Dr. Augusto Villanueva and Dr. Francesc Balaguer awarded Rising Stars by United European Gastroenterology (UEG) National Societies

Every year the United European Gastroenterology (UEG) National Societies Committee and the Scientific Committee jointly select up to 10 emerging clinical scientists. In the 2013 edition of the Rising Star awards two IDIBAPS investigators are among the winners: Dr. Augusto Villanueva, from the IDIBAPS Hepatocellular Carcinoma Translational Research Lab (BCLC group), and Dr. Francesc Balaguer, from the IDIBAPS Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Oncology team.

The awarded researchers are young and highly qualified professionals from around Europe with a relevant international-quality research. This initiative provides a durable platform for young researchers so that they can give state-of-the-art lectures and chair scientific sessions at UEG Week. The next one will take place on October 12-16, in Berlin.

Dr. Francesc Balaguer’s candidature was suggested by the Asociación Española de Gastroenterología. He is leading the High Risk Colorectal Cancer Clinic in the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and has a broad background in translational colorectal cancer research. His area of interest are the clinical characterization of hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes (i.e. Lynch syndrome), understanding the epigenetic basis of colorectal cancer carcinogenesis, and the development of epigenetic biomarkers for the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

Dr. Augusto Villanueva’s candidature was suggested by the Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva. His research interests are basically aimed to improve prognosis prediction in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by incorporating information from high-throughput genomic platforms into clinical-based prognostic systems. Additionally, he seeks to identify novel targets for therapies by dense scrutiny of signaling pathways (e.g., MTOR, NOTCH). Ultimately, he envisions deploying molecular medicine approaches in routine clinical management of HCC patients.