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Thursday December 19th, 2013

XIII Biennial Research Award Ramon Trias Fargas for the work “Learning about Down syndrome with the help of viruses”

On Wednesday 18 December the XIII Biennial Ramon Trias Fargas Research Award was awarded to a work which proposes a gene therapy as a new opportunity to identify key genes in Down syndrome. This is a collaborative study led by researchers from IDIBAPS, with Dr. Cristina Fillat, head of Gene therapy and cancer Group, at the front together with the IDIBAPS researchers Xavier Bofill-De Ros and Eneko Villanueva. Among the signatories are members of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and synaptic plasticity from the Universitad Castilla la Mancha and the IDIBELL Institute of Neuropathology.

The award-winning work was titled “Learning about Down syndrome with the help of viruses“. The researchers achieved, by using two different strategies based on gene therapy, to normalize the expression of genes and miRNAs located on chromosome 21, which are overexpressed in mice models of trisomic Down’s syndrome. As a result of the correction of the expression levels of these targets in the hippocampus of adult mice, the researchers a reversion of some of the main changes related to cognitive processes.

In 1989, to promote scientific research on Down Syndrome, the Fundació Catalana Síndrome de Down (FCSD) convened the first research prize for best scientific work presented. The award is named after Ramon Trias Fargas to pay tribute to the founder of the FCSD and chairman of the committee that drafted the Spanish Law on Social Integration of the Disabled (LISMI) in 1982, whose sudden death occurred on 22 October 1989. The prize is awarded every two years with a budget of € 6,000 and a bronze reproduction of the mother / child sculpture by Antoni Vancells.

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