Mrs. María Blasco Marhuenda

Director of the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) and Head of the CNIO Telomeres and Telomerase Group

This Spanish scientist specialising in telomeres and telomerase began her professional research career in 1997, leading a research group at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in the Immunology and Oncology Department of the National Centre for Biotechnology. In 2003 she joined the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) as head of the Telomeres and Telomerase Group and was director of the Molecular Oncology Programme until 2011. From 2005 to 2011 she was also deputy director of Basic Research. Since 22 June 2011 she has been the director of CNIO, overseeing the efforts of almost 500 highly specialised professionals working to eradicate cancer. For more than twenty years, Blasco’s work has focused on demonstrating the importance of telomeres and telomerase in cancer and age-related diseases. She has published more than 250 scientific papers in national and international journals and has an h-index of 81. Her achievements have been recognised with awards such as the Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award, the Swiss Bridge Award for Research in Cancer, the Körber European Science Prize, the EMBO Gold Medal, the King Jaime I Prize for Basic Research, the Lilly Foundation Preclinical Biomedical Research Award and the Santiago Ramón y Cajal National Award in Biology, among others. In addition, Blasco holds three honorary doctorates from the Carlos III University in Madrid, the University of Alicante, and the University of Murcia. In October 2017 she received the Scientific Merit Award from the Valencian Government.


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