Skip to main content

In recognition of his research in colon cancer, scientist Eduard Batlle, ICREA researcher at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Barcelona, was awarded last night with the 5th annual Banc Sabadell prize, for which he will receive 50,000 euros.The prize was awarded by Josep Oliu, the Bank’s president, at a ceremony held at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, in Barcelona.

Since 2005, Batlle has served as coordinator of the Oncology Program and Head of the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory at the IRB Barcelona. His group develops and explores new animal and cellular models of colorectal cancer, aiming to design new tools for diagnosing and treating this malady.

The Batlle group works in three research lines. The first comprises identifying and distinguishing intestinal stem cells from colorectal cancer stem cells to elucidate the relationship between cellular renovation of the intestinal epithelium and onset of the disease. This work is funded by the European Research Council (ERC), through a five-year ERC Starting Grant totaling more than 1.5 million euros. The second line of investigation is to identify suppressors of malignant colorectal tumors. Finally, in the third area of work, the team endeavors to discover the genetic program that enables cancerous stem cells to metastasize in the liver, and using this information, develop new therapeutic strategies to combat this stage of the disease.

Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Most colon tumors begin as begin lesions; however, under the right combination of genetic alterations —namely, in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes—, a small proportion of these tumors can become malignant. The last and deadliest stage in colorectal cancer development is spread of tumor cells to other organs—above all, the liver.


Sign up for our newsletters

Stay up-to-date on the latest news, events and trends in the BioRegion.