On Tuesday, the President of the Catalan Government, Carles Puigdemont, awarded the 28th Premi Internacional Catalunya to oncologists Josep Baselga, Manel Esteller and Joan Massagué at a ceremony held at the Palau de la Generalitat.
After congratulating the three winners and acknowledging their dedication, the President affirmed that “the scientific merits of the three doctors are widely known and recognised, both at home and around the world”.
In this regard, the President emphasised that the three scientists “represent the values and virtues that are needed to become a global leader in the field of cancer research”. “Their efforts place Catalonia at the forefront of the scientific research”, he added.
The formal prize-ceremony took place on Tuesday evening in the Saló de Sant Jordi. Upon accepting the prize, Dr Baselga alluded to the new immunological treatments which “will continue to revolutionise cancer therapies”. Furthermore, Dr Esteller highlighted Catalonia’s position in placing “value on research and recognising it as a valuable asset to the country”.
138 candidates from 57 countries
This year’s edition of the Premi Internacional Catalunya (Catalonia International Prize) included a selection of 138 candidates from 57 countries put forward by 246 institutions and by members of the jury.
According to the jury’s verdict, which was announced in July, the three oncologists were awarded with the Premi Internacional Catalunya “for their revolutionary work in cancer research, which has significantly contributed to biomedical progress across the world”.
The Premi Internacional Catalunya was created by the Catalan Government in 1989. It is awarded annually to distinguish those who have made a significant contribution to the development of cultural, scientific or human values around the world. Past recipients of the award include Aung San Suu Kyi, Jimmy Carter, Karl Popper, Jacques Delors, Amartya Sen, Malala Yousafzai, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and, more recently, British Primatologist Jane Goodall.