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The prize-giving ceremony for the 2023 'Premios Constantes y Vitales' was held on Friday, October 3, at the Neptuno Palace in Madrid / Credit: Atresmedia.

Samuel Sánchez and Eduard Batlle, recognized in the 2023 ‘Constantes y Vitales’ Awards

Two ICREA researchers of the Barcelona Science Park community, Samuel Sánchez from IBEC, and Eduard Batlle from IRB Barcelona, received the 2023 ‘Constantes y Vitales’ Award in the categories “Young talent in biomedical research” and “Best scientific publication of the year “, respectively. With these awards, laSexta and the AXA Foundation want to value, support and strengthen the research and prevention work of Spanish science and scientists in the field of health. The people and initiatives distinguished in this 9th edition were announced last Friday, November 3, at the Neptuno Palace in Madrid in a ceremony presided over by the Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant.

Samuel Sánchez, leader of the IBEC Smart nano-bio-devices group, and member of the Young Academy of Spain, was honored with the Constantes y Vitales Award in the “Young talent in biomedical research” category, which includes a prize of 100,000 euros to support and ensure the continuation of the research he is currently leading.

“Thanks to the Constantes y Vitales award for granting us this visibility and enabling us to reach people. People who are watching TV today, believing in the importance of science and witnessing your support,” said Sanchez after receiving the award from Silvio González, executive vice president of Atresmedia. Furthermore, he emphasized the significance of investing in science and supporting young researchers in Spain.

Dr. Samuel Sanchez (right) received the award from Silvio González, executive vice president of Atresmedia / Crèdit: Atresmedia.

Dr. Sánchez’s research is focused on designing self-propelled nanorobots that navigate within the human body, carrying precise drug dosages, for instance, delivering them to the core of a tumor to combat cancer.

Nanorobots (self-propelled nanoparticles) are based on an extremely innovative and disruptive technology, and Samuel Sánchez’s group stands as a global leader in biomedical applications. Particularly in oncology, his research holds significant value, and the results achieved so far are very promising. The success of in vivo results solidifies nanobot technology as a novel drug delivery method with substantial potential in the field of nanomedicine by reducing side effects and hospitalization costs. More information: IBEC website [+]

Dr. Eduard Batlle, head of the Cancer Science Programme at IRB Barcelona and group leader at the CIBERONC network, and his team have been awarded for their article “Metastatic recurrence in colorectal cancer arises from residual EMP1+ cells” (DOI:,which was published in Nature in 2022. This study identifies the cells responsible for relapse in colon cancer, a significant advancement in the fight against this disease.

The research led by Dr. Batlle‘s team has enabled the identification of hidden residual tumour cells in the liver and lungs and characterized how they evolve to give rise to metastases in these organs. One of the key findings of this study is the evidence that early immunotherapy, performed before surgery, can eliminate these cells before they initiate the development of metastases, which could prevent relapses in colon cancer.

These findings open new avenues for developing therapeutic approaches and diagnostic tools that can slow the progression and improve the prognosis of a disease that affects millions of people worldwide.

Dr. Batlle received the award from Dr. María Sanz Vicente, director of Science, Strategy, and Corporate Social Responsibility at the Fundación General CSIC (FGCSIC).

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Batlle highlighted the exceptional team he has the pleasure of working with in his laboratory, with a particular emphasis on the essential contribution of the two first authors of this work, Dr. Adrià Cañellas-Socias and Dr. Carme Cortina. Furthermore, he emphasized that success in science is built upon three pillars: “firstly, talent, which fortunately abounds in Spain; secondly, resources, which, unfortunately, are insufficient, placing us at the bottom of Europe in terms of investment; and finally, in a legislative and administrative framework that facilitates research work, an area with room for improvement,” he added. More information: IRB Barcelona website [+]