2023 - Isidro Cortés-Ciriano

Dr. Cortés-Ciriano, a Research Group Leader at EMBL-EBI (EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute), Cambridge UK, was chosen for this award based on the high quality of his project proposal on “IMMUNESCAPE – Dissecting the impact of clonal evolutionary dynamics on tumour immunogenicity.”

Before joining EMBL-EBI in June 2019, Dr. Cortés-Ciriano completed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School under the guidance of Prof. Peter Park, and at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Prof. Andreas Bender. His extensive knowledge and diverse research experiences have equipped him with a unique perspective in the field of cancer research.

The EACR-Mark Foundation-Pezcoller Foundation Rising Star Award 2023 was open to 
EACR members with an unfunded Score ‘A’ cancer-related project from the 2022 ERC Starting Grant calls. The award grants the recipient up to €100,000 in funding to commence their project, with an additional 10% allocated for institutional overheads. The intention behind this award is to facilitate the advancement of exceptional cancer research by bridging the period before resubmission to the ERC.

Dr. Cortés-Ciriano commented “I am truly honoured to receive this prestigious award, and deeply thankful to the EACR, the Mark Foundation, and the Pezcoller Foundation for supporting the research vision of my laboratory. We are most excited to continue our work focused on understanding how the interplay between genetic diversity and immunosurveillance shapes the evolution and immunogenicity of human cancers. We hope that by decoding the molecular mechanisms whereby cancer cells manage to escape the attack of the immune system, we will contribute to the design of novel cancer immunotherapies.

“More broadly, this project will also help us understand how the immune system responds to the myriad of somatic mutations accumulated in our bodies as we age, which might shed light on the relationship between somatic evolution, immune evasion, and malignant transformation.”

Jane Smith, CEO of the European Association for Cancer Research, said “The EACR is delighted to be working in partnership with two important Foundations, one based in Europe and one in the US. This is a prestigious award which furthers the global progress of cancer research and supports the career development of an EACR member. We look forward to following Isidro’s project and to launching the call for our second award winner later this year.”

“We are pleased to partner with EACR and Pezcoller Foundation on this inaugural Rising Star Award,” commented Ryan Schoenfeld, PhD, CEO of The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research. “This award furthers The Mark Foundation’s global commitment to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and the development of new cancer therapies and diagnostics. Congratulations Isidro! We look forward to the upcoming presentation at the EACR Congress.”
The winner of the 2023 EACR-Mark Foundation-Pezcoller Foundation Rising Star Award dr Cortés-Ciriano

The President of the Pezcoller Foundation, Dr. Enzo Galligioni, said “We are especially happy and proud to start our collaboration with the Mark Foundation through the EACR-Mark Foundation-Pezcoller Foundation Rising Star Award. Excellence in Cancer Research and support to young researchers are the fundamental pillars of our activities and this award to Isidro Cortes represents the perfect expression of that.”

We all congratulate Dr. Isidro Cortés-Ciriano on this well-deserved recognition and wish him continued success in his groundbreaking research endeavours.

25/10/2023: Dr Cortés-Ciriano Lecture at University of Trento, CIBIO. Title: Computational cancer genome analysis: applications to early detection and insights into the mechanisms underpinning cancer genome complexity
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