The oncologist Maria Alsina and the internal medicine physician Iñigo Les, beneficiaries of the second Navarrabiomed - Fundación “la Caixa” Intensification Program

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F. "la Caixa" y Navarrabiomed

The oncologist Maria Alsina and the internal medicine physician Iñigo Les, beneficiaries of the second Navarrabiomed - Fundación “la Caixa” Intensification Program

  • This program allows specialists at the HUN to dedicate part of their working day to research.

The Hospital Universitario de Navarra (HUN) specialists Maria Alsina and Iñigo Les have been awarded funding as part of the second Navarrabiomed Intensification Program financed by the Fundación “la Caixa”. The aim of this initiative is to stimulate, promote and consolidate research activities at the Hospital Universitario de Navarra. 

The funds provided by the Fundación “la Caixa” have allowed two new researchers to be incorporated into the oncology and internal medicine departments. During the next two years, these researchers will have access to support staff, installations and equipment that will allow them to conduct their own projects at the research centre. 
Specifically, they will be able to dedicate half their working day at the HUN to research activities at Navarrabiomed. The intention is to provide professionals from various medical specialities with the time and resources needed to conduct translational research, in other words studies at the intersection between basic laboratory research and clinical practice.

Description of the research  

As a result of the intensification program, Iñigo Les Bujanda has established the Immune-Mediated and Inflammatory Diseases Unit, where he will conduct a prospective study, observational, multicentre study to investigate the utility of a a battery of autoantibodies as a predictor for immune-mediated adverse events in cancer patients treated with immunotherapy. This study will also result in the creation of registries, in other words prospective databases that can be used in the short to medium term, and libraries of biological samples from these autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. These activities will strengthen the research activity of the Internal Medicine Department. 

In the Translational Medical Oncology Department, Maria Alsina Maqueda will continue with projects and collaborations already under way in the Medical Oncology Department at the HUN. In addition, she will establish the hospital circuits required to expand the biological sample libraries for the population of Navarra with cancer, and will initiate new translational research projects in the field of gastrointestinal cancer, particularly in early-onset cancer (patients aged less than 59 years).

First edition of the program

The first call for proposals for this program was published in 2018 and allowed the incorporation of four medical specialists in different departments at the HUN: Eduardo Albéniz Arbizu (Digestive Department), Nicolás Martínez-Velilla (Geriatrics Department), Antonio Viúdez Berral (Medical Oncology Department) and Esozia Arroabarren Alemán (Allergology Department). The program also allowed the neurologist and researcher Maite Mendioroz Iriarte, who is currently head of Navarrabiomed – Fundación Miguel Servet, to consolidate her research activity.

Maite Mendioroz, Maria Alsina, Iñigo Les e Izaskun Azcona (F. "la Caixa").