The UB awards an honorary doctorate to Adela Cortina and Robert D. Schreiber on May 25

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The UB awards an honorary doctorate to Adela Cortina and Robert D. Schreiber on


Philosopher Adela Cortina (Valencia, 1947) and the immunologist Robert D. Schreiber (Rochester, 1946) will be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Barcelona on Wednesday, May 25, in a ceremony that will take place at the Paranimph of the UB at 12 noon. Researcher Adela Cortina will be sponsored by the UB professor, Miquel Martínez, from

A distinguished researcher in the field of education in values

Professor of Ethics and Legal, Moral and Political Philosophy at the University of Valencia, Adela Cortina was the first member to enter as a numerary member of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in 2008. Among her merits, the promoters of the investiture highlight that Cortina’s academic work represents "an active promotion and defense supporting the values of freedom, democracy, justice, equality and solidarity". At the same time, they value the scientific relationship and collaboration of Adela Cortina with the UB and the Catalan cultural environment "in studies, researches and actions related to the training of active citizens and participation in democratic and inclusive societies". Cortina’s contributions to the field of education in values have been relevant. Her work is an example of intense collaboration in the fields of philosophy and pedagogy.

Adela Cortina was visiting lecturer at the University of Lovain-la-Neuve, the University of Amsterdam, the University of Notre-Dame and the University of Cambridge. She worked at the Goethe University Frankfurt with the experts Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas, for which she is known as the introducer of what we know as discourse ethics in Spain and Ibero-America.

She is the director of the interuniversity research group Applied Ethics and Democracy. She also has lead the Étnor Foundation for organization ethics since 1991. She has been awarded prestigious prizes such as the Ernest Lluch Award to Thinking (2003), the Marcos García journalism prize (2004) and the Jovellanos International Essay Prize (2007), among others. She has published more than twenty books, among which are Ética minima; Ética sin moral; and Ética aplicada y democracia radical.

Immune system and cancer: a dynamic fight

Robert D. Schreiber, lecturer at the Department of Pathology and Immunology of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Washington (United States), is awarded an honorary doctorate for his decisive contributions in the demonstration of the immune system as a therapeutic tool in the elimination of cancer. The efficiency of the immune system as a controller of the tumour growth was questioned until the research studies by Schreiber were published. Nowadays, immunotherapy is the main treatment in oncology, and in many cases, it reaches the total healing of the patients. For more than 25 years, Schreiber’s work focused on defining the activating mechanisms of the immune system to promote immune responses to cancer.

The team led by Schreiber was the first to propose the concept called cancer immunoediting, a totally innovative approach in which the immune system not only provides protection from cancer but it also evolves during the progression of the tumour in a process that takes place in three phases: elimination, balance and escape. This means the fight of the immune system against cancer cells is a dynamic process that models tumours and which is able to create different types of cancers which are becoming more difficult to treat.

Schreiber was the first to show that the interferon-gamma (IFN-?) —a factor that helps the immune system to fight infections and other pathologies— was the cytokine that activated anti-cancer and antimicrobial activities in mouse macrophages. He was also a pioneer in the in vivo uses of monoclonal antibodies to define the physiological functions of cytokines in the promotion of the response to tumours and infectious agents. In the clinical field, the strategies based on the immune response —immunotherapy— opened new therapeutical perspectives that changed the fight against cancer.

Schreiber published more than three hundred scientific papers, he is the co-founder of three biotechnological companies and has received many prestigious awards, such as the William B. Coley Award for distinguished Research in Basic and Tumour Immunology, given by the Cancer Research Institute, the Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize, the Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology and the Balzan Prize, shared with James Allison. Schreiber is member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences.

Live-streamed on UBtv

You can follow the ceremony live on UBtv.

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