(Zaragoza. Monday, October 9, 2023). A work to improve the treatment of bites caused by ticks (Ixodoidea) won the final of the Thesis in 3 minutes competition of the Campus Iberus of International Excellence of the Ebro Valley, which was held on Friday, October 6 at the University from Lleida (UdL). Antonio Beltrán Rosel, from the University of Zaragoza (UNIZAR), and researcher in the Water and Environmental Health group, has won the first prize (with a financial prize of €1000) and the possibility of participating in an international phase, scheduled for the next few days. November 20 and 21 in Colombia. The jury also awarded two second prizes, worth 600 euros each, to researchers Marina Pérez Aliacar (UNIZAR) and Luisa Velasquez Camacho (UdL).
In this 9th edition of the competition, 23 doctoral students from the four universities that make up the consortium have participated: UNIZAR, UdL, La Rioja (UR) and Pública de Navarra (UPNA). Beltrán put the jury in his pocket with the presentation titled Don’t screw up with the tick, staging the conversation between a doctor and a patient. “We value her ability to dramatize the presentation of her research, with touches of humor that made it closer to the public, without sacrificing rigor in the presentation or failing to explain the importance of applying the results obtained,” highlighted the jury.
A total of 13 researchers reached the final, 9 women and 4 men. UNIZAR was represented by Antonio Beltrán Rosel (first prize), Isidro Arévalo Vargas, Fátima Méndez López de la Manzanara, Bárbara Palacino Blázquez, Marina Pérez Aliacar (second prize) and Julia Sánchez García. Representing the UPNA, Luisa Chocarro de Erauso and Maitane Maisterra Udi. Julio César Moreno Alfonso could not participate due to an unforeseen work event. The UR had Sandra A. Martínez Álvarez and Pablo Villoslada-Blanco; while the UdL presented the works of Núria Garcia-Blanc and Luisa Velásquez Camacho (second prize).
The winner of this Campus Iberus contest has developed a new technique for identifying ticks using mass spectrometry for peptides and proteins. Discovering the specific species gives clues to healthcare professionals about the infectious diseases that these mites transmit and, therefore, allows them to adjust the treatment.
UNIZAR researcher Marina Pérez presented Mathematics against cancer: modeling the phenotypic plasticity of glioblastoma. Meanwhile, UdL doctoral student Luisa Velásquez, from the doctoral program in Forestry and Natural Environment Management, explained her thesis on the ecosystem services provided by urban trees and how, using Artificial Intelligence algorithms, their location and species can be determined. .
The jury was made up of the rector of the University of La Rioja and president of the Campus Iberus Consortium, Juan Carlos Ayala Calvo; UNIZAR professor Concepción Aldea Chagoyen; the screenwriter and actor Ferran Aixalà Pelegrí; the director of the newspaper Segre, Anna Sàez Mateu; and the coordinator of Communication, Dissemination and Press of the UdL, Estanislau Fons.
Ayala presented the awards, accompanied by the rector of the UdL, Jaume Puy; and the director of the UdL Doctoral School, M. Àngels Balsells.