29 April 2021

Champalimaud Foundation team distinguished with honourable mention by the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica 2020

The winners of the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica 2020 were announced today. In addition to the main prize, two Honourable Mentions for works on cancer and COVID-19 were awarded.

Champalimaud Foundation team distinguished with honourable mention by the Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica 2020

On the Honourable Mentions, the jury president, anatomopathology doctor and researcher Manuel Sobrinho Simões, referenced that “the jury distinguished (…) two works that show medical research's relevance and urgency; on the one hand cancer and new therapies that mark the research that is being done in this field and, on the other, the pandemic that dominated the year 2020.”

In the area of ​​cancer, “Zebrafish Avatars, Towards Personalized Cancer Treatment, a multidisciplinary venture”, coordinated by researcher Rita Fior, from the Champalimaud Foundation, was one of the works awarded in this category.

Result of the collaborative efforts of a multidisciplinary team comprised of biologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists from the Champalimaud Foundation and the Prof. Doutor Fernando da Fonseca Hospital, the award-winning research uses zebrafish to try to develop a test that determines the best therapy option for each cancer patient.

Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica 2020


Currently, international guidelines for cancer therapy provide therapeutic options based on the average response rates of large clinical trials. A “one size fits all” approach that is not applicable to all patients, as treatments may be effective for some of them, but not for others.

For this reason, patients often undergo trial and error approaches to find the best therapy, subject to unnecessary toxicities and wasting “therapeutic time”. Therefore, a test capable of predicting individual responses, before treatment, is a critical need for personalised and targeted treatment.

The results are promising as this model offers fast results, cell resolution and the ability to perform a large number of transplants. It also allows for the evaluation of crucial tumour characteristics, such as its metastatic and angiogenic potential, only possible due to the high genetic conservation between the human genome and that of the zebrafish. The initial project started with colorectal and breast cancers and is now being extended to other types of cancer.

The Prémio BIAL de Medicina Clínica 2020, awarded by the Fundação BIAL, recognises research work carried out in the clinical practice context, with results of great quality and relevance that have a direct impact on disease prevention and control as well as on the patients’ quality of life.

Congratulations to all involved in this study, as well as to the other winners who shared this distinction, which is so relevant in the national scientific panorama:


“A Paramiloidose em Portugal e no mundo: de doença fatal a doença crónica com qualidade de vida preservada”

Doutora Teresa Coelho (coordinator)
Dra. Isabel Conceição
Prof. Doutora Mónica Inês
Prof. Doutor Mamede Alves de Carvalho
Prof. Doutor João Nuno Costa


“Zebrafish Avatars, Towards Personalized Cancer Treatment, a multidisciplinary venture”

Prof. Doutora Rita Fior (coordinator)
Dra. Joana Ribeiro
Doutora Bruna Costa
Doutora Raquel Mendes
Doutora Marta Estrada 
Doutora Tânia Carvalho
Doutor Miguel Godinho Ferreira
Dr. António Pinto Gomes
Prof. Doutor Nuno Figueiredo
Dr. Carlos Carvalho
Prof. Doutora Mireia Castillo-Martín
Dra. Fátima Cardoso
Prof. Doutora Maria João Cardoso

Abordagem do doente crítico com COVID-19

Prof. Doutor João João Mendes (coordinator)
Prof. Doutor José Artur Paiva
Dr. Mário Branco
Dr. João Gouveia
Dr. Filipe Cabral Gonzalez
Dr. Paulo Mergulhão Gomes
Doutor Filipe Froes
Prof. Doutor Roberto Roncon de Albuquerque

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