Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO)

A Severo Ochoa center since 2011

The CNIO is a Spanish public institution dedicated to the research, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. It is among the 10 leading cancer research centres in the world (Scimago Report; Nature Index) and caters for the entire R&D roadmap, from basic research to clinical tests, with a view to transferring the results obtained quickly and efficiently to the Health Care System and to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets.

The CNIO has also generated four spin-off companies, which have also allowed patients to benefit from the centre’s developments. These data reflect the Institution’s commitment to innovation and the transfer of technology, and illustrate the importance of public-private collaboration in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

At the CNIO over 400 highly specialized professionals are working to defeat one of the main causes of death in our society. On a global level, this center is ranked as one of the best centres specializing in cancer research, a claim that can be gauged by the number and quality of scientific papers accepted for publication in addition to the innovative breakthroughs that pave the way for new drugs and therapies to counter the disease.

The CNIO is a young institution and a magnet for talented researchers from all over the world. Over 60%of the research associates are under age 40 and over 20% of the young people awarded post doctoral contracts come to this center from universities outside Spain.

To highlight also that the scientific advances that emerge from the CNIO are largely the work of women, who account for 68% of all scientists. That said, it should be noted that the percentage of women in charge of research projects is under 50%. Accordingly, in 2012 the Office of Women in Science (WISE) was established by the CNIO, aimed at countering the gendered stereotypes we see as the source of the inequality of opportunities between men and women, and from which scientific research is not exempt.

Bringing together all the SO centres and MM units under the umbrella of the SOMMa network will help create a robust platform for the entire Spanish science system to boost interactions with one another and be heard and better known within society. The CNIO will contribute to this alliance so the excellence of the Severo Ochoa Programme can reach beyond our centre.
Maria A. Blasco
Director at CNIO