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JOSEP BASELGA (Barcelona, 1959)

He graduated in Medicine in 1982 from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and earned his doctorate in 1992. He started his career in the United States in 1986, first at State University in New York and later at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the same city, where he performed the first studies in patients with monoclonal antibodies against growth factor receptors. Nowadays these antibodies, known as Erbitux and Herceptin, have improved the prospects of thousands of patients around the world.

From 1996 to 2010 he was Chairman of the Medical Oncology Service and Founding Director of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) in Barcelona: in the years he worked there he turned the unit into a leading international oncology research centre.

He moved back to the United States in 2010 and joined the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, where he headed the Hematology/Oncology Division. He is also Professor of Medicine at the Harvard School of Medicine.

Since 2013 he has been the medical director of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. An international leader in the search for new cancer treatments with a special emphasis on breast cancer, he develops drugs for treating breast cancer and studies strategies to overcome mechanisms of resistance, and has also led the clinical development of several new agents.

He has promoted the creation of health research and services centres such as the Baselga Oncology Institute, founded in 1995, and the Foundation for Oncology Studies and Research (FERO), set up in 2001 and inspired by the American model of philanthropy which seeks to engage civil society in the fight against cancer.

He is the author of nearly 300 papers published in international scientific journals, fifty of which have appeared in the ‘Journal of Clinical Oncology’, the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s flagship journal. Most of them are about breast cancer and new therapeutic developments with drugs.

He has been President of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and of the European Society for Medical Oncology, and is also a member of several organisations including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Association of American Physicians.

His scientific and intellectual career has been recognised with numerous awards including the AACR Young Investigator Award (1999), the European Society for Medical Oncology Award (2005), the City of Barcelona Award (2006), the San Salvatore Foundation Award for Cancer Research (2006), the Spanish Government’s Civil Order of Health (2008), the AACR’s Rosenthal Family Foundation Award (2008), the American Society of Clinical Oncology Statesman Award (2008), the Jaume I Award for Medical Research (2008) and the Josep Trueta Medal of the Regional Government of Catalonia (2012).

MANEL ESTELLER (Sant Boi de Llobregat, 1968)

In 1992 he graduated in Medicine from the University of Barcelona, and in 1996 he earned his doctorate in the molecular genetics of endometrial carcinoma. He was an invited researcher at the School of Biological and Medical Sciences at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, during which time his research interests focused on the molecular genetics of inherited breast cancer.

Between 1997 and 2001 he did postdoctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in the United States, where he studied the relationship between DNA methylation and cancer. The results of his research were crucial in demonstrating that all human tumours have a specific chemical alteration in common: hypermethylation of tumour suppressor genes.

From 2001 to 2008 he led the Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory at the National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid. During this time he studied alterations in DNA methylation, modifications of histones and chromatin and their contribution to human cancer.

Since 2008 he has been the Director of the Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Programme at the Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBELL) in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat and Leader of the Cancer Epigenetics Group. He is also Professor of Genetics at the University of Barcelona’s School of Medicine and Research Professor at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA).

At present his research is mainly in epigenomic mapping of normal and transformed cells, studying epigenetic modifications and non-coding RNAs, as well as developing new epigenetic medications to treat cancer.

A pioneer and international leader in the field of epigenetics as a key factor in the development of cancer, he has helped to revise established scientific paradigms, shown the importance of external factors in the modification of genes with an impact on their control, and promoted the development of new drugs for treating cancer.

He is the author of over 400 articles in the field of biomedical sciences, a member of many international scientific societies and a reviewer for various scientific journals. He chairs the Society of Epigenetics and is a permanent member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Catalonia, a corresponding member of the Royal National Academy of Pharmacy and a member of the Faculty of 1000.

He has received numerous awards for his research career including the Johns Hopkins University Basic Research Award (1999), the European Association for Cancer Research’s Best Researcher Award (2000), the Carcinogenesis-Oxford University Award (2005), the Josef Steiner Cancer Research Foundation Award (2009), the World Health Summit Award (2010), the National Genetic Award (2011), the Jaume I Award for basic research (2013), the Josep Trueta Medal of Health Merit (2015), the National Research Award of the Regional Government of Catalonia (2015) and the Parliament of Catalonia’s Gold Medal (2016).

JOAN MASSAGUÉ (Barcelona, 1953)

He graduated in Pharmacy from the University of Barcelona in 1975, where he also earned his doctorate in biochemistry 1978. In 1979 he won a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, in the United States, where in 1982 he made his first discovery: the structure of the insulin receptor.

Later that year he became a Professor in Biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he remained until 1989 when he became a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, near Washington, and Chair of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he has been Scientific Director since 2014. His research work is mainly conducted at the Center where he mostly studies metastasis.

He has also taught at the Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Cornell University Medical College Institute in New York and from 2011 to 2014 chaired the Advisory Council of the National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid.

A global leader in cell behaviour and cancer metastasis research, his investigation is critical in learning about the mechanisms that make it possible to halt cellular proliferation, a process which when uncontrolled leads to the formation of tumours. Likewise his work has also made it possible to identify the genes and mechanisms that control the metastasis of tumour cells in breast and lung cancer to other organs, especially the brain, a discovery that has opened up new research possibilities and treatment pathways.

The author of more than 300 scientific articles, he is one of the most cited researchers in biomedical sciences and thus one of the most influential internationally; by way of example, in 2011 and 2015 he was included in Thomson Reuters’ lists of Highly Cited Researchers.

A scientific adviser to numerous public and private institutions and corporations, he has promoted the establishment of research centres and is for instance one of the founders of the Institute for Biomedical Research in Barcelona.

He is a member of several scientific organisations including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the United States National Academy of Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organisation and the Spanish Royal Academies of Medicine and Pharmacy.

He has received numerous awards for his work including the City of Barcelona Award (1995), the Howard Taylor Ricketts Award (2002), the Gold Medal of the Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2003), the Prince of Asturias Scientific and Technical Research Award (2004), the Catalan of the Year Award (2005), the Catalan Cross of St. George (2006), the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Research Award (2007), the Queen Sofía Institute Gold Medal (2010) and the National Culture Award (2014).

Anthropologist and primatologist (London, 1934)


Jane Goodall was born in London, but in 1957 fulfilled her dream of travelling to Africa where, in Tanzania, she met the palaeontologist Louis Leakey who would guide her in the study of chimpanzees. She set about researching and documenting the social and family life of the Kasakela chimpanzee community, which lived in the wild in Gombe Stream National Park. In 1963, the National Geographic published her studies, and in 1977 she established the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research. Appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and a United Nations Messenger of Peace, Goodall has been made Doctor Honoris Causa by some fifty universities worldwide.

In 1992 Dr. Goodall established the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, in the Republic of Congo, which now cares for more than 150 orphaned chimpanzees and has become the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in Africa. The project includes the reintroduction of suitable individuals into zones of protected jungle, an initiative which has enjoyed great success since 2013. An emotive moment in the programme was produced on release of the chimpanzee named Wounda, who spontaneously turned and embraced Jane Goodall as a way of expressing her gratitude and saying farewell before making her way into the jungle. This video has been seen by over a million people.

Jane Goodall currently combines her scientific work with the protection of biodiversity and the promotion of peace and understanding amongst peoples. 

The Jane Goodall Institute has a team in Spain, with headquarters in Barcelona, which since 2007 has created and conducted various original programmes of research, environmental education, conservation, ecotourism, cultural diversity and sustainable development throughout the country, as well as in a number of African nations, such as Senegal and the Republic of Congo.

Archbishop (Kleksdorp, South Africa, 1931)

Desmond Mpilo Tutu worked as a teacher in his youth, even though his childhood dream was to become a physician. Master in Theology, he was ordained a priest in 1961 and in 1978, following the revolt in Soweto, Tutu held the position of selected as the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, an institution that challenged the white society and the Government, aiding the victims of apartheid. He coined the phrase “rainbow nation” to metaphorically describe South-Africa following apartheid. In 1984 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and a year later elected Bishop of Johannesburg. In 1986 he was promoted to Archbishop of Cape Town and 10 years later he retired. Since then he has occupied various academic and world leadership positions.


Politician and doctor. Former Prime Minister of Norway (Oslo, 1939)

Dr. Brundtland entered politics in 1966, and in 1981 she became Norway's first woman prime minister and also the youngest. She served three terms in this position until 1996. Later she was appointed Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the first woman to hold the post, and led the movement to eliminate tobacco addiction. For three years she formed part of the group The Elders, created by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to promote peace and human rights around the world. Her vision of sustainability has inspired an entire generation of politicians and scientists and is now adopted by large organisations and public companies who have an awareness of their social responsibility and a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Student, activist and politician (Mingora, Pakistan, 1997)

Malala Yousafzai is known worldwide for the blog she wrote on the BBC Urdu website describing her everyday life in Pakistan, where education for girls is practically impossible. Later, the New York Times filmed a documentary on the same theme, converting Malala into a prominent figure. The Taliban threatened to kill her, and finally in October 2012 a gunman shot at her as she was returning home by bus. Malala has recovered thanks to hospital treatment in Birmingham, England, where she has announced the creation of the Malala Foundation to promote education for girls. A symbol of hope, resistance, struggle, bravery and courage, Malala is today a leading point of reference in the defence of civil rights, having mobilised hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Politician. Former president of Brazil (Vargem Grande - currently Caetés-, Brazil, 1945)

Born into a family of farmers, he has had a wide career as union leader and is co-founder, honorary president and affiliated member of one of Brazil’s major political parties, the Brazilian labour party - Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT). Da Silva was president of Brazil between 2003 and 2011. His Bossa Familia (Family Allowance) and Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) social programmes are the greatest legacy of his period of office. In 2011 he was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, which he has since successfully overcome.

Writer (Kyoto, Japan. 1949)

Degree in literature and drama at Waseda, began to work in a record store and opened a bar until 1986, after the great success of his novel "Tokyo Blues" went to live in Europe and America. Professor at Princeton in 1991 and Tufts University in Medford in 1993, returned to Japan in 1995. He wrote his first book of fiction at age 29 and the main theme, but not the only one, of his novels is the loss of love.

Politics. Former president of the United States of America. (Plains, Georgia, USA, 1924)

Dedicated to the economic and political development of disadvantaged peoples, Carter, who has also received the Nobel Peace Prize, has focused more on his work after the U.S. president in his work as chair. However, during his tenure there was the meeting at Camp David between Israelis and Arabs, returned the Panama Canal in the country and created three secretaries of state did not exist in the U.S. (education, human rights and energy).

Artist. (New York, USA, 1951)

Viola was a pioneer of video-art and is recognised internationally as an innovator and one of its best established proponents. His work has been fundamental in establishing video as a living contemporary art form. In his 35 year career Viola has created videotapes, architectural video installations, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast.

Politics. (Yangon, Myanmar, 1945)

Inspired by the pacifist Gandhi and his Buddhist faith, Aung San Suu Kyi calls for a revolution of the spirit based on the recognition of the need for dialogue and compassion for the humble. As a result of their peaceful activities in 1989 was under house arrest and remains in this situation. He took the helm of the National League for Democracy, which won the 1990 election by absolute majority. Military officials, however, refused to take into account this result, so that his party could not form a civilian government. Aung San Suu Kyi, subject to close scrutiny, he preferred to stay with his people witnessing to their faith in the idea of goodness and justice. In 1991 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent struggle in defence of democracy and human rights.

Doctor. (Mawlamyaing, Myanmar, 1959)

Committed to the most disadvantaged, directs Maung Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Thai village on the border with Myanmar, formerly Burma. In this center, Dr. Maung provides medical care to a population of 150,000 people either specialized care, training, home visits or sponsorship of women's organizations. Her work has been recognized internationally and even in 2005 was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Entomologist. (Birmingham, USA, 1929)

Known for his work on evolution and sociobiology, Wilson is a specialist on ants and their use of pheromones as a means of communication and world-renowned for introducing the term biodiversity. In 1975 he published “Sociobiology The New Synthesis”, where, under the name of sociobiology, proposed a theory consisting of the systematic study of the biological basis of all social behaviour. It is the evolutionary biologist who first postulated the theory that the key to evolution is the preservation of the gene rather than the individual. Thus, it established sociobiology as a new field of science.

Bishop. (Balsareny, Spain, 1928)

Since 1968 lives in Brazil, first as founder of a Claretian mission in Mato Grosso, then as apostolic administrator of the Prelature, and was appointed titular bishop and prelate AltaVista. Follower and preacher of liberation theology, Casaldàliga has been bishop of the Prelature for 33 years. In 2005 he was relieved, but still works with indigenous people and peasants. His public denunciation of the large landowners, who because of local poverty, has alleged death threats on several occasions. He is noted for its position in favor of so-called liberation theology, condemned by the Vatican, in defence of the people that this school of thought rejects call to call impoverished poor, as they have been exploited by rich countries.

Anthropologist. (Brussels, 1908 - Paris, 2009)

He lived in Brazil in the 30s and there carried out her first fieldwork, conducting periodic examinations to Mato Grosso and the Amazon rainforest. This experience marked his professional identity in the field of anthropology. Studied the role of women in non-Western cultures and kinship structures of families. His work "The Savage Mind", 1962, was a racking in the social sciences, because of the recognition of mental work of the "primitive" and the defence of a science in the Neolithic.

Writer. (Jerusalem, 1939)

Considered one of the most influential intellectuals in Israel, was one of the first who called for the separation into two states as a solution to the conflict árabeisralí after the Six-Day War. In 1978 he opposed the process of building Jewish settlements as a way of establishment on the territory and created the Shalom Ajshav movement (Peace now). Strong supporter of the Oslo Accords of 1993 for the establishment of peaceful relations between Jews and Palestinians, was also in favor of establishing a dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

Philosopher. (Damascus, 1949)

Human rights activist and the Arab-Israeli reconciliation, since 2001, striving for peace between the two towns based on the coexistence of two neighbouring states. He was severely attacked by his own co-religionists for his advocacy for the resignation of the Palestinian "right of return."

Writer and social activist. (Kafr Tahla, Egypt, 1931)

His political activities were not always recognized, since cost him several positions, including Director of Public Health, but the work he has done al-Sa'dawi against the inequalities facing women in rural areas incomparable. The Egyptian government considered her controversial and dangerous and jailed for a year, which, after receiving death threats, forcing her into exile in the United States, from where he has continued his activism in favor of women's rights.

Essayist. (New York, USA, 1930)

The creative work and the quality of deep critical North American essayist Harold Bloom in the study of literature have opened new avenues for the interpretation of texts, although it has broken with academic orthodoxy. And this with the affirmation of what he calls the "occidental canon”, a hierarchy of letters and their content is understood as an essential component of the history of civilization and the human spirit that is both an extraordinary portrait of the values moral through literature. Similarly, he defends the reading of books as the hub of personal training and dynamic image of the world.

Historian. (Rome, 1950)

Italian historian Andrea Riccardi transforms his conviction and his experiences in a Christian evangelical effort open and spread around the world, basically through the Community of Sant'Egidio, association founded by him in 1968 that deals with marginalized, sick people, undocumented immigrants and abandoned children. It promotes the same time a vast religious dialogue and interfaith civic, and participates in the peace process in several Third World countries. Finally, with his books, Riccardi offers a panorama and a clear and striking reflection of the Church and the Papacy of the twentieth century.

Historian. (Azemmour, Moroco, 1933)

The methodological rigor and cultural richness, as well as the political and historiographic compromise which the Moroccan historian Abdallah Laroui establishes with modernity, through an inviolable critical sense and from a universalistic point of view, make him one of the most significant figures of the Arab intellectuality. Laroui has elaborated a History of Magreb in which the search for a common identity starts from the diversity of the elements, from a non biased erudition, rejecting at the same time nationalism and the stratified tradition of its medievalists as well as an occidentalism implicitly colonialist. He has also developed a novel which is technically renewed and rooted in the Moroccan symbolical heritage, with which he inquires into some characters and also into a set of problems drowned by a society that not even independence has set free.

Writer (Kermanshah, Persia, Iran, 1919 - London, 2013)

The vast literary work of the English writer Doris Lessing, especially the realist writings, shows an extraordinary ability to create characters and it enjoys great prestige all over the world. From a firm ethical consciousness devoid of demagogy, she is a clear and also moving example of a life marked by the political and social commitment denouncing, when nobody dared to do it, the racist regimes in South Africa, providing tragic evidence of the hard conditions in which lived the more helpless English classes, revealing the intellectual terrorism imposed by certain ideologies in the name of progress. She is, in fact, one of the sharpest and most genuine and sensible fighters in defense of women's liberation.

Former President of the European Commission. (Paris, 1925)

The French Jacques Delors is the last of the great politicians not only to conceive, but also to culminate the European Union as an historical sum, ideal and necessary to achieve peace and welfare for the citizens of the old continent over and above the excluding frontiers and ideological divisions. For the ten years that he presided the European Commission he renovated its structures, converting it into a genuine executive arm of the Community. When Delors finally could have harvested the fruits of his work as a politician in his country, he renounced them to devote himself generously to the promotion of European and humanitarian ideals that he has always defended.

Economist. (Shantiniketan, India, 1933)

The Indian economist identifies the humanistic aspect of modern economic science and connects it once again with the moral philosophy of the classics. The economy, according to him, has to draw closer to ethics, and ethics to economy. Sen is an economist committed to freedom, human rights and democracy too. But the singularity of his commitment emerges from his economic theory and the applicability of this to aspects of the welfare of humanity. In this sense, democracy for Sen is not a luxury in relation to economic growth, as other economists sustain, but rather it improves economic efficiency and the welfare of the population.

Novelist. (Hemite, Turkey, 1923)

The great quality of the fictional work of the Turkish writer, probably the most important in Turkey, borns of the sources that go from Homer to the Thousand and One Nights, and which he has absorbed through the oral tradition recited by the errant Turkish and Kurdish bards. He then builds a fabulous world, expressive, full of an epic air, in which hunger, violence and the powerful secret codes confront poverty with oppression, the whole sublimated by formidable lyrical power. Thus, he has contributed decisively to the creation of Turkish as a literary language. At the same time, Kemal denounces implacably the bloody persecution suffered by the Kurdish people.

Former president of the Federal Republic of Germany. (Stuttgart, Germany, 1920)

The richness and naturalness inherent to the German politician Richard von Weizsäcker’s ten year period in the presidency of Germany in the fields of humanism, dignity, peace, equality, have made him into one of the foremost European architects of political thought and practice in the most noble sense, rejecting racism as much as totalitarianism, or social injustice.

Writer and essayist. President of the Czech Republic. (Prague, 1936)

The literary and essayistic work of the Czech writer and politician Václav Havel reflects, in addition to its intrinsic quality, a humanistic content, a key to freedom, unavoidable for any person and society aspiring to dignity and democracy. It is work that has been decisive in the collective struggle against the oppression that his country was subjected for decades, and has constituted a solid foundation for the author’s function in his role as a President of the Czech Republic.

Philosopher. (Paris, 1921)

The incomparable work of the French sociologist Edgar Morin is based on the anthropological and social complexity and richness of the human being. His investigational methods are always rigorous and open, allowing him to articulate from the biological to the imaginary dimension, offering the unity of the species as the scientific foundation for the diversity of man and arriving at an essential ecological oneness.

Geneticist. (Genoa, 1922)

The work of the Italian geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza stands out in a remarkable way on account of having established the first synthesis of the theoretical basis of modern populations genetics, and for having produced the first history of the differentiation between human ethnical groups. This history is nowadays the most widely accepted as a reconstruction of the past. His research is a model in the integration of different fields; based on genetics it folds out towards other areas of knowledge: archaeology, demography, ethnology and linguistics.

Cellist. (Baku, USSR, now Azerbaijan,1927 – Moscow, 2007)

The exceptional artistic capability of the Russian cellist makes him a creative interpreter with and irresistible communication potential, with a sonorous fullness pervaded by power and nuances. Rostropovich is to such extent identified with his instrument that he manages to suppress the feeling of a technical servitude. Also, his forceful defence of freedom, human rights and democracy for the people of Russia has made him an emblem of a deeply humanistic conception of man and society.

Oceanographer. (Saint-André-de-Cubzac, France, 1910 - Paris, 1997)

The global, totalising vision of the Earth as a living, interdependent planet, and his extraordinary oceanographic task, carried out from the Mediterranean to the Antarctica, of the French ecologist were decisive. He has made it understood that the conservation of life on Earth depends on achieving economic development without destroying the endangered species. His interdisciplinary work, through the use of the communications means of our technological society, has reached the whole world, and created a vast, authentic ecological awareness.

Physicist (Santokdas, Pakistan, 1926 – Oxford, England, 1996)

The decisive contribution to contemporary science made by the Pakistani physicist Abdus Salam, 1979 Nobel Prize, is basically the creation and development of the unified theory of electromagnetic and weak forces. Moreover, his humanistic and ecological dedication have turned him into a great fighter against the arms and nuclear race.Likewise, in 1964 he created in the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, in the very centre of the Mediterranean, where more than 4.000 third world scientists further their studies every year.

Philosopher, sociologist and theorist of Science (Vienna, 1902 – London, 1994)

With his permanent reflection, the philosopher Karl R. Popper has contributed decisively to the definition of the philosophy of science and culture, the theory of probability and criticism of ideologies, always based on his great argument in favour of an open society and the interaction between reason and reality.

Update:  12.07.2017