The VI Young Researchers Awards 2022 organised by the AstraZeneca Foundation in collaboration with the Carlos III Health Institute took place yesterday.  Juan Manuel Corchado, Director of the BISITE Research Group and President of the AIR Institute, along with other members of the Board of Trustees of the AstraZeneca Foundation, the Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, and other figures from the health and pharmaceutical sectors, attended the ceremony to recognise the work of the award-winning researchers.

Minister Morante highlighted the commitment to standardising advanced therapies; one of the objectives of the Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE). “Spain is already a world leader in the clinical trials of these cutting-edge therapies and, in a few years’ time, we will make these new personalised precision medications available in the public health system,” she said.

This year’ s edition was held under the slogan “Connections that change lives”, in which one million euros were awarded to the five winners. The selected projects were related to Oncology, Precision Medicine and Immuno-Oncology, Respiratory Medicine and Immunology, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism Medicine, and Vaccines and Immunotherapies. During the gala, the career of biochemist Mariano Barbacid was also recognised.

Our joy was even greater as we had the opportunity to accompany the team from the Institute of Biomedical Research of Salamanca (IBSAL) and, in particular, Mónica del Rey, who was awarded in the category of Oncology, Precision Medicine and Immuno-oncology, with the project “Germinal predisposition to myelodysplastic syndromes in adults: expanding diagnostic accuracy and evidence of pathogenicity”, coordinated by Andrés Jerez, from the Morales Meseguer University Hospital in Murcia. Also, the Murcia Institute of Biosanitary Research-Pascual Parrilla, the Cancer Research Centre of the University of Salamanca (IBSAL), the University Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, the University Clinic of Navarra and the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology in Catalonia are collaborating in this project.

Initiatives of this kind are a great way of promoting research in Spain. We have much talent and this is reflected in our position in the scientific field, not only in Europe, but also worldwide.

Posted by Juan M. Corchado

Juan Manuel Corchado (15 May 1971, Salamanca, Spain) is Professor at the University of Salamanca. He has been Vice-Rector for Research from 2013 to 2017 and Director of the Science Park of the University of Salamanca. Elected as Dean of the Faculty of Science twice, he holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Salamanca and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of the West of Scotland. He leads the renowned BISITE (Bioinformatics, Intelligent Systems and Educational Technology) Research Group, created in 2000. Director of the IoT Digital Innovation Hub and President of the AIR Institute, J. M. Corchado is also Visiting Professor at the Osaka Institute of Technology since January 2015, Visiting Professor at the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Member of the Advisory Group on Online Terrorist Propaganda of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (EUROPOL). J. M. Corchado has been president of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society, and academic coordinator of the University Institute for Research in Art and Animation Technology at the University of Salamanca, as well as researcher at the Universities of Paisley (UK), Vigo (Spain) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK). He currently combines all his activity with the direction of Master programmes in Security, Digital Animation, Mobile Telephony, Information Systems Management, Internet of Things, Social Media, 3D Design and Printing, Blockchain, Z System, Industry 4.0, Agile Project Management, and Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings, at the University of Salamanca and his work as editor-in-chief of the journals ADCAIJ (Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal), OJCST (Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology) or Electronics MDPI (Computer Science & Engineering section). J. M. Corchado mainly works on projects related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Fog Computing, Edge Computing, Smart Cities, Smart Grids and Sentiment Analysis. He has recently been included in the board of trustees of the AstraZeneca Foundation, along with other health professionals and researchers recognised for bringing scientific knowledge closer to society.