· 27 April 2018

María Blasco: highlighting science in Spain

Por cenie
María Blasco: poniendo en valor la ciencia en España - Investigación

The researcher and director of the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) has managed to cure pulmonary fibrosis in mice, a fatal pathology: "We are a country of excellent science, but only thinking that we are, we can convince politicians to support the investigation".

"Only if you understand the origin of a disease, will you be able to prevent it, and cure it." With that axiom in the head, María Blasco (Alicante, 1965), is trying to get to the root of degenerative diseases, those linked to the aging of our cells, in order to be able to cure them in the future. With her latest research, this molecular biologist who for seven years runs the prestigious National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) has made a quantum leap in curing pulmonary fibrosis in mice, pointing directly to the origin of the problem: the shortening of telomeres (the ends of the chromosomes that make up the DNA).

Although far from the practical application in people, the research co-directed by this Alicante opens doors, not only in this disease but in all those that, in its origin is the shortening of telomeres, the end of the day, the aging of the cells

How and when this particular advance could have a practical application for the 8,000 affected by this pathology is something that remains to be seen. "They are years of study," Blasco warned for those who also need money. "Society does not know it and it is thought that medicines emerge from one day to the next but there is an investigation behind years and important investments," he explained, hence he put forward the need to do pedagogy and to involve society in the task that is developed in the research centers of Spain that we have. "We are a country of excellent science and only thinking that we are, we can convince our politicians to support research to continue putting on the table solutions to diseases that, today, are incurable."

The institutional support to this task and the commitment of the contribution of funds monopolized, in fact, a good part of the conversation at the table where those present opted for a real State Pact so that "regardless of who governs, it is invested" in research in a stable manner, as requested by the head of Oncology of the General Hospital and president of the Spanish Association of Research on Cancer, Aseica, Carlos Camps. Blasco put figures to the investment: just 1.2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "below the European average" and far from countries like Israel "with 4.2%."

There, the director of the Prince Felipe Research Center, Deborah Burks, thanked the Generalitat Valenciana for its increased budget, since having a stable base allowed them to "make a stable scientific policy", something that the honoree publicly applauded. "Research is needed because it is the future and for that there must be a budget," acknowledged the Minister of Health, Carmen Montón, who recalled that 59% increase in funds in Valencia but "there is still room for improvement. an ally, "he said.

"Here it has increased but it is needed more because we started from an aberrant base with the decrease by the crisis", warned the head of Oncology of IVO, Vicente Guillem who also demanded to reform the law of patronage and not lose sight of the collaboration with the industry In addition to this, the basic research will ally with the clinical part to arrive at the patients as soon as possible and take advantage of synergies.

There, Blasco threw a glove of collaboration to the consellera Carmen Montón when remembering that the CNIO was a national center with "framework agreements with hospitals inside and outside of Madrid". A basic research center aims to do excellent research but you have to be open to the clinical environment, "he said. The president of the provincial board of the Spanish Association against Cancer, AECC, Tomás Trénor, also asked to involve society and bring the investigation closer to its last beneficiaries so that they "contribute privately and press publicly" to have that public funding. Trénor gave as an example the scholarships that the AECC has launched thanks to private donations "in something as simple as popular races". Make visible to understand and understand to be involved with science.

Source: http://www.levante-emv.com/

Under the framework of: Programa Operativo Cooperación Transfronteriza España-Portugal
Sponsors: Fundación General de la Universidad de Salamanca Fundación del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas Direção Geral da Saúde - Portugal Universidad del Algarve - Portugal