Arcadi Navarro receives Honorary Award for services to EGA


Dl, 13/03/2023 - 10:51

Arcadi Navarro receives Honorary Award for services to EGA

ICREA Research Professor Arcadi Navarro has received an Honorary Award at the 28th edition of a ceremony jointly organised by the Catalan Association of Telecommunications and the Official College of Computer Engineering of Catalonia.

The award distinguishes Prof. Navarro’s research career, in particular his role in establishing the European Genome-Phenome Archive (EGA), a digital infrastructure used by researchers worldwide that is jointly managed by the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI-EMBL) in Cambridge. The data is securely stored in the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS), with the support of the ”la Caixa” Foundation and ELIXIR, the European life sciences infrastructure.

Many countries have emerging personalised medicine programmes and research initiatives which generate useful data for understanding human health and disease. These datasets can reveal insights when compared to others, which is why data sharing across national borders is essential to help researchers understand the causes of diseases, such as cancer, rare diseases, or infectious diseases, and develop new medicines and treatments.

However, data generated in the context of medical genomics allow re-identification of individual participants, and thus are subject to stricter governance than usual research data and must follow national and international data protection legislation. To solve this challenge, these sensitive data are typically shared using specialist repositories, which provide secure access and analysis tools to approved researchers. The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) is one such specialist repository, easing the work of researchers worldwide. As Director of EGA, Dr. Navarro has played a critical role in its success.

Receiving the award at a ceremony held yesterday, Dr. Navarro said: "The European Genome-Phenome Archive is one of the most important accelerators of genomic medicine in the world. It is an amazing service to humanity, made possible by dozens and dozens of professionals who work to make these possible scientific advances which today have already reached our health systems and are already curing people."

The awards were presented yesterday evening at a gala in the Auditori de Barcelona attended by the Minister of the Presidency, Laura Vilagrà; the Minister of Business and Labour of the Generalitat, Roger Torrent; the secretary of Digital Policies, Gina Tost; and the Secretary of Telecommunications and Digital Transformation, Sergi Marcén.