Claudia Rejano awarded the Scellentia 2023 Prize for young researchers

Researcher Claudia Rejano from CIC bioGUNE was recognized with the Scellentia 2023 Award, organized by the Caja Extremadura Foundation.
The study highlights the role of the AhR protein in the interconnection between the liver, intestine, and brain, as well as in immune system regulation, emphasizing its therapeutic potential in liver and autoimmune diseases.

On Tuesday, June 4th, the award ceremony for the Scellentia 2023 Awards for Young Researchers, organized by the Caja Extremadura Foundation, was the stage where the outstanding work of young scientific promises shone. Among the recipients, Claudia Rejano, a postdoctoral researcher in the Liver Disease group at CIC bioGUNE – member of BRTA –, under the leadership of Dr. Malu Martinez Chantar and Dr. César Martín de la Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, received an award in Category C. This category is designated for young researchers who have earned their doctorates since 2018.

The recognition was granted for her research entitled "Involvement of Aryl Hydrocarbons Ahr in the liver-intestine-brain axis and immune response: a new therapeutic opportunity". This pioneering work, led by Pedro Fernández Salguero at the University of Extremadura and Francisco J. Quintana at Harvard University, and carried out by Claudia Rejano during her PhD studies, has unveiled significant findings on the crucial role of the AhR protein in the connection between the liver, intestine, and brain, as well as in the regulation of immune responses and cellular regeneration processes.

Claudia Rejano, who graduated in Biology from the University of Extremadura, explained the relevance of her project, emphasizing its potential to develop innovative therapeutic tools for patients with liver and autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. Her research demonstrated that AhR, also known as the dioxin receptor, plays a vital role in regulating immune responses, cell proliferation, and metabolism, thereby opening new avenues for more effective treatments.

The study has had a significant impact on the scientific field, both in knowledge generation and its clinical applicability. Currently, the liver-intestine-brain axis is the subject of intense research due to its involvement in a variety of physiological and pathological processes, and Claudia Rejano’s work has positioned AhR as a promising therapeutic target in this context.

In addition to academic recognition, the award includes financial support and the publication of the awarded work by the Publications Service of the University of Extremadura in collaboration with the Caja Extremadura Foundation.

This achievement reflects the commitment and excellence of the research carried out at CIC bioGUNE, thus contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge and the development of new therapies to improve human health.

About CIC bioGUNE
The Centre for Cooperative Research in Biosciences (CIC bioGUNE), member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance (BRTA), located in the Bizkaia Technology Park, is a biomedical research organisation conducting cutting-edge research at the interface between structural, molecular and cell biology, with a particular focus on generating knowledge on the molecular bases of disease, for use in the development of new diagnostic methods and advanced therapies.

About BRTA
BRTA is an alliance of 4 collaborative research centres (CIC bioGUNE, CIC nanoGUNE, CIC biomaGUNE y CIC energiGUNE) and 13 technology centres (Azterlan, Azti, Ceit, Cidetec, Gaiker, Ideko, Ikerlan, Leartiker, Lortek, Neiker, Tecnalia, Tekniker y Vicomtech) with the main objective of developing advanced technological solutions for the Basque corporate fabric.

With the support of the Basque Government, the SPRI Group and the Provincial Councils of the three territories, the alliance seeks to promote collaboration between the research centres, strengthen the conditions to generate and transfer knowledge to companies, contributing to their competitiveness and outspreading the Basque scientific-technological capacity abroad.

BRTA has a workforce of 3,500 professionals, executes 22% of the Basque Country's R&D investment, registers an annual turnover of more than 300 million euros and generates 100 European and international patents per year.

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