- Banco Santander Foundation sponsors the fourth edition of the Emerging Talent Award SRUK 2019, awarded to Dr Marc Vendrell.
- Vendrell has developed a vertiginous career combining synthetic chemistry, cell biology, and molecular imaging to improve the diagnosis of different diseases such as autoimmune disorders or cancer.
- SRUK and Banco Santander Foundation consolidate their support to research talent and their engagement with Spanish researchers, as well as creating knowledge transfer bridges between Spain and the United Kingdom.
London, 11th July, 2019. The Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU) and the Banco Santander Foundation have awarded, in their fourth edition, the Emerging Talent Award SRUK 2019 to Dr Marc Vendrell (Barcelona, 1979) for his excellent research career in the development of chemical probes. Those probes can be used for molecular imaging of cellular signaling pathways associated with inflammation or cancer. These techniques can be applied in real-time fundamental biology studies and have the potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of different diseases.
The scientific committee, composed of internationally recognized researchers and chaired by Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom), evaluated 13 highly competitive nominations. In the words of Dr Maroto-Valer: “We are delighted to propose Dr Marc Vendrell as the 2019 awardee in recognition of his excellent career track record which uniquely combines both the Chemistry and Biomedical Research fields. We are very impressed by the high quality of all the nominations received which highlights the profound contributions of Spanish researchers in the UK”.
Marc Vendrell was born in Barcelona, Spain. He got his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Barcelona. After developing his scientific career in Spain and Singapore, he moved to the United Kingdom in 2012 as a principal investigator at the University of Edinburgh, initially funded by the Medical Research Council and later as a Lecturer at this university. He currently leads the Chemical Imaging Laboratory at the Inflammation Research Center at the University of Edinburgh. He has published more than 80 scientific articles and registered 11 patents. In 2017, he was awarded a Consolidator Grant by the prestigious European Research Council (ERC).
Vendrell’s research group is considered a pioneer worldwide in the design of fluorescent markers for microscopy with unprecedented specificity and sensitivity. His work uses novel chemical fluorophores for their development as specific imaging agents to measure immune activity in tumour cells in real time. The results of his research, combined with the clinical development of his work, make Vendrell a perfect example of how investment in basic research has a beneficial impact on society.
His career trajectory, according to Borja Baselga, director of the Banco Santander Foundation, makes Vendrell “a leading exponent of Spanish research not only in the United Kingdom, but internationally, and once again highlights the prestige of Spanish scientists abroad”. Baselga stressed that Vendrell is working in a top university, the University of Edinburgh. He adds that Vendrell’s research “helps to develop new diagnostic practices that can change the therapies offered by health professionals in chronic diseases”.
In Marc Vendrell’s words: “Receiving the Emerging Talent Award 2019 is an extraordinary honour and a boost to the professional recognition of my research team that will facilitate the development of our scientific contribution. Thanks to this award, we can maximize the impact of our technologies and develop a network that extends not only to scientists, but also to hospitals, patients, politicians, and the rest of the society”.
This fourth edition of the Emerging Talent Award consolidates SRUK/CERU’s commitment to support, give visibility to Spanish researchers in the United Kingdom and foster relations between the two countries. Rocío Gaudioso, president of SRUK/CERU, stressed: “every year we receive very competitive candidacies reflecting the great talent of Spanish researchers in the UK”. In addition, “Vendrell represents the research talent of Spaniards working in the United Kingdom that SRUK supports and values”. His innovative application aims to develop activities, both in Spain and in the UK, with stakeholders to improve the knowledge transfer to patients, doctors, and politicians. “We hope that this award will help Marc to consolidate his outstanding scientific career and also to commercialize the results of his excellent research”, Gaudioso concludes.