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UCAM conducts research into human organ regeneration with Altos Labs

UCAM is the only university in Spain working with the American biotech company

The significant shortage of organs for transplantation is influenced by,

among other factors, lower mortality in road accidents, improved treatment of

patients, and increased life expectancy. This is compounded by the problem of

the organ rejection rate, which in Spain is 25-20% for kidneys and livers.

Last year there were more than 20 livers and 20 kidneys rejected only in the

Region of Murcia.

This has led to the search and promotion of new lines of research, such as the

one being developed by the Universidad Católica de Murcia in collaboration

with the US biotech company Altos Labs, led by UCAM professor Juan

Carlos Izpisúa
and in collaboration with the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.

Using cell regeneration, researchers are attempting to restore the function of

damaged organs of patients and to rejuvenate removed organs intended for

transplantation. ‘What we started a few months ago is beginning to become a

reality,’ says Dr Izpisúa Belmonte, for whom ‘UCAM being part of this

reality is a source of pride’.

Since its foundation, the Universidad Católica de Murcia has invested

more than 200 million euros in research
, ‘aiming to achieve advances in the

fields of health, medicine, food or sport; to cure diseases, to heal human

lives’, as explained by the president, José Luis Mendoza. UCAM promotes

and finances research projects such as the ones previously developed with the

Salk Institute in California
, and currently with Altos Labs.

Yamanaka, Doctor Honoris Causa

For the Japanese professor Shinya Yamanaka, Nobel Prize in Physiology

and Medicine 2012
and senior scientific advisor in Altos Labs, accepting the

appointment as Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidad Católica de

was ‘a great honour’. He received the proposal last Thursday night in

Madrid by the president of the institution in person, José Luis Mendoza.

The meeting was also attended by Dr Pedro Guillén, UCAM Extraordinary

Professor of Sports Traumatology and founder of the Clínica CEMTRO;

Juan Carlos Izpisúa, UCAM Extraordinary Professor of Developmental

Biology and Director of the Altos Labs Science Institute (USA); and Estrella

, UCAM Vice-Rector of Research.

Dr Yamanaka won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of cellular

reprogramming, giving rise to a new branch of medicine: regenerative

medicine. On the application of this research, he said that ‘it takes ten to thirty

years from the start of basic research to the clinics, and sixteen years have

passed. We scientists are doing our best but cannot predict when we will be

able to take this technology to everyone’.


“Historic event” at the Spanish Royal Academy of Medicine

This is how the President of the Spanish Royal Academy of Medicine,

Eduardo Díaz-Rubio
, described the event held on Thursday at the

Academy’s headquarters in Madrid, in which UCAM professor Juan Carlos

Izpisúa was awarded the Medal of Honour ‘for his scientific, academic and

health work’ and his ‘great and significant support’ for this institution; and

Shinya Yamanaka, Nobel Prize in Medicine, was awarded the Doctor Honoris

Causa degree for his “relevant scientific merits”.

Doctors Pedro Guillén and Arturo Fernández-Cruz (president of the Fernández-Cruz Foundation), read the laudatios.

Doctors Pedro Guillén and Arturo Fernández-Cruz (President of the

Fundación Fernández-Cruz), read the laudations.