The Galician biotechnologist César de la Fuente Núñez, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania (United States), has been proclaimed this Thursday in Alicante Princess Girona Foundation Award (FPdGi) of Scientific Research 2021, during an act chaired by Philip VI.
Among ten finalist scientists under 35 years of age, the jury has chosen De la Fuente Núñez (A Coruña, 1986), in 2020 named the Best Young Researcher in the United States by the American Chemical Society, whose group from Pennsylvania is considered a pioneer in the computerized development of antibiotics from naturally occurring molecules so that they can attack increasingly resistant bacteria.
The jury has valued his leadership and excellent track record in this field of computational biology and, especially, for combining an "extraordinary scientific productivity with a capacity to transfer developed technology".
What's more, the president of the CSIC and the jury, the Asturian Rosa Menéndez, has highlighted its social aspect, since De la Fuente Núñez stars in "a very important activity" in defense of disadvantaged groups
In a short video recorded minutes before the award was known from USA, the winner has dedicated the award to his father, Raúl de la Fuente, who died five years ago, who he said has inspired him to be a scientist.
In view of Philip VI He has also expressed his confidence in "the little ones, so that they become scientists and help us to get out of the next one", in reference to the current pandemic of the covid-19.
The King has witnessed the proclamation of the scientific category of these Princess Girona awards developed at the Las Cigarreras cultural center in Alicante, and which were born to recognize the personal and professional trajectory of young people up to 35 years of age who stand out for their work, their merits and their exemplary nature.
Don Felipe has been for just over two hours in Alicante accompanied by the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, the Minister of Science, Pedro Duque, the Minister of Innovation, Carolina Pascual, and the mayor of the city, Luis Barcala, among other personalities, such as the president of the FPdGi, Francisco Belil.
The Scientific Research is the fourth and last prize of this edition, the eleventh, after those awarded to the veterinarian and writer María Sánchez Rodríguez (Arts and Letters category); the founding partner of Goy Gentile Abogados Lucía Goy Mastromiechele (Company) and the founder of the NGO NASCO Feeding Minds, Ousman Umar (Social).
The four distinguished will receive the award from the hands of the Kings and the Princess of Asturias and Girona, Doña Leonor, in a solemn act that still has no date or place decided but which will foreseeably be during the second semester of 2021.
The FPdGi visits the Valencian Community for the second consecutive year after proclaiming Rubén Darío Costa Riquelme in Valencia (February 2020) as the winner of that year's Scientific Research Award.
Before the ruling, Don Felipe has known some of the activities organized by the FPdGi, as a challenge in which 250 secondary, high school and vocational training (FP) students from centers in the Valencian Community have participated, with the objective of promoting scientific vocations.
Four semi-finalist groups from schools have arrived at Las Cigarreras and the 'More Science' project designed by the Fray Ignacio Barrachina institute of Ibi (Alicante) has won over those of the Divina Providència de Vinaròs Private Foundation (Castellón) and two groups of Julio Verne School of Torrent (Valencia).
The host mayor, Luis Barcala, has stated that the act with the King is a "boost" to the commitment of both the city council and the Generalitat for Alicante to be "a benchmark in the technology industry."