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The CNIO announces new cancer research contracts thanks to the ‘CNIO Friends’ initiative


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The ‘CNIO Friends’ philanthropic initiative has resulted in the creation of a new post-doctoral contract programme to attract talent and strengthen lines of research

Researchers will be selected by a committee of experts, which will assess candidates based on their achievements

Almost 600 people have contributed to cancer research through this platform

The Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) launched the CNIO Friends philanthropic platform in late 2014 that brings together individuals and legal entities (associations, foundations, companies) enabling them to cooperate and become part of a project that has become a shared endeavour for all: cancer research.

On occasion of its first year in existence and thanks to the almost 600 people — between Friends, Benefactors and Sponsors — who have contributed to the initiative, the Centre announces the first CNIO Friends contracts aimed at hiring two new post-doctoral researchers. The contracts, of two-year terms each, aim to bring new talent to the CNIO. The researchers will be selected by the Centre’s Scientific Committee, which will assess candidates based on their achievements.

“These new contracts have been made possible thanks to our donors, whom we would like to thank for their generosity and trust,” says Maria Blasco, Director of the Centre and promoter of this philanthropic model that, although commonplace in countries like the US and the United Kingdom, is not so common in Spain. “This example indicates the path that we must follow, and shows that citizens are convinced that the development of research is essential to eradicate diseases such as cancer. Today’s research will be tomorrow’s medicine.”

Candidates can apply until April 30, and the successful applicants will start work in July 2016.


The CNIO ended 2015 with 275 new scientific publications — some of them in the most prestigious journals in the fields of biology and medicine — that contribute to identify potential new targets against cancer and the development of novel therapies. Also, during 2015, new research groups have been established in the CNIO to investigate metastasis; the process responsible for 90% of all cancer-related deaths, and for which there are no specific and effective drugs available. These new groups are headed by the researchers Héctor Peinado (the Microenvironment and Metastasis Group) and Manuel Valiente (the Brain Metastasis Group). A new group has been added to these new lines of research headed by the Argentinian researcher Alejo Efeyan, who, since January 2016, is leading the Metabolism and Cell Signalling Group to study the relationship between nutrients, metabolism and cancer.

Other milestones in 2015 included the announcement of a new strategy to take immortality away from cancer, a project carried out by the Centre’s Telomeres and Telomerase Group, headed by Maria Blasco, or the participation of the Microenvironment and Metastasis Group in a major international research project that discovered the first molecular labels that predict the organs where metastasis will form. Moreover, towards mid-2015, the CNIO researchers Manuel Serrano and Manuel Hidalgo received the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) grants from the European Union, to support innovative approaches to age-related diseases, such as cancer, or personalised treatments for tumours that are difficult to treat, such as pancreatic tumours.

Thanks to all our Friends, and based on the slogan ‘More research, Less cancer’, the CNIO is confident that the efforts of all will translate into novel and ground-breaking discoveries for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

About the CNIO

The Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) is a Spanish public institution dedicated to research into the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment cancer.

As one of the world´s top Comprehensive Cancer Centres (SCImago 2015), the CNIO covers research across the entire R&D&I spectrum by integrating both basic and translational research, in order to ensure that its scientific discoveries reach the Spanish National Health System quickly and efficiently, as well as the pharmaceutical & biotech industry.

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