Researcher Andrés Hidalgo presents his work awarded with the Fundación Caja Rural Granada Health Sciences Prize

The president of the Caja Rural Granada Foundation, Antonio León, gave a press conference this Friday with the researcher Andrés Hidalgo, winner of the 18th Caja Rural Granada Foundation Health Sciences Prize for his work “Mapping the immune behaviors of inflammation” of the Carlos III Cardiovascular Research Center Group (CNIC).

En la comparison, celebrated de forma previa a la entrega del Premio que tendrá lugar en la tarde de este viernes a las 20:00 horas en el Auditorio de la Entidad, también han estado presentes la Directora de la Fundación PTS, Ana Agudo, – that collaborated with el Premio, y los miembros del jurado Ignacio Molina, Catedrático del Departamento de Bioquímica Molecular e Inmunología de la UGR, Elena González-Rey, del Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicine López-Neyra y Francisco Cepero, Head of the Medical Service of the Financial entity.

In his speech, Antonio León congratulated the researcher, recently incorporated as a professor in the Department of Immunobiology at Yale University in the United States, whose rigorous work shows that “in our country we have magnificent professionals in enormous prestige whose work is recognized, admired and applauded. within the international scientific community.

Likewise, he stressed the importance of granting this recognition, which is part of the Entity’s commitment to actively contribute to improving the quality of life, the social, economic and environmental condition of its environment. . “At Caja Rural Granada we are clear that our responsibility goes far beyond providing good financial service to customers, partners and society,” said Antonio León, who believes that ” with this award, we try to support research that has a positive impact on people.
For her part, Ana Agudo, thanked the Fundación Caja Rural Granada for continuing to “bet on science and research and trusting the Health Technology Park as a collaborator to make this award a reality, which is a incentive for research that needs all the support”.

Ignacio Molina detailed the keys by which this research was successful. After emphasizing the quality of “the works presented”, he specified that “the jury was particularly impressed by “the complexity of the winning work and its interdisciplinarity”. “Artificial intelligence has played a very important role in obtaining this award, but also in the potential to transfer the results to an eventual clinical application which we all hope will happen very soon.”

Finally, Andrés Hidalgo expressed his deep gratitude to the Fundación Caja Rural Granada for its commitment to research with an award that “also helps us to convey to society the importance of continuing research because of the impact it generates”. Likewise, he assured that research is professional work, which does not always mean hours, and that it needs “this support so that we can continue to do what we are most passionate about”.

pioneering research

The research Mapping the immune behaviors of inflammation, published in the prestigious journal Nature, discovered a new way to describe immune cells during the process of inflammation in living organisms. This is a milestone of great scientific importance given that, as Andrés Hidalgo explains, “inflammation as a protective response of the organism in situations of damage or stress presents both advantages and disadvantages”.

“Despite the fact that inflammation is a protective immune response, unfortunately, when it occurs in the wrong place or at the wrong time, the harm outweighs the benefit”, details Hidalgo, recalling that “misdirected inflammation is ultimately responsible for more than half of the deaths in the world.”It is fundamentally aggravated in the event of a heart attack, stroke or Covid”, he specifies.

For this reason, “understanding the most intimate details of this process” is the goal of hundreds of biomedical laboratories around the world and of the group he leads at CNIC. “By examining these cells under a high-resolution microscope and applying new computational tools, we are now able to understand the role of each cell in this process, as well as some of the molecules involved in inflammatory diseases, so that we can intervene in benefit of the organism,” added Hidalgo.

Thus, for this researcher, the greatest satisfaction of this study lies in the fact that “deepen the most basic knowledge on the real functioning of immune cells can benefit thousands of patients. “It is one of the greatest satisfactions of our work”, detailed Hidalgo who, in the same way, showed his gratitude for an award which is a real revulsion to continue “investigating”.

Quality of the works presented

In total, in this edition of the 18th Caja Rural Granada Foundation Health Sciences Prize, almost twenty works have been submitted to qualify for this recognition, endowed with 25,000 euros, fully consolidated and which has acquired extraordinary prestige. to the scientific community.

The Fundación Caja Rural Granada co-organizes this award with the Fundación Pública Andaluza Parque Tecnológico de la Salud and has the collaboration of the Junta de Andalucía, the University of Granada and the medical and pharmaceutical associations of Granada. The theme revolves around regenerative medicine and gene therapy, molecular oncology and genomics of cancer, genomics, proteomics and pharmacogenomics, immunology and immunopathology, molecular parasitology, neurosciences, nutrition, nutrigenomics and molecular endocrinology, biotechnology and new therapeutic targets or pathologies cardiovascular.

On this occasion, the committee of experts was made up of representatives of the organizing and collaborating institutions: Ignacio Molina (Biomedical Research Center of Granada), Lourdes Núñez (Andalusian Public Foundation for the Health Technology Park, co-organizing entity of the with Fundación Caja Rural Granada), Javier Martín and Elena González-Rey (López-Neyra Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine), Jorge Fernández (College of Physicians of Granada), Fernando Martínez (College of Pharmacists of Granada), Francisco Cepero ( Granada Rural Fund) and María Eugenia Penela (Junta de Andalucía).

About the researcher

Andrés Hidalgo graduated in CC. Biology from the Autonomous University of Madrid in 1993, and obtained his doctorate from the same university in 1999 after working on the control of hematopoietic adhesion in the laboratory of Dr. Joaquín Teixidó (Biological Research Center, Madrid). In 2000, he moved to New York, where he focused on understanding the migration processes of leukocytes and hematopoietic stem cells, as well as inflammatory processes, in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Frenette (Mount Sinai School of Medicine ). After obtaining a reincorporation contract from Ramón y Cajal, he joined the Department of Atherothrombosis, Imaging and Epidemiology at CNIC as a junior researcher in 2008. Andrés is currently a professor in the Cardiovascular Regeneration Program at CNIC and in the University’s Department of Immunobiology. from Yale in the United States.

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