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Two former students of the School of Sciences obtain scholarships from the AECC.

Thanks to this financial aid Paula Aldaz and Marta Fernández-Mercado will do research on cancer.

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Marta Fernández-Mercado and Paula Aldaz
PHOTO: Manuel Castells

Two former students of the School of Sciences of the University of Navarra have received grants from research of the association Española Contra el Cáncer. Paula Aldaz and Marta Fernández-Mercado have received grants of 75,000 euros and 150,000 euros respectively to carry out their research.

"Function of SOX9 in glioblastoma" is the degree scroll of the doctoral thesis that Paula Aldaz, a graduate in Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Navarra, is carrying out, directed by Dr. Ander Matheu, head of group of neuro-oncology at Biodonostia. The researcher will delve into brain tumors over the next three years."Glioblastoma is one of the most common and malignant tumors, its survival is less than 12 months. We are going to try to improve treatment." As she points out, it is a topic that interests her a lot since "you see its final application, it does not stay on the laboratory". Previously, Paula Aldaz did the Master's Degree in training of academic staff of Education of Secondary School at the Public University of Navarra and the Master's Degree in Biotechnology at the University of Manchester.

Marta Fernández-Mercado graduated in Health Biology at the Complutense University of Madrid and later completed the Master's Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology (currently Master's Degree in research Biomedical Biology) at the University of Navarra. Finally, he obtained the doctorate international degree in Biology from the University of Oxford. The financial aid received will allow him to develop the project "research andclinical utility of microRNAs in lymphoma" at the same high school of research San Sebastian. "MicroRNAs are regulators of cells. However, the specific ways in which they exert their role in cancer cells is unknown. In my project, we will use a novel technique called PAR-CLIP to identify the specific targets of microRNAs". As the researcher explains, this information will be very useful in understanding how cancer originates and evolves.

The Scientific Foundation of the association Spanish Foundation against Cancer has awarded during the present edition other grants to researchers of the University of Navarra such as Dr. Luis Montuega, Dean of the School of Sciences; or the Professor of Pharmacy María J. Blanco who obtained grants for their work related to this disease.