Eight Doctors from Bellvitge Hospital Recognised with Talents Grants for Young Researchers and Medical Staff

Awarded by the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation, the post-residency grants target young professionals within the healthcare sector, enabling them to conduct research while maintaining their ties to their respective hospitals. The initiative is a collaborative effort involving Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, Clínic Barcelona, Vall d'Hebron, Institute of Oncology, and Bellvitge University Hospital.

On Monday, December 11, the 50 Talent awards ceremony took place at La Pedrera, attended by Ms. Silvia Cordomí, Deputy Manager of Bellvitge Hospital, and Mr. Marc Soler, General Director of Professionals at the Department of Health. The event brought together the 50 young awardees at the 2022 and 2023 editions to commemorate a day focussed on scientific dissemination and research. The awardees at the 2022 edition from Bellvitge University Hospital were Dr Eva Benavent, a specialist from the Infectious Diseases Service; Dr Alexandre Favà, from the Nephrology Service; and Dr Carlos Ortega, from the Gynaecology Service. This year’s awardees are: Dr Sergi Fernández, a specialist from the Gynaecology Service; Dr Pere Trias-Sabrià, principal investigator and physician from the Pneumology Service; Dr Francesc Escrihuela, from the Infectious Diseases Service; Dr Fernando De Frutos, from the Cardiology Service; and Dr Xavier Solanich, a specialist from the Internal Medicine Service.

During the event at La Pedrera, Dr. De Frutos presented his project, 'Natural History of Dilated Cardiomyopathy Due to Variants in the Beta Myosin Heavy Chain Gene (MYH7),' in 'Elevator Pitch' format. He explained significant advances in the early diagnosis of cardiomyopathies—diseases affecting the heart muscle—based on genetic studies. The research findings reveal that a substantial percentage of patients exhibit symptoms within the first weeks of life, and, in some cases, even before birth. This discovery enables the establishment of surveillance strategies during pregnancy. Furthermore, the identification of risk factors associated with a high likelihood of heart transplantation allows for the targeted monitoring of children who will benefit from closer follow-up.

The Talent Grants celebrated their 12th edition as a successful model for promoting research among young medical specialists and other health professionals. Over the past 12 years, approximately 200 health professionals have received grants, resulting in over 170 research projects and more than 150 linked scientific publications across 30 different medical specialities. The Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation has contributed nearly two million euros to the project. This financial support is complemented, in some cases, by contributions from collaborating hospitals and/or associated research centres—a model that could be extended to other leading medical centres throughout the country.

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