Minister Subirats is committed to taking advantage of the Cajal Year to strengthen scientific research in Spain

The Minister for Universities, Joan Subirats, has opted to take advantage of the celebration of the Cajal Year to reinforce scientific research in Spain and highlight the “good moment” that the country is experiencing in this area.

In this sense, it has supported this first call for research grants promoted by the Cajal Chair of the University of Zaragoza, an act that it has presided over together with the rector of the Aragonese academic institution, José Antonio Mayoral.

“A few weeks ago we inaugurated, with the Minister of Science, Diana Morant, at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, the Cajal Year”, which will last for more than twelve months, he pointed out, “in which all the activities linked to the memory of a figure that is not only significant from the scientific point of view, but also for its humanism and its artistic quality».

The minister added that the Nobel Prize in Medicine Santiago Ramón y Cajal was “in many parts of Spain”, where “he left an important legacy”.

For his part, the rector of the University of Zaragoza, José Antonio Mayoral, who presided over the event and was also accompanied by the Minister of Health of the Government of Aragon, Sira Repollés, and the director of the Cajal Chair, Carlos Martín Montañés , has stressed that it is an act framed in the 170th anniversary of the birth of the Nobel Prize, who is also for the UZ “our most illustrious student, professor and director of our Anatomical Museums”, he has recalled.

Likewise, it has announced that the Espacio Cajal of this university is expected to be in operation in the autumn of next year, and the celebration of a photo exhibition on the Nobel Prize will also be announced at that time.


The research grants awarded by the Cajal Chair in its first edition have been awarded to Nahla Jemni Damer, for her project ‘Implantable micro-bioreactors of probiotic bacteria for engineering and in situ administration of therapeutic molecules-Development of a novel medical treatment and of high precision for age-related macular degeneration’ and for Maialen Sebastián de la Cruz for his project ‘RNA memory: Epitranscriptomics as a link between viral infections and autoimmunity’. Both will receive 40,000 euros to promote these projects.

The first will be developed at the Biomedical Technology Center of the Polytechnic University of Madrid and the second with the Functional Studies in Immune Disorders research group of the University of the Basque Country. They have been chosen among 250 candidates.

The jury has pointed out the originality and innovation in the ideas of both projects, as well as the profile and curriculum of the two winners.

act of delivery

The award ceremony began with a welcome from the rector and a brief intervention by the director of the chair, to present the objectives of these grants. Later, Santiago Ramón y Cajal Agüeras, great-grandnephew of the Nobel Prize, gave the conference ‘Implementation of precision medicine. Perspectives and challenges’.

In the talk, he has detailed what is meant by precision medicine, mainly in the field of oncology, and has outlined the ways to achieve the greatest excellence in the diagnosis of tumor pathology, as well as some advances and perspectives in treatment.

Afterwards, the two winning projects have been revealed and the winners have received an accrediting diploma from the rector and the Minister of Universities. Finally, Mayoral, Subirats and the Minister of Health have intervened.

cajal chair

The Cajal Chair was born last April, created by the University of Zaragoza, together with the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Foundation, the Merck Salud Foundation and the Spanish Society of Pathological Anatomy Foundation, and with Janssen as a collaborating entity.

Its priorities are promoting the most innovative research in biomedical sciences, disseminating the life and work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal and his disciples, and developing a practical training policy for university students and human health professionals.

It is directed by Carlos Martín Montañés, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Zaragoza, and has a scientific committee chaired by Santiago Ramón y Cajal Agüeras, Professor of Pathological Anatomy at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​as well as the great-grandnephew of the Nobel Prize.

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Minister Subirats is committed to taking advantage of the Cajal Year to strengthen scientific research in Spain