López-Otín has been given with the México de Ciencia y Tecnología Prize, one of the most prestigious scientific awards in Latin America
November 09, 2011
The professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Oviedo is distinguished because of his contribution to universal scientific knowledge
The professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Oviedo Carlos López-Otín has been awarded with the México de Ciencia y Tecnología Prize, one of the most prestigious distinctions in the scientific Iberoamerican field. López-Otín's candidacy was presented by the University of Oviedo and has been chosen by the National Council of Science and Technology from Mexico (Conacyt) among 40 scientists of Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal.
This prize, which will be given by the president of the Mexican United States, Felipe Calderón, is annually granted to one person with renowned professional prestige, who has contributed in a significant way to the universal scientific knowledge, technological advance or developing to social sciences; someone who has also been honoured by the international impact of his contributions, who has set a trend, his contributions in the human resources training and this labour must have been done in one or more countries of the region covered by the prize's call.
Outstanding researchers with international projection already own this prize. Among the Spanish scientists who have been awarded on its history, Margarita Salas, Ginés Morata, Avelino Corma, Antonio García- Bellindo and Miguel Ángel Alario must be named.
An exceptional career
Born in Sabiñánigo, Huesca, Carlos López Otín has been professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Oviedo since 1993. His professional life has been developed in the Ramón y Cajal Centre of Madrid, in the "Severo Ochoa" Centre of Molecular Biology of Madrid, and at the Universities of Lund- Sweden, New York and Harvard- both in the USA. He is currently working in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Oviedo, where he combines his teaching labour in the Faculties of Medicine, Chemistry and Biology, with the development of a research line about tumour Biology and, more recently, about the genome functional analysis.
The work of the group he manages has allowed the identification of more than sixty new human genes and the analysis of their functions in the tumours' progression as well as in other normal and pathological processes. In addition he has also contributed to the human genome and other model organisms' notation. These studies have led him to the introduction of new concepts such as degradome, in order to define and analyze the structures and the functions of the codifying genes of proteases in a global way. Works which have opened the doors to important research areas for cancer pathologies, arthritis, premature aging or about ten hereditary diseases have been researched in his lab. He is in charge of the chimpanzee genome sequencing too.
He manages, in collaboration with Elías Campo, the Spanish project for sequencing the chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, registered in the International Project of Cancer Genome (International Cancer Genome Consortium). Within this project, he has been able to sequence the complete genome of the chronic lymphocytic leukaemia this same year, a milestone in the Spanish science's history.
This award must be added to the extensive career of distinctions that professor López-Otín has been given. Among them, Dupont Prize in Sciences of Life, "F.Echevarne" National Prize of Oncology, "Carmen y Severo Ochoa" Prize in Molecular Biology, FEBS "25th Silver Jubilee" European Prize of Biochemistry, Biomedical Research Prize, Jaime I Prize of Research, Santiago Ramón y Cajal National Prize of Research and Jiménez Díaz Prize.