A study on the impact of nanotechnology in medicine wins the PRBB Award for the best high school research project

Júlia Gimbernat - PRBBOn Friday 28 th April, the presentation of the  12 th PRBB Award  for the best research project in the field of  health and life sciences took place. 191 high school students from all over Catalonia participated and submitted a total of  172 papers to this competition, organized by the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University and the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB).

"La grandesa del més petit" (The greatness of the smallest) is the title of the winning research project. Its author, Júlia Gimbernat, a student at the Montessori-Palau School in Girona, offers an introduction to the nanoscopic world through a series of experiments related with medicine. It demonstrates the great potential of targeted drugs, an efficient alternative in current cancer treatments that are usually associated with multiple unwanted side effects. The study also evaluates the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on technological development, concluding the importance of the synergy between research and enterprise to the benefit of society.

The five finalists presented a scientific poster about their work and defended it before a jury consisting of three PRBB researchers: Mireia Ortega, of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG); Lyudmila Liutsko, of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), and Jose Ayté of the  Department of Experimental and Health Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University.

PRBB Award finalists - PRBBThe ceremony ended with the presentation of the awards by Margarita Sala, PRBB general manager. Joaquim Gea, dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at UPF, and Mireia Ortega of the CRG, as a representative of the jury. The prize-winning papers were:

  • 1 st Prize: "La grandesa del més petit " (The greatness of the smallest)
    Júlia Gimbernat Mayol, CCE Colˇlegi Montessori-Palau (Girona)
  • 2 nd Prize: "Fotoprotecció solar" (Solar photoprotection)
    Marina Casas Acero, Escola Vilorai (Barcelona)
  • 3 rd Prize: "La paradoxa de l'alcohol" (The paradox of alcohol)
    Albert Gil, Pablo Haasnoot and Laura Retamar, CIC Escola de Batxillerats (Barcelona)
  • 4 th Prize: " Analysis in silico of the effectiveness of the main drugs used in Alzheimer's disease"
    Ŕlex Tudoras Miravet, Aula Escola Europea (Barcelona)
  • 5 th Prize: " Light to understand life"
    Martín de Muniategui Climente, Institut Giola (Llinars del Vallčs)
  • Special mentions
  • Solving a real problem: "ELS ŔCARS: petits desconeguts que conviuen amb nosaltres" (DUSTMITES: little creatures that live with us)
    Roser Regada i Prat, Institut Francesc Ribalta (La Valldan, Lleida)
  • Holistic approach of biomedicine: " Estudi de la xarxa trňfica de l'espčcie orcinus orca a Punta Norte (Argentina): la importŕncia del depredador apical en les cascades trňfiques" (Study of the trophic network of the species  orcinus orca in Punta Norte (Argentina): the importance of the apical predator in the trophic cascades)
    Marc Ruiz-Sagalés, IES Carles Vallbona

The  Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at UPF and the  PRBB have organized the PRBB Award for the best research project in health and life sciences since 2005. With this initiative, the two entities seek to encourage research into the biomedical sciences.

Round table - PRBBResearch into health and life sciences seen from different angles

That same Friday, the third edition of  BioJúnior also took place, a conference where the PRBB centres organize various activities for students of 10 th and 11 thgrade. More than 300 students and teachers from eight schools in the province of Barcelona attended the event at which they enjoyed two round tables on scientific studies in HE, a guided tour around the different spaces and laboratories of the building, an information session organised by  Barcelona Activa about the professions of the future, and an activity conducted by a group of researchers and communicators from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE, CSIC-UPF) " Science in your World".