• Carlos López-Otín receives the Mexico of Science and Technology Award

    May 10, 2012

    The Mexican President, Felipe Calderón, praises the Professor of the University of Oviedo, distinguished for his research career.

    Carlos López-Otín in the awards ceremony (image taken from the photo gallery of the Presidency of the Republic of Mexico's website)

    The Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Oviedo, Carlos López-Otín has just accepted the 2011 Mexico Science and Technology award, which was given by the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón. López-Otín, distinguished for his researching career, thanked the University of Oviedo, which supported his candidature, and his Mexican colleagues for the support received.

    During the awards ceremony, Felipe Calderón highlighted the researcher's career. "His name, Doctor Carlos López-Otín, is already associated to the most remarkable advances in the world's molecular biology", stressed the head of state. Born in Sabiñánigo (Huesca), López Otín has been, since 1993, lecturer of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Oviedo, where he has developed his research career since 1987. Calderón celebrated the researcher's work, which "has shed new light on the treatment of cancer and on the prevention and correction of premature ageing". "You have been widely recognised worldwide for the originality and the value of your research, which sheds light on human challenges and suffering, still overwhelming for any human being", added the Mexican President.

    López- Otín's candidature was chosen by the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (Conacyt) among 40 scientists from Central America, South America, The Caribbean, Spain and Portugal. Before Conacyt representatives, rectors and representatives from other institutions such as El Colegio de México (Colmex), Calderón stressed that the struggle against cancer is a great challenge for human beings taking into account the fact that in 2030 it is stimated that 21 million people will be suffering from this illness.

    López-Otín, for his part, reminded some words by the poet Ángel González: "For me to be called Ángel González, for my being to stand out on the floor, it was necessary to have wide space and long time". These lines, pointed out by the Professor, are also valid to him, who received his parents' support when he was living in the Aragonese Pyrenees and after "great masters" as the expert in Molecular Biology Margarita Salas, who was given the same award in 1998. The scientist warned that in the struggle against ageing- related illnesses "there is still a lot to do". However, he specified, paraphrasing the Asturian Nobel Award, Severo Ochoa (1905-1993), that it is necessary to look into the future "with confidence".