hna Foundation awards a project led by Dr. Povedano on biomarkers for the detection of ALS

Yesterday was the award ceremony of the fourth edition of the hna Foundation’s Scientific Health Research Awards, which this year has focused on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease with no cure and few diagnostic tools.

Fhna-IV-Premios Investigacion-cientifica

The fourth edition of the hna Foundation’s Health Scientific Research Award has closed with the awards ceremony for the winning projects. The jury awarded the first prize, endowed with 100,000 euros, to the project “Characterization of the underlying molecular pathways in the ALS-FTD pathological spectrum based on phenotypic expression: new biomarkers”, led by Mónica Povedano Panadés, from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and coordinator of the Motor Neuron Disease Functional Unit of the Neurology Service of the Bellvitge University Hospital (HUB). The second prize, endowed with 50,000 euros, went to Ivonne Jericó Pascual, from the Miguel Servet Foundation (FMS)-Navarrabiomed.


Yesterday, in Madrid, the event took place with the participation of the award-winning researchers, Povedano Panadés and Jericó Pascual, who thanked the recognition and valued the contribution of the hna Foundation to the advancement of research, as well as representatives of the foundation. During the event, a video was screened with testimonies of people diagnosed with ALS thanking the promotion of research into this disease.


The project will last two years and aims to characterize the patients phenotypically, but also endophenotypically by means of biomarkers “that will help us to stratify and be able to really arrive at a personalized medicine. We will validate the biomarkers we find with animal models so that they are useful for patients”, says Dra. Monica Povedano. She adds that this stratification is important “because after the time we have been with clinical trials without positive results, we do not believe that the therapeutic targets are wrong, but that we are probably not categorizing the patients well”.


This edition of the hna Foundation’s Scientific Health Research Award had received 10 applications. The purpose of the call was research on biomarkers for the early detection of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). In the last edition, the prize already focused on biomarkers, on that occasion of Alzheimer’s disease. Biomarkers are substances that can be measured, and thus used as indicators of a biological process (normal, pathogenic or response to treatment).


This is the second time that the hna Foundation’s Health Scientific Research Award focuses on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a disease that was already addressed in the first call for the awards, launched in 2020 and where continuous research is necessary to fight it. These awards are part of the hna Foundation’s objectives, which include the promotion of research in the fields of medicine and health.



The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).

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