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In the second call for proposals for experienced researchers held by the European Research Council (ERC), six of the top 236 researchers in the European Union that have received an Advanced Grant work at research centers in Catalonia, 2.5%. Of these, two work in the life sciences field: Dr. Josep Baselga, head of Oncology at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), and Dr. Mokhtar Chmeissani from the Institute for High Energy Physics (IFAE).

Clinical research in the Oncology Department of the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital moved into a new era in 1996 when Dr. Baselga joined the team as coordinator of Oncology, Hematology and Radiotherapy. Over these years he has focused mainly on clinical and translation breast cancer research. The ERC has recognized his work, awarding him a grant to carry out a project that will research why some breast cancers stop responding to chemotherapy.

Professor Mokhtar Chmeissani has received funding for his Voxel PET Pathfinder project, which aims to design and test a potentially revolutionary apparatus for PET (Positron Emission Tomography), optimized for brain imaging.

The grant money awarded in this call for proposals totaled 515 million euros and each grant is not to exceed 3.5 million euros for a 5-year research project. In Spain, the ERC has recognized the work of ten researchers. The success of research based in Catalonia was also clear in the previous call for proposals, in which six of the ten projects selected in Spain were from Catalonia.

The ERC, which aims to promote research in all areas of knowledge by awarding European funds, also recognized ten new researchers last October, awarding them this organization’s Starting Grants.


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