Chapter 15

Prominent Spanish scientists



Although I’m always talking to you about science, today I want you to know about my second great passion, music. Music inspires me and there’s a particular composer who has been with me throughout my student years, Bob Dylan.

01_posts_t23_02You’ll already know that he was recently awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature to many people’s surprise… And that’s what I’m referring to. Reinventing the established order is essential to open up paths that don’t exist until we create them, and… isn’t that what we scientists do with research and innovation?

Personally, I think it’s important to nourish ourselves with different sciences and arts to perform brilliantly at anything.

In Spain there are some scientists with incredible international renown who we dream about getting a well-deserved Noble Prize too (in science in this case of course, I don’t want to confuse you) because those of us who follow their work know that human capital is our most valuable asset.

Spain is a world leader in cancer research thanks to the work done in the National Oncology Research Centre (CNIO), currently headed by María Blasco, and also due to the work of Mariano Barbacid, its first director, who is now setting the standard worldwide for cancer research and was the first to isolate an oncogene from a human tumour in 1982.

01_posts_t23_03Francisco Mojica has become a cutting-edge Spanish researcher for his work at CRISPR-Cas Systems and the use of bacteriophages as an alternative to antibiotics.

We also have Margarita Salas, one of the most distinguished scientists in the field of biochemistry and molecular genetics, who is also a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as many others.

Juan Ignacio Cirac is an acclaimed physicist in the field of quantum optics and the quantum theory of information and quantum computing; he currently works at the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik.

Renowned cardiologist Valentín Fuster currently combines his position as Director General of the CNIC in Madrid, with that of Medical Director and Director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and of Chairman of the Private Foundation Science for Health and Education (SHE).

And lastly I want to mention the also internationally famous Avelino Corma, an expert chemist in the molecular design of catalysts and in sustainable catalytic processes in the fields of hydrocarbon refining and biomass derivatives.

Who will be the one to take up the baton from Severo Ochoa and Ramón y Cajal…?

You can find detailed information on all of them and on other Spanish researchers on: Thomson Reuters Clarivate Analytics.