The Jury of Banco Sabadell Foundation for Biomedical Research has chosen Dr. Núria López Bigas as the winner of the 2016 prize. In this eleventh edition a total of 53 candidates applied, with profiles ranging from basic, clinical and epidemiological research. The aim of this Award is to reward the trajectory of a young scientist who has developed her career in Spain and has promising future prospects. The €50,000 prize is recognised in the academic environment as one of the most important awards conceded in Spain in the field of health sciences.
The jury has decided to award this prize to Dr. López Bigas for her contribution to the development of new bioinformatics methods to study cancer genomes. Her work has opened up new doors for the classification cancer patients depending upon the mutations of their tumours, and thus advancing in the implementation of individual therapies which are tailored to each patient.
The work carried out in Dr. López-Bigas’ laboratory has been pioneer in the development of computational methods to identify genomic alterations present in the mechanisms of cancer. In collaboration with the main international consortiums the group has analysed the genomes of thousands of tumours to create a catalogue of genes directly responsible for the most common types of cancer, thus contributing to a greater understanding of the biology of the illness, with the aim of developing new therapies specifically based on the characteristics of each tumour. Recently, Dr. López Bigas’ group has described how the proteins that join DNA interfere in the DNA cellular recovery processes, leading to the accumulation of mutations in these areas of the genomes.
More information about Dr. Nuria López-Bigas
Dr. López-Bigas has a degree in Biology from the University of Barcelona. She is currently working as a research professor at Fundación ICREA at the Pompeu Fabra University, where she has her own laboratory dedicated to the investigation of cancer genomes. She started her research career at Dr Estivill’s laboratory in Barcelona. She has worked as a researcher at the European Institute of Bioinformatics in Cambridge (United Kingdom), at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CGR) in Barcelona, where she had the opportunity to participate in the pilot phase of the ENCODE project and other projects related to the genome computer, and in the laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge (United Kingdom). She has been awarded several scholarships and prizes and has almost 100 publications. She participates in different international consortiums, amongst them, the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and the Cancer Genome Atlas (CGAT).