study the effect some pharmaceutical agents used in chemotherapy have on the genome of colorectal cancer cells and to draw up a “damage and repair map”. The scientist comments that “this will allow us to explore new mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapy, as well as to address possible personalised therapies”.

The fight against cancer is one of the major challenges currently faced by society. Around 50% of cancer cases are cured and the objective is to achieve a 5-year survival of 70% by 2030. To this end, the AECC has once again called for a National Cancer Research Plan.


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).