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UCAM President and Juan Carlos Izpisúa to promote new research at the forefront of knowledge

The UCAM professor of Developmental Biology has had an intense day of work at the Universidad Católica de Murcia including a meeting with the president, María Dolores García, the first since the death of the founder of the University. They have expressed their complete willingness to continue making progress with current research and new projects to address some of the major health problems that plague humanity.

UCAM President and Juan Carlos Izpisúa to promote new research at the forefront of knowledge
Juan Carlos Izpisúa and María Dolores García during their meeting at the Los Jerónimos Campus in front of the portrait of the UCAM founder, José Luis Mendoza

‘My relationship with José Luis Mendoza was close, personal, incredible, and arose from his generosity, enthusiasm and desire to help others. When I told him about a research project to advance the treatment of certain diseases, his answer, as always, was “I like it, what do you need?”. That is something very difficult to find in our society,’ explained Juan Carlos Izpisúa following his meeting with María Dolores García, UCAM President. ‘We were able to generate the concept of rejuvenating the cell so that it can deal with any disease, which has been consolidated and has given rise to extraordinary interest in the world of biomedicine, to the point,’ he added, ‘that one of the most important biotechnology companies is going to focus precisely on the research that we started thanks to José Luis, in collaboration with UCAM. We are hoping that it will have practical applications, not just for treatment, but for disease reversion.’

Izpisúa María Dolores García

María Dolores García, widow of the founder of the Universidad Católica de Murcia, has assured that ‘the meeting of Juan Carlos and José Luis was providential. Two people who have exponentially grown with their collaboration, from which many projects arose whose fruits will hopefully be seen by ourselves or our descendants. She added that ‘we will continue to support this research to the extent of our possibilities, because it is worthwhile. José Luis was very clear that the way forward was for the benefits to reach society.’ Juan Carlos Izpisúa stated that ‘Lola's words are very important to me, as I am listening to José Luis saying: “Let's go together, let's go forward!”.’

Juan Carlos Izpisúa held this meeting with María Dolores García after spending the morning at the UCAM HiTech, the high-tech incubator for health, sport and nutrition. There he met with researchers from his laboratory and explored ways of collaborating with UCAM-SENS, the Sensor Chemistry Unit led by María Cuartero and Gastón Crespo.


Investigadores con Juan Carlos Izpisua

Meeting with young researchers

Devoting your life to science is undoubtedly the fruit of a vocational commitment, and the Universidad Católica de Murcia encourages this area, as could be seen this morning at UCAM HiTech, where a large group of pre- and post-doctoral researchers from this university learned about the advances in Juan Carlos Izpisúa's research on cellular rejuvenation first-hand.

The UCAM professor of Developmental Biology explained that ‘with the passing of time, our cells lose their resilience, their capacity to function normally, which is why the idea is to try to rejuvenate them so that they can once again function in the same way as they did before.’ He explained that with the increase in age there is a logarithmic growth of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative and locomotor system diseases, which are due to the ageing of the cells. ‘If we can rejuvenate them, those diseases would take longer to manifest and, as a consequence, we might live a little longer, but what we are hoping with this research is to help people live better and try to make it so that the disease appears later or at a lower rate.’

The scientist called for the need for interaction between the private and public sectors to support research, highlighting the UCAM's strong commitment to this field with private funds. In this regard, Estrella Núñez, UCAM Vice-Rector of Research, pointed out that ‘in the last year we have increased our availability of funds from the private sector, attracting almost two and a half million euros of additional private funds to the Region of Murcia to further support research.’