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Three University-driven projects on nanocancer, biomimicry and gene drones, winners at the 1st SciencEkaitza Gala

The projects won, respectively, the first prize award and 2 of the 4 runner-up prizes in the renewable energy and health categories.

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08/06/18 12:46 Laura Juampérez

The 1st SciencEkaitza Scientific Gala - promoted by the Aditech corporation at partnership with the universities of Navarra and other entities - held the submission awards ceremony for the innovative projects of this first edition, the winner of which was project Nanocáncer, a project led by the School professor of Pharmacy and Nutrition María Blanco. Likewise, the runner-up prize in the field of renewable energies went to the biomimicry project "Mole rat", from the School of Sciences and the of Science. School of Architectureand a second runner-up prize went to the project of gene drones led by the research center Applied Medicine (CIMA).

In total, researchers from the University of Navarra presented the winning project and won two of the four runner-up prizes, out of a total of fourteen projects that competed in this first edition. All of them had to meet the requirement of being innovative, disruptive and an example of cooperation between different groups.

The first award, which consisted of 4,000 €, went to Nanocáncer, a project on diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors in children using nanotechnology. In addition to the department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology of the University of Navarra, researchers from the Public University of Navarra Cristina Gómez and Iñaki Pérez de Landazabal, as well as Francisco Martín, from AIN, collaborated in the project.

The runner-up prize in the renewable energies area was awarded to the Biomimicry project "From the naked mole rat to double energy systems in buildings", the result of the partnership between researchers from the School of Sciences - Arturo Ariño, David Galicia, Rafael Miranda -, the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra - CésarMartín and Amaia Zuazua - and the National Center for Renewable Energies (CENER) - Irantzu Alegría and Laura García-. This project consists of mimicking the metabolism of the mole rat to design dual energy systems that improve the efficiency of buildings.

Finally, a second of the 4 runner-up prizes awarded at this first edition of the scientific gala was the project "Gene Drones", devised by researchers from CIMA of the University of Navarra Rafael Aldabe and Gloria Gonzáez-Aseguinolaza, together with Francisco Martín and María Monteserín, from AIN. Their goal: using magnetic particles to target drugs to diseased cells in a more precise way, avoiding healthy cells.

SciencEkaitza is the I Scientific Gala held in Navarra with the purpose to become a celebration of science and technology for all audiences. In addition to the gala, during three days there have been exhibitions and conferences of experts, such as the Nobel of Chemistry Mario Molina -who spoke about sustainable development in the CIMA of the University of Navarra- and Sue Black -radical thinker who gave her master class in the Amigos Building-.