November 24th, 2023 - Press notes

"La Caixa" Foundation promotes research in biomedicine and health in Spain and Portugal by calling for proposals endowed with 25.3 million euros

33 new research projects received funding of up to 500,000 euros or up to one million euros in the sixth edition of the CaixaResearch Health Research call, promoted by the "la Caixa" Foundation. In total, 25.3 million euros in grants.

The call supports basic, clinical, or translational research projects with scientific excellence and social impact in cardiovascular diseases, infections, oncology, and neurosciences. It also supports projects developing enabling technologies in these areas.

Among the selected projects is one led by Dr. Toni Celià-Terrassa to advance the understanding of metastasis and its coevolution with the immune system. There are also two other projects with the participation of researchers from the Hospital del Mar, Dr. Víctor Pérez, and Dr. Arnau Busquets.

The "la Caixa" Foundation has awarded nearly 3 million euros to three research projects involving the Hospital del Mar Research Institute. The grants were presented on November 23 in an event where the 33 selected biomedical and health research projects were announced within the framework of the CaixaResearch Health Research 2023 call. The objective is to promote biomedical research of excellence with a significant social impact in basic, clinical, and translational research.

The call, which received 493 proposals this year, is mainly focused on addressing health challenges such as infectious diseases (8 projects selected), neurosciences (7), cardiovascular and metabolic-related diseases (7), and oncology (6). Additionally, five more initiatives were awarded that will develop enabling technologies in one of these fields.


In this context, the project led by Dr. Toni Celià-Terrassa, coordinator of the Cancer Stem Cells and Metastasis Dynamics Laboratory, which aims to advance a better understanding of metastasis and coevolution with the immune system, has been selected. It will receive nearly one million euros to study the spatial and temporal dynamics using innovative tools, tracking the coevolution of tumor and immune cells to shed light on these mechanisms and open the door to the development of new treatments. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and Leiden University Medical Center.

Furthermore, Dr. Víctor Pérez, coordinator of the Mental Health Research Group, is part of the consortium led by the Jiménez Díaz Foundation, aiming to develop a connected health strategy to prevent suicide in at-risk individuals. Dr. Arnau Busquets, coordinator of the Cellular Mechanisms in Physiological and Pathological Behavior Research Group, will also be part of the consortium developing a project to decipher the link between cannabis and psychotic disorders, led by the Institute of Functional and Genomic Biology (IBFG).

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