Home | News | Eva Nogales, a leading international figure in the field of molecular biophysics and structural biology, is carrying a sabbatical at CNIO as part of the Fundación Jesús Serra Visiting Researchers programme

Eva Nogales, a leading international figure in the field of molecular biophysics and structural biology, is carrying a sabbatical at CNIO as part of the Fundación Jesús Serra Visiting Researchers programme


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Eva Nogales in CNIO/ Laura M. Lombardía

She is an internationally renowned scientist for her work discovering the atomic functioning of biological systems that are important for human health.

Fundación Jesús Serra, part of Grupo Catalana Occidente, and the National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) celebrated the official presentation of researcher Eva Nogales as the beneficiary of the latest edition of the Fundación Jesús Serra Visiting Researchers programme. Eva, a biophysicist born in Madrid, has worked for years at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is a member of the faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology within the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California in Berkeley and a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Fundación Jesús Serra programme funds research stays in Spain for researchers who have developed their career at a prestigious international centre over the last five years. Once a year, CNIO welcomes an eminent guest professor who carries out a research stay for several months at our Centre. These visits allow the host research group to forge bonds with the visiting researcher’s centre, as well as to initiate new strands of work through the exchange of ideas and common interests. Fundación Jesús Serra and CNIO have been working together through this initiative since 2009.

In her professional career, Eva Nogales has resolved molecular structures that were thought to be practically unreachable, with studies on tubulin, microtubule, the mechanism that triggers human transcription, human telomerase, and the human polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), to name a few.

In recognition of her pioneering studies, Nogales was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the US and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a foreign member of the European Molecular Biology Organization. 

According to the president of Fundación Jesús Serra, Federico Halpern, this collaboration reflects his organisation’s firm commitment to scientific research. “By working alongside leading Spanish organisations such as CNIO and other renowned international centres, we have managed to create synergies that facilitate the promotion of international research in prominent fields such as the fight against cancer,” he said.

The director of CNIO, Maria A. Blasco, said: “Eva is one of the most important researchers in the field of electronic cryomicroscopy and has always shown great commitment and closeness to CNIO, and we are delighted that she is coming to CNIO this year as part of the Fundación Jesús Serra Visiting Researchers programme”. “Having the opportunity to exchange ideas with eminent international researchers such as Eva Nogales enriches and drives cancer research in our centre,” she concluded.

Óscar Llorca, Eva Nogales, Federico Halpern and Maria A. Blasco/ Laura M. Lombardía

13 years of productive collaboration between CNIO and Fundación Jesús Serra

Since 2009, the scientific relationship between CNIO’s host research groups and the international centres of the Fundación Jesús Serra visiting researchers has gone from strength to strength. Thanks to this collaboration, it has been possible to promote new lines of action based on new scientific interests. 

Over the years, many prominent researchers have benefited from a sabbatical stay at CNIO offered by the programme, since the very first visit of epidemiologist David Goldgar, followed by Rama Khokha, Mercedes Rincón, Astrid Laegreid, Maria Sibilia, Robert Bénézra. Peter Petzelbauer, Andre Nussenzweig, Stephan A. Hahn, Patrick Sung, Chaitanya R. Divgi, Marcin Nowotny, Madalena Tarsouas, Dr. Raul Rabadan, Wolfgang Weninger, Dr. Scott Lowe, Dr. Sonia Lain right the way through to Dr. Eva Nogales with her second stay as a visiting researcher.

About CNIO

CNIO is a Spanish public institution dedicated to cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment, affiliated to the Carlos III Health Institute (Ministry of Science and Innovation). As one of the top 10 dedicated cancer research centres in the world (Scimago report; Nature Index), CNIO’s work spans the entire R&D and Innovation pathway, from basic research to clinical applications, in order to transfer the results quickly and efficiently to the National Health System and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology market.

CNIO runs an experimental therapies programme that covers the initial phases of drug development directed against the therapeutic targets its scientists are working on. Some of CNIO’s molecules have been licensed to international pharmaceutical companies. In addition, CNIO is an important partner in ‘open innovation’ programmes run by international pharmaceutical companies, which have brought in more than 30 million euros to CNIO over the last 6 years. Finally, CNIO has generated three spin-off companies, which have also managed to get  the centre’s developments out to patients. These data reflect the Institution’s commitment to innovation and technology transfer and illustrate the importance of public-private collaboration to advance in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Another fundamental pillar for CNIO is to bring science closer to society through initiatives such as: CNIO Art, a project that brings together scientists and artists to create new works of art around scientific research; and Friends of  CNIO, a philanthropic platform through which any person, company or association can collaborate with the cancer research carried out by the Centre, and through which a ‘Friends of CNIO’ International Contracts Programme has been established to attract research talent.

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