The FERO Foundation awards Dr. Alicia González Martín with the XXXIII Beca FERO

The FERO Foundation awards Dr. Alicia González Martín with the XXXIII Beca FERO

The FERO Foundation has awarded the prestigious Beca FERO to the researcher Alicia González Martín of the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Alberto Sols, IIBM (CSIC-UAM) in its XXIII Edition on the basis of her scientific career and the quality of the project presented

The project deserving the Beca FERO aims to explore the potential use of microRNAs (miRNAs) as new targets to enhance cancer immunotherapies

The award was presented on Monday, November 14, in Madrid, during a gala presided over by the president of the Foundation, Sol Daurella, which included a charity dinner attended by 400 people.

The FERO Foundation has awarded the prestigious Beca FERO, sponsored by ANDBANK, to researcher Alicia González-Martín in its XXIII Edition based on her scientific career and quality of the proposed research project. This grant aims to fund translational oncology research projects of young researchers from institutions or national research centers of excellence, with the aim of promoting the rapid translation of scientific advances to patients. The award-winning project aims to explore the potential use of a type of non-coding RNA, microRNAs (miRNAs), as new targets to improve cancer immunotherapies.

Decades of basic research in tumor immunology have enabled the development of cancer immunotherapies, which harness the power of our immune system to eliminate a wide variety of tumors. These therapies have achieved efficient and durable tumor remissions in some patients, but many others respond poorly or not at all to current strategies. This implies the need to identify new therapeutic targets to enhance antitumor immune responses in those patients who do not respond efficiently to current treatments. Most of the research in tumor immunology has focused on protein-coding genes. "However, protein-coding genes represent less than 2% of the human genome and the role of non-coding RNAs in this process remains largely unexplored. MiRNAs are attractive targets for enhancing antitumor immunity due to their ability to potently control immune cell function, by simultaneously limiting the expression of a network of protein-coding target genes" – explains Dr. Gonzalez-Martin.

In this project, the team led by the researcher will explore the potential therapeutic use of a microRNA to improve the immune response against lung cancer in preclinical models. Moreover, they will perform studies to identify the target genes through which it exerts its antitumoral function, which, in turn, could serve as additional therapeutic targets to potentiate antitumor immunity. "We are grateful to the FERO Foundation and ANDBANK for their support of our project. Thanks to them we will be able to advance this translational line of research in the laboratory. The FERO Foundation also performs an outstanding job in organizing scientific activities with all awardees of this Beca FERO to promote synergies between different laboratories that accelerate translational cancer research. It is an honor and a privilege to participate in these activities and I look forward to attending the next FERO Scientific Retreat that will take place this December in Zaragoza" - concludes Dr. González Martín.



In the photo is Dr. Alicia González Martín with two other winners of this XXIII edition, the president of the Foundation, Sol Daurella, and other relevant cancer researchers such as Dr. Luis Paz-Ares, who is also a member of the Jury.

In this edition there have been 36 research projects presented, 26 for the FERO Grants and 10 for the FERO Project. For fourteen years the FERO Foundation has sought to promote the development of translational oncology research. The jury of the FERO Fellowships are 12 top researchers in the field of oncology in Spain, led by Dr. Andrés Cervantes, head of the Medical Oncology Service at the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valencia and president of the jury of the Fellowships. Also participating are Dr. Josep Tabernero, director of the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO); Dr. Akaitz Carracedo, Ikerbasque researcher at CIC bioGUNE; Dr. Luis Paz Ares, head of the Medical Oncology Service at the Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid, and Dr. Ana Lluch, coordinator of the Breast Cancer Biology Research Group at the INCLIVA Health Research Institute in Valencia, among others.

The IIBM congratulates Dr. Alicia González Martín for this well-deserved award. The IIBM is proud to have such outstanding young researchers.

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