The Jury

In its second edition, the Jury is composed of members appointed by Fundación de Investigación HM Hospitales, taking into account both their experience of accredited academic and professional prestige, as well as their international relevance for their contribution to science. These members represent and are an example of the values of ABARCA PRIZE.

The jury composed of a variety of professional profiles (scientific, clinical and other fields) and nationalities, will guarantee that the recipient of the prize has made a significant scientific contribution to the improvement of people’s health worldwide.

Alberto Muñoz

President of the jury

Professor Alberto Muñoz is Research Professor of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Madrid (IIB). He is also Doctor of Science at the Autonomous University of Madrid (1983), and he has worked at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg, 1986-1988) and at the Institute for Molecular Pathology (Genentech-Boehringer Ingelheim, Vienna, 1990-1991), where his work on erbA genes has contributed to the characterization of the c-erbA protein as the receptor for thyroid hormones.

On the doctor’s return to Madrid in 1991, he investigated the effects of thyroid hormones and the erbA genes in the brain and mammary gland at the IIB.  Since 1999 he has studied the action of vitamin D and its VDR receptor, including work on the Wnt / beta-catenin in colon cancer.

Professor Alberto Muñoz has been Coordinator of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the National Agency for Evaluation and Prospective (1997-2000) and at the Secretary of State for Universities and Research (2001-2006) of the Ministry of Education and Science. He has worked as a member and co-ordinator in the Biology and Biomedicine Area of ​​the CSIC (2000-2008), President of the Scientific Commission of the IIB (2015-2018), and Patron of the Scientific Foundation of the Spanish Association against Cancer (2007-2014).

He has received a number of awards for his work on nuclear receptors and cancer. He has won the Rey Jaime I Prize for Basic Research (1993), the first Prize from the Francisco Cobos Foundation for Biomedical Research (2000), the Harington-De Visscher Prize from the European Thyroid Association (1999), and first prize from the Vilardell Gastroenterology Foundation (2006).

Professor Alberto Muñoz has written 170 articles in international journals. He has 11,500 citations and an h factor of 56.

The professor enjoys a notable scientific reputation national and internationally and his life, dedicated to research, has led to significant advancements in public health.

Jean-Laurent Casanova


Prof. Jean-Laurent Casanova is the Levy Family Professor at the Rockefeller University in New York, where he is also Head of the St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Professor at the University of Paris Cité, where he is Head of the Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, at the Imagine Institute; He received his MD from the University of Paris Descartes and his Ph.D. from the Pierre-et-Marie-Curie University after being trained at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne.

Currently, he is also the chairman of the COVID Human Genetic Effort international consortium and an editor of The Journal of Experimental Medicine. He is a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Over more nearly 30 years, his work has revolutionized the study of infectious diseases, by identifying genetic variations that affect people’s ability to fight infectious agents.

In 2021, Prof. Casanova was the winner of the first edition of ‘ABARCA PRIZE’ for having solved the so-called “infection enigma”. The biological and medical impact of Prof. Casanova’s scientific research is important. His work is progressively transforming the understanding and management of infectious diseases worldwide.

His brilliant professional career positions him as a benchmark in the medical and scientific field for his discoveries, which have contributed to improving the health of populations worldwide.

Silvia Priori


Prof. Silvia G. Priori is a cardiologist and researcher who has combined clinical practice with basic and translational research. In Italy, she works at the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Pavia and at the ICS Maugeri Hospital.

Since 2012, Prof. Priori has been the Scientific Director of the ICS Maugeri network which consists of up to 15 hospitals. She has also held various positions within scientific societies: She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Heart Rhythm Society in the United States, as a Member of the Board of the European Society of Cardiology, and as President of the European Heart Rhythm Society.

Prof. Priori has dedicated her clinical and research activities to understanding the molecular mechanisms that lead to inherited arrhythmias, and, since 2013, she has focused on developing molecular therapies for these diseases. One of the greatest challenges in the field is the scarcity of experimental models to recapitulate arrhythmogenic syndromes, and an important part of the doctor’s research is directed towards changing this.

Prof. Priori’s position as a leading figure in the health sector is not only due to her outstanding research. As a woman scientist, she is a source of inspiration for next generation female doctors who might be considering specializing in areas such as cardiology.

Juan Luis Arsuaga


Juan Luis Arsuaga is a doctor in Biological Sciences at the Complutense University of Madrid. At the same university he is also a Professor of Paleontology in the Faculty of Geological Sciences.

He directs the UCM-Carlos III Health Institute Joint Center for Human Evolution and Behavior. He is also a co-director of the Sierra de Atapuerca deposits, a project which won the Prince of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research in 1997. Juan Luis Arsuaga also co-directs the excavations of the Valley of the Neanderthals (Madrid). He is a Scientific Director at the Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos as well. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States and a Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Burgos, the Polytechnic of Valencia, and the University of Zaragoza.

Juan Luis Arsuaga is the sole author and collaborating author of numerous popular science books translated into many languages. These include: “The Chosen Species”, “The Neanderthal’s Necklace”, “Amalur. From the Atom to the Mind”, “Darwin’s Watch”, “The First Trip of Our Life”,”The Indelible Seal”, “Life. The Great Story”, and “Life Told by a Sapien to a Neanderthal”.

Not only his professional size, but also the passion and dedication that have marked his work, have contributed to making the dissemination of scientific discoveries accessible to the whole society.

Federico de Montalvo


Professor Federico de Montalvo is a doctor of law and aggregate associate professor of Constitutional Law in the Faculty of Law (ICADE) at Pontificia Comillas University. From 2017 to February 2021, he was the director of the Centre for Innovation in Law (CID-ICADE) in the same faculty, where he was a member of the dean team. He is currently Vice-Rector for Institutional Relations and Secretary-General of the University.

Having previously held the position of vice-president from 2013 to 2018, Professor Federico de Montalvo has been President of the Bioethics Committee of Spain since 2019.

Since 2014, the professor has been a member of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) of UNESCO. He also holds the position of Corresponding Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine and the Royal Academy of Pharmacy in Murcia. He has been a member of the Healthcare Ethics Committee of the Twelfth of October Hospital (where he currently works as an external advisor). He has also been a member of the CEIC-R of the Community of Madrid and of the CEIC of the Hospital de la Princesa.

In addition, the professor is a member of the Board of Directors at the Ibero-American Association of Health Law, at the Spanish Association of Health Risk Management, and at the Association of Health Lawyers. Besides this, he is a member of the Spanish Association of Health Law. He is also a member and researcher at the Santander Chair in the Rights of the Child at the Pontificia Comillas University.

Professor Federico de Montalvo’s strong ethical principles have always been integral to his professional work. Alongside experts from the Ministry of Health, community stakeholders, and other external bodies that work in vaccinology, public health, and public opinion, the professor is one of the authors of Spain’s national COVID-19 vaccination strategy.