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Margarita del Val inaugurates 2021 informative program

January 11, 2021

The renowned virologist will offer this Wednesday the first of the online talks of IFCA and Ateneo de Santander

IFCA (CSIC-UC) opens  program of informative talks of 2021 with a renowned speaker, Margarita del Val and a star topic, vaccines. The virologist, immunologist and CSIC researcher is the guest of the first online conference of the season that will take place this Wednesday, January 13 at 19:00h.

"Vaccines in the world: a right, a responsibility" is the title chosen by the Doctor in Chemical Sciences, researcher at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and coordinator of the CSIC Interdisciplinary Platform in Global Health. In Val's lecture, she will explain how this health platform works and what vaccines are and what they do to protect us. He will make reference to the current panorama of vaccines in the world, the international campaigns and what is being done to launch the vaccines that fight to defeat the coronavirus. 

Access to the conference will be available at 19h through the Ateneo's website:

The speaker
Margarita del Val holds a PhD in Chemical Sciences, specialized in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and is a research scientist at CSIC. Her research has focused on study of the immune response to viral infections, that is to say, she studies basic aspects of functioning of vaccines. She also studies the mechanisms of selective recognition and elimination of infected cells and thus enhance the memory of antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocytes,  basis for achieving immunizations that last over time. During his career he has participated in scientific advances such as the interference of viruses with immune response or the design of the first experimental vaccine based on isolated T epitopes, a concept that currently serves as the basis for clinical trials against the AIDS virus or malaria. 

He has done research at the Federal Institute for Research in Viral Animal Diseases in Tübingen (Germany), at the University of Ulm (Germany), at the Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Majadahonda and currently at the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CSIC- UAM) in Madrid. She represented Spain at the European Medicines Agency, and is a member of Royal National Academy of Pharmacy and Expert Advisory Committee on Vaccines of the Community of Madrid. Always active in scientific dissemination, especially during Covid-19 pandemic, and advocate of vaccines as a key means to eradicate the viral load. At the beginning of coronavirus crisis in Spain, she wrote several articles to raise awareness of population, highlighting the one entitled "Coronavirus, a call for sanity and responsibility" appealing to younger population.

Global Health Platform
CSIC has made an effort to combine all its research capabilities with a common goal: fight against coronavirus. To this end, it has created a research coordination tool, the Global Health Interdisciplinary Thematic Platform, which brings together more than 300 research teams from various disciplines to achieve a global vision of pandemic, learn about its origin, diagnosis and prevention, achieve treatments such as vaccines and antivirals, evaluate the social and economic impact and also disseminate this knowledge among society. At present, the research of some 100 projects has been financed thanks to public funds and private donations.

To achieve this global vision of pandemic, CSIC uses virology, immunology, chemistry and biotechnology to unravel  mechanisms of virus and search for vaccines and new drugs; nanotechnology allows design of diagnostic devices; mathematics, data science and artificial intelligence allow the development of models to understand spread of Covid-19; but also demography, economics and sociology can be used to understand socioeconomic impact of pandemic on society. Thanks to this global approach, the platform seeks solutions in short, medium and, especially, long term. This platform is expected to provide a scientific response to  pandemic and to quickly find solutions that society urgently needs. In addition to anticipating future global health challenges, such as antibiotic resistance, future pandemics or diseases caused by global warming.

Comic competition
IFCA has also organized the IV Comic Contest: "Scientists in fight against Covid-19" which is part, as every year, of activities scheduled for February 11, when the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is commemorated. Registration is still open to any high school student who wishes to participate.  

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    Cantabria, Spain

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