The Doctors’ Senate Award of the UB reaches its twenty-fifth edition with a consolidated prestige among the university community. The award, which receives more and more candidates every year, honors those doctoral theses presented at the UB that have made the most relevant contributions to the field of human knowledge and scientific progress.
This year, 253 studies were submitted, compared to the 178 from last edition. Many studies that receive the award have been already awarded the Extraordinary Doctoral Prize by the juries of their respective faculties, since they are quality research studies.
During these twenty-five years, the Doctors’ Senate has grown as an association with the incorporation of young doctoral students, reaching the current number of 1,506 members. The Doctors’ Senate contributes to the task of these young researchers and helps them to contact other people from different fields of knowledge who have conducted excellent studies.
An award to a study on Parkinson’s disease
This year, the Doctors’ Senate has awarded a study on Parkinson’s, carried out by Carme Uribe, who studied the characterization of the disease using structural neuroimaging data. The awarded doctoral thesis is titled Cortical atrophy patterns associated with cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease, and has been co-supervised by Carme Junqué i Plaja and Bárbara Segura Fábregas, from the Department of Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The objective of the thesis was to identify different subtypes of Parkinson’s based on objective MRI measures of cortical thickness. Indeed, patients could be classified according to different patterns of cortical thickness, regardless of the presence of mild cognitive impairment and the dopaminergic medication taken to manage the pathology. Carme Uribe says that "this definition of homogeneous subtypes in the great heterogeneity of the disease allows us to move towards the world of customized medicine". The awardee adds that, when setting the subtypes, it was important to use "objective quantitative data like those of brain imaging, since sometimes the clinical data depend on the measuring instruments, the assessor or the arbitrary cut-off points to categorize patients into subgroups".
The Doctors’ Senate also awarded two secondary awards. One of them was awarded to José Luis Bernal Mera, for his study Cosmology on the edge of lambda-cold dark matter, supervised by Licia Verde, from the Institute of Cosmos Sciences (ICCUB) and the Faculty of Physics of the UB. This thesis studies the existing tensions and unsolved questions regarding the Lambda-Cold Dark Matter (LCDM), the current Standard Model of Cosmology. Its aim is to set the bases for future observations and show the way to test the model over the upcoming years.
The other secondary prize was given to Antonio Federico Martínez Monseny, for the study Caracterización de pacientes con PMM2-CDG: espectro fenotípico y correlación molecular, supervised by Mercedes Serrano Gimaré, from the Sant Joan de Déu Research Institute (IRSJD). The thesis focuses on the study of the rare disease PMM2-CDG, the most common congenital defect of glycosylation. The study contributed to a support digital platform for the diagnosis and the first effective treatment to improve the quality of life of the patients and their families.