May 19, 2023

Isidro Cortés-Ciriano receives the first EACR-Mark Foundation-Pezcoller Foundation Rising Star Award

By the European Association for Cancer Research

Isidro Cortés-Ciriano, PhD

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Isidro Cortés-Ciriano has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural EACR-Mark Foundation-Pezcoller Foundation Rising Star Award. This award recognises exceptional researchers in the field of cancer research and aims to support groundbreaking projects that have the potential to make significant contributions to the field.

Dr. Cortés-Ciriano, a Research Group Leader at EMBL-EBI, was chosen for this award based on the high quality of his project proposal on “IMMUNESCAPE – Dissecting the impact of clonal evolutionary dynamics on tumour immunogenicity.” Before joining EMBL-EBI in June 2019, Dr. Cortés-Ciriano completed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School under the guidance of Prof. Peter Park, and at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Prof. Andreas Bender. His extensive knowledge and diverse research experiences have equipped him with a unique perspective in the field of cancer research.

The EACR-Mark Foundation-Pezcoller Foundation Rising Star Award 2023 was open to EACR members with an unfunded Score ‘A’ cancer-related project from the 2022 ERC Starting Grant calls. The award grants the recipient up to €100,000 in funding to commence their project, with an additional 10% allocated for institutional overheads. The intention behind this award is to facilitate the advancement of exceptional cancer research by bridging the period before resubmission to the ERC.

Dr. Cortés-Ciriano commented “I am truly honoured to receive this prestigious award, and deeply thankful to the EACR, the Mark Foundation, and the Pezcoller Foundation for supporting the research vision of my laboratory. We are most excited to continue our work focused on understanding how the interplay between genetic diversity and immunosurveillance shapes the evolution and immunogenicity of human cancers. We hope that by decoding the molecular mechanisms whereby cancer cells manage to escape the attack of the immune system, we will contribute to the design of novel cancer immunotherapies.

“More broadly, this project will also help us understand how the immune system responds to the myriad of somatic mutations accumulated in our bodies as we age, which might shed light on the relationship between somatic evolution, immune evasion, and malignant transformation.”

As part of the recognition, Dr. Cortés-Ciriano will be invited to accept the award and deliver a presentation at the EACR Congress in Torino, Italy, 12-15 June 2023. This gathering of leading scientists and researchers from around the world offers a platform to exchange knowledge, foster collaborations, and inspire new breakthroughs in cancer research.

Jane Smith, CEO of the European Association for Cancer Research, said “The EACR is delighted to be working in partnership with two important Foundations, one based in Europe and one in the US. This is a prestigious award which furthers the global progress of cancer research and supports the career development of an EACR member. We look forward to following Isidro’s project and to launching the call for our second award winner later this year.”

“We are pleased to partner with EACR and Pezcoller Foundation on this inaugural Rising Star Award,” commented Ryan Schoenfeld, PhD, CEO of The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research. “This award furthers The Mark Foundation’s global commitment to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and the development of new cancer therapies and diagnostics. Congratulations Isidro! We look forward to the upcoming presentation at the EACR Congress.”

The President of the Pezcoller Foundation, Dr. Enzo Galligioni, said “We are especially happy and proud to start our collaboration with the Mark Foundation through the EACR-Mark Foundation-Pezcoller Foundation Rising Star Award. Excellence in Cancer Research and support to young researchers are the fundamental pillars of our activities and this award to Isidro Cortes represents the perfect expression of that.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Isidro Cortés-Ciriano on this well-deserved recognition and wishing him continued success in his groundbreaking research endeavours.

Look out for the 2024 Rising Star Award

Preparations are underway for the 2024 EACR-Mark Foundation-Pezcoller Foundation Rising Star Award. We encourage researchers and scientists in the field of cancer research to look out for the announcement later this year of the call for applications.

About Dr. Isidro Cortés-Ciriano: Dr. Isidro Cortés-Ciriano joined EMBL-EBI as a Research Group Leader in June 2019. Prior to that, he completed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and the University of Cambridge. He holds a PhD from the Pasteur Institute and specializes in biology, genomics, and statistical modeling.

About the EACR: The European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) is a professional membership organisation dedicated to advancing cancer research through communication, collaboration, and dissemination of knowledge.

About the Mark Foundation: The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research is a philanthropic organisation committed to accelerating cancer research and translating discoveries into improved patient care.

About the Pezcoller Foundation: The Pezcoller Foundation promotes and supports scientific research in oncology and recognises outstanding contributions to the field.

Reprinted with permission from EACR

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