Rodrigo Fernández Jiménez, ‘Gabriella Morreale’ National Youth Research Award winner

The CNIC researcher Rodrigo Fernández Jiménez has won the ‘Gabriella Morreale’ National Youth Research Award in the area of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The National Research Awards recognise the merit of researchers with Spanish nationality who perform outstanding work in fields of science that are of international importance, and who make a significant contribution to the advance of scientific knowledge and the progress of humankind.

The jury awarded this prize to Dr Fernández Jiménez for the quality and importance of his research work in preventive medicine and on current challenges in the field of cardiology. They noted the high level of applicability of his contributions and his leadership, in addition to the innovative nature and potential of his research in cardiovascular imaging technology.

Dr Fernández Jiménez is Assistant Health Scientist-Group Leader at CNIC’s Clinical Research Department, where he leads projects that promote health and cardiovascular prevention using non-invasive techniques to detect with imaging the early markers related with unhealthy lifestyles.

Dr Fernández Jiménez holds an extraordinary prize degree in medicine and surgery. After completing his specialist medical training with a fellowship in cardiology, he received the prestigious Sanitas MIR 2012 prize, awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Health and Grupo Sanitas for the most outstanding resident medical intern at national level.

During his period of training in research (2013-2016) at CNIC, supervised by Dr Borja Ibáñez, he combined an immersive research experience in the field of cardio-protection in heart attacks with non-invasive cardiovascular imaging techniques in clinical practice as a cardiologist at the Acute Cardiovascular Care Unit, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Madrid. During this period of training, he also participated in the SEC-CNIC INVESMIR programme.

Dr Fernández Jiménez also holds a postgraduate diploma in biostatistics, a master’s in scientific methodology and a PhD in molecular biosciences from the Autonomous University of Madrid, where the university awarded an Extraordinary Doctoral Prize for the work of his doctoral thesis, which also gained the Spanish Royal Academy of Medicine Award for the best doctorate in Clinical and Medical Sciences.

Between 2017 and 2019 he secured the prestigious project Marie Skłodowska-Curie in the individual Global Fellowship category, leading research in the field of cardiovascular disease prevention and health promotion at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York alongside Dr Valentín Fuster, which included vulnerable populations of the United States and Colombia. As a result of his contributions during this stage, he received the First Prize Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Award 2019 in the category of “Scientific Careers for Policy Making” awarded by the European Commission.

He currently combines his clinical activity as a cardiology specialist at the Hospital Universitario Clinico San Carlos with intense research activity at CNIC, where he has led the Cardiovascular Health and Imaging Laboratory since 2020.

The National Research Awards were created in 1982 with the “Santiago Ramón y Cajal” National Research Award, which has subsequently been extended with other categories.