Núria Montserrat, ICREA professor and group leader at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), has been awarded with the “Constantes y Vitales” Young talent award in Biomedical research during its 8th edition. These awards are aimed at recognizing, valuing, supporting and strengthening the research and preventing work of Spanish scientist in the health field in the last year.
Núria Montserrat, head of the Pluripotency for organ regeneration group, is a recognized expert in the field of organoid research. Montserrat and her team have successfully developed research dedicated to understand how to control the human pluripotent stem cell differentiation in the renal field, which in 2019 led to a great achievement: the generation of renal vascularized organoids, published in the prestigious journal Nature Materials.
The organoid or “miniorgan” production offers ever more complex research models, being very useful for understanding different pathologies. This type of tridimensional culture, derived from stem cells, presents a very similar structure and performance than real organs, which turns them into a powerful tool to test the effectivity and toxicity of drugs in a personalized manner. Proof of this is the work that Núria Montserrat developed in 2020 and that contributed to another great scientific advance, in which organoids derived from pluripotent stem cells were used for the first time to study the infection of SARS-COV-2 virus and identify molecules capable of reducing the viral load of this virus. This work was published in the journal Cell, in collaboration with international research centres, and received the award for the best biomedical publication in the 6th edition of “Constantes y Vitales”.
Her pioneering research has become an international reference in this field, for what she had received different awards, such as the “premio Nacional de Investigación” and young talent in 2021, given by the “Fundación Catalana para la investigacion y la innovacion (FCRi)” and the Government of Generalitat de Cataluña, among others.
Currently, Núria Montserrat is also a coordinator of the National Platform of Biobanks and Biomodels, a structure that allows the handling and the supply of biological samples, as well as associated clinical information, including organoids, animal models and 3D impression.
The jury verdict of the “Constantes y Vitales” awards in its eight edition was announced yesterday during the ceremony held at the “Palacio Neptuno” of Madrid and was led by the journalist Mamen Mendizábal, ambassador of the initiative, and with the attendance of the Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, and the CEO of Atresmedia, Silvio González.
This is the third year in a row that researchers of IBEC obtain the award “Constantes y Vitales”: Nuria Montserrat, award “Constantes y Vitales” to the best biomedical publication in 2020; Xavier Trepat, award to young talent in biomedical research in 2021, and Nuria Montserrat, award to young talent in biomedical research in 2022.