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Joan Massagué voted “Catalan of the Year” by readers of El Periódico newspaper

By 25 de January de 2006No Comments
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Joan Massagué voted “Catalan of the Year” by readers of El Periódico newspaper

The researcher Joan Massagué, assistant director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), located at the Parc Científic de Barcelona, has been presented the "Catalan of 2005" Prize by the newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya. This is the first time that this popular award has been granted to a scientist. In previous years, the following people received this prize: the politician and economist Ernest Lluch, who received the award posthumously; the basketball player Pau Gasol; the chef Ferran Adrià, the member of parliament for the PSC Manuela de Madre, and the singer Joan Manuel Serrat.

Yesterday, Joan Massagué was presented the prize by the President of the Regional Government, Pasqual Maragall, during a ceremony held in the Palau de la Música Catalana.This prize, which is in its sixth year, has been granted in recognition of his contribution to progress in Catalonia and for his international trajectory.

Born in Barcelona in 1953 and son of pharmacists, Joan Massagué obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacy (Biochemistry) from the Universitat de Barcelona. An international leader in the fields of the regulation of cell division and metastasis, and with more than 250 articles published on these fields, Joan Massagué is one of the 50 most cited researchers in all scientific disciplines in the last twenty years.

His research is crucial to unravel the mechanisms that allow the arrest of cell proliferation, a process that, when dysregulated, gives rise to tumours. Furthermore, his work has led to the identification of the genes that regulate metastasis of human breast cancer cells toward other organs. This achievement opens up new fields of research into cancer. Joan Massagué currently directs the Cancer Biology and Genetics Programme at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and he is also a researcher with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in New York. Moreover, he will soon head a new oncological research programme on metastasis at the IRB, which will include the “Tumour Metastasis Research Laboratory” (METLAB).

Joan Massagué has received around thirty prizes, among which we highlight the following: Prince of Asturias Prize; King Juan Carlos I National Research Prize, and the Howard Taylor Ricketts Award. Soon he will also receive an award from the Vilcek Foundation, granted to non-USscientists working in the States, in recognition of his contribution to biomedical research.

The “Catalan of the Year” Prize is granted firstly through a public vote for 16 candidates proposed by the newspaper. Later, a committee made up public figures from political and cultural circles of Catalonia select the winner from the five that have received most votes. In this year’s edition, the committee included Antonio Franco, director of El Periódico de Catalunya; Màrius Rubiralta, rector of the Universitat de Barcelona; Juan José López Burniol, notary and president the UB Social Council; Joan Majó, director of CCRTV; Carles Duarte, president of the Fundació Lluís Carulla; Josep Lluís Bonet, president of the barcelona Trade Fair; and Oleguer Sarsanedas, director of Catalunya Ràdio.