Barcelona, 28 January 2015. Today marks an important date in the diary for Joan Seoane, Director of Translational Research at VHIO and ICREA Professor. At the prestigious annual award ceremony organized and hosted by the illustrious University of Salamanca, Joan will be presented with the IV Premio Nacional Doctores Diz Pintado, a prize honoring outstanding contributions made by young, upcoming thought-leaders in the oncology field.

This year´s prize acknowledges the important milestones marked by Joan´s pioneering translational research in cancer. Spanning over a decade, his efforts at VHIO have centered on both achieving a better understanding of the molecular basis of cancer as well as studying the clinical affect of novel agents and combinatorial therapies in patient-derived tumors; animal models generated to faithfully recapitulate the tumor of the patient at genomic and gene expression levels.

Commenting on this most recent accolade, to now list among other previous awards of prestige including the Dr. Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award and a European Research Council (ERC) Grant, Joan says, “I am deeply honored and privileged to receive this prize. Such high recognition at national level further motivates me to accelerate the translation of preclinical discovery at research level into improved treatment and cancer care at clinical level”.

He continues, “The secret behind the swift translational and application of cancer science and medicine is the two-way collaboration and dialect between scientists and physician-researchers in a multidisciplinary setting. It is thanks to such teamwork that translational science and clinical research at VHIO are tightly connected, enabling us to deliver on the promise of precision medicine for an increasing number of our patients”.

Specializing in glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive of all brain tumors, Joan has made significant contribution to better understanding the molecular mechanisms implicated in cancer stem cells – the enemies responsible for tumor initiation, maintenance, recurrence and resistance to current therapies. In so doing, his research has also been key in developing personalized therapies aimed at eliminating these cells, thereby preventing recurrence of the tumor and resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

His ground breaking studies, published in the most prestigious journals including Cancer Cell, and Nature Medicine, have contributed to the clinical development of compound inhibitors that act as anti-tumor agents in brain cancer. This anti-cancer weaponry is currently being used as an experimental treatment under clinical development at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital.

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For more information please contact: Amanda Wren, Communication Manager, the Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Tel. +34 695 207 886, Email: awren@vhio.net