VI Spanish influencers in science

10 October 2022 · ·

The Spanish Influencers in Science cycle, in which the Cervantes Institute joins forces with Spanish Scientists in Belgium (CEBE), the Embassy of Spain in Belgium and the Brussels Office of the Higher Council for Scientific Research, returns with its sixth edition in October of 2022.

In this event we will have Dr. Lluís Montoliu, researcher at the National Center for Biotechnology, President of the CSIC Ethics Committee and member of the Ethics panel of the European Research Council in Brussels. He extensive career includes working with gene editing, being one of the pioneers in the use of CRISPR technology in Spain. In addition, we will have Prof. Pascal Borry, from the Center for Ethics and Biomedical Law of the University of Leuven.

After presentations by both professors, a discussion on bioethics will take place. The activity will take place in English at 6:30 p.m. on October 13, 2022 at the Cervantes Institute in Brussels.


Get to know better our invited speakers:

Lluis Montoliu

Lluis Montoliu (Barcelona, 1963) is a CSIC Research Scientist and Deputy Director at the National Centre for Biotechnology and at the Spanish Research Initiative on Rare Diseases, in Madrid, Spain after working in Heidelberg and Barcelona. He is the Director of the Spanish node of the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA/INFRAFRONTIER). He has been Honorary Prpfessor at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and is currently Honorary Professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM).

At the CNB, since 1997, he leads a research team interested in basic science (genome organization), and in applied biomedical science, using animal models for the study of human rare diseases, such as albinism. He has pioneered the in vivo use of genome-editing CRISPR approaches in Spain. He has founded and served at the board of several scientific societies. He is the current President of ESPCR and ARRIGE and serves at the boards of additional national and international associations. He has been a member and Chair of the CSIC Ethics Committee and served as advisor to the CSIC Presidency on Ethics and Science Europe issues.

He currently serves at the Ethics Panel of ERC in Brussels. He has founded and chaired several scientific societies. He is the current President of ESPCR and ARRIGE. Besides research, he is also interested in ethics, education and popular science. He has written several books on genetics and albinism. He has received numerous awards for his scientific contributions and his outreach activities.

Pascal Borry is full professor of bioethics at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law (University of Leuven, Belgium). His main research activities are concentrated on the ethical, legal and social implications of innovative technologies. He published, among other issues, on topics such as direct-to-consumer genetic testing, public health genomics, biobanking, research on human tissue, genetic testing, preconceptional screening and neonatal screening, and sport ethics. He has published more than 200 publications in international peer reviewed journals.

He is programme director of the Master of Bioethics and teaches medical ethics to medical students. He is member of the Flemish Commission on neonatal screening (2012-2020), member of the Belgian Consultative Committee on Bioethics (2014-2018, 2019-2024) and expert of the Belgian Superior Health Council (2014-2020). Within the European Society of Human Genetics he was a member of the Professional and Public Policy Committee (2009-2016) and an elected member of the board (2012-2017). He is a member of the Research Ethics Committee of UZ/KU Leuven (2018-2021, 2022-2025). He was a member of the Ethics Expert Group of the World Anti-Doping Agency (2016-2020) and is currently a member of the WADA Independent Ethics Board (2022-2025). Since 2020, he is chair of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care of the University of Leuven.

He has received various prizes. In 2006 he received the triennal prize for biomedical ethics ‘Professor Roger Borghgraef’. In 2014 he also received the Innovation Prize of the Dutch Association for Community Genetics and Public Health Genomics, and in 2015 the prize of the Dutch Society for Bioethics. In 2015 he also received the Science Communication Award of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. He was a visiting scholar at the Case Western Reserve University, the Université de Montréal, and the VU Medical Center Amsterdam . He is Invited Scholar at the Center for Genomics and Policy of Mc Gill University.