Dr. Xavier Montalban receives the ICS Hospitals Research Career Award 2023

The award is a recognition for his significant contribution to the development of research in multiple sclerosis within the Catalan Institute of Health.


On Friday, November 10, 2023, the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS) held the 14th ICS Research Day. The event focused on current research topics carried out at the ICS, such as advanced therapies, precision medicine, secondary use of data and artificial intelligence, which will define the clinical practice of the future. During the meeting, the names of the winners of the 2023 call for the various Research Career Awards were also announced.

The aim of the Research Career Awards is to promote and recognize high quality biomedical research, both preclinical and clinical, carried out in the different centers of the institution. The awards are divided into four categories: Research Career in ICS Hospitals, Research Career in ICS Primary Care, ICS Nurse Research Career and ICS Young Researcher. This year, in the first category, Dr. Xavier Montalban and Dr. Antoni Bayes have been distinguished.

The ICS Hospitals Research Career Award 2023 recognizes professionals who have contributed significantly to the development of research in health sciences in the field of hospital care in the ICS with an activity of recognized scientific level. "It is an honor to receive this important recognition from the institution of which I am a part. It is a motivation to continue working for all the people who trust us," says Dr. Montalban, Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Catalonia (Cemcat), Head of the Neurology Service of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and of the Clinical Neuroimmunology research group of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute, as well as Vice-President of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

Throughout more than three decades of professional career, the tireless involvement and dedication of Dr. Xavier Montalban has had a substantial impact on all areas of multiple sclerosis research and clinical care. As a result of his research work, he has published more than 800 articles in prestigious national and international journals. He has also supervised 34 doctoral theses, has given more than 500 conferences and has directed or collaborated in more than 70 research projects. In addition, his work has received multiple recognitions and awards. Among them, the 2023 Charcot Award of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), the most prestigious international distinction within the scientific and social community of Multiple Sclerosis, as well as the John Dystel Research Career Award of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), awarded in 2022, in recognition of his work in the field of Multiple Sclerosis.

Marc Rodrigo: Award for the best article in health sciences written by a professional of the ICS resident programme

In the framework of the 14th ICS Research Day, the prize for the best article in health sciences written by a professional from the ICS resident programme was also awarded to Dr. Marc Rodrigo Gisbert, from the Stroke Unit of the ICS. Marc Rodrigo Gisbert, from the Stroke Unit of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and researcher of the VHIR Stroke Research Group, for the article "Intracranial Artery Calcifications Profile as a Predictor of Recanalization Failure in Endovascular Stroke Treatment", published in the journal Stroke. Dr. Rodrigo received a Carles Margarit grant to promote research among the professionals doing their residency at Vall d'Hebron.

The work, part of his doctoral thesis, was aimed at finding biomarkers that help to personalise thrombectomy, i.e. the treatment to remove a thrombus, for each type of stroke patient. The results show that the fact that the thrombus shows calcifications when a CT scan is performed is a predictor that the thrombectomy will be more complicated. These patients may therefore benefit from unconventional or salvage treatments, such as angioplasty or intracranial stenting.

"This recognition is a reward for the work done during the residency. I thank the Neurology Service, and the Stroke Unit in particular, for their support in including us in research projects from the time of residency," concludes Dr Rodrigo.

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