The scientific director of the Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (IDIS), Mª Luz Couce Pico, receives the XXIII Nóvoa Santos Award

26 April 2024

On April 26, 2024, Santiago de Compostela.- The scientific director of the Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (IDIS), Mª Luz Couce Pico, was honored with the XXIII Nóvoa Santos Award by the association AMG (Association of Galician Doctors). The award ceremony took place at 7:00 PM in the Palacio de Fonseca, coinciding with the association’s 30th anniversary. This prestigious award once again recognizes the outstanding contributions of researchers in the Galician community. The event was attended by Alfonso Rueda, President of the Xunta de Galicia, Miguel Santalices, President of the Parliament, Goretti Sanmartín, Mayor of Santiago, and Julio Ancochea, President of Asomega, along with the distinguished academic Ángel Carracedo.

The association distinguishes with this award the work of Dr. Mª Luz Couce Pico, who “represents the highest exponent of Galician neonatology, with significant recognition both nationally and internationally,” as stated by Asomega. Their assessment also highlights her “exceptional teaching and research career, backed by over 300 publications, 33 competitive projects as the principal investigator, and 7 intellectual property registrations, so we particularly commend her commitment to society and leadership in research management in Galicia” according to Asomega.

During her speech, Mª Luz Couce Pico expressed gratitude and satisfaction for the award. She stated “It is an honor to receive this recognition, which motivates to me to continue with my daily work in all its facets, including my role as the scientific director of IDIS, working alongside that critical mass of researchers who contribute to advancing healthcare and societal progress. In turn, Julio Ancochea, President of Asomega, wanted to appreciate to the Scientific Committee for their rigorous evaluation of the candidates. He emphasized that the prestige of the award “is consolidated by Dr. Couce’s impressive resume in the clinical, educational, researcher and manager aspects that make her the ideal candidate for an award of these characteristics.”

The event was attended by Ángel Carracedo, in charge of Dr. Couce’s laudatio and winner of the Nóvoa Santos Prize in 2009, researcher at IDIS, professor of Legal Medicine at the University of Santiago de Compostela and the director of the Fundación Pública Galega de Medicina Xenómica. The sponsoring company of the award, the director of the Government Affairs at Roche Farma España, was also present. 

Solidarity projects

In the XXIII edition of the award, the scientific director of the IDIS had the responsibility of deciding which health proposals would receive the award. The chosen ones announced by Dr. Couce were Rosaura Picáns, a Río Hortega grant holder and young researcher who is developing a project to study and characterize extracellular vesicles in breast milk; and the Andrea Foundation, which provides support to children with long-term, chronic or terminal illnesses and their families. 

Gold Badge

As the scientific director of IDIS, Mª Luz Couce received the Gold Badge last year, wich the same association awarded to the three Galician health research institutes: IDIS, INIBIC and the ISS Galicia Sur. During her speech, the director took the opportunity to express her gratitude for “recognitions like this one, which also allow us to highilght the great work carried out in our community’s research institutes, work that doesn’t always receive sufficient social visibility.”

Asomega also highlighted the important role of health institutes in society which has motivated their recognition in this past 25th edition. «The purpose of these institutes focuses on facilitating collaboration between professionals who research in biomedicine, ensuring that the health needs of the population are addressed in an integrated way from basic research to clinical and applied research to, finally, develop solutions for the patient,” indicates the Association of Galician Doctors.

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