José’s career started and ended with the unshakeable belief that advances in the field of oncology could, and would, eradicate cancer as a cause of death in his lifetime. Particularly, he saw incredible potential in translational science and precision medicine.
As a physician-scientist, José spent his early days bouncing between the bench lab and the bedside, and thought scientific research ought to do the same. He believed that the key was to bridge what was happening in the Petri dish with what was happening to the patient, in order to develop novel therapies that could improve the lives of real people.
In line with his patient-centric outlook, José also believed firmly in precision medicine, the notion that each patient should receive treatments tailored to their genetic makeup and individual characteristics.
These two pillars were instrumental in helping him develop 14 cancer medicines, many of which have become standard of care for treating patients with breast cancer. His last big triumph, months before he became sick, was his and AstraZeneca’s decision to collaborate with Daiichi Sankyo on Enhertu , a drug that promises to give unprecedented hope for patients with many types of cancers.
Throughout his career, José learned from and depended greatly on the support of his mentors, and strived to serve in this role himself for the next generation of oncologists. The following awards, grants, and programs – many of which are designed to support early-career scientists – are a way of keeping alive that desire to guide and support peers.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and AstraZeneca have created the "AACR-AZ Career Development Award for Physician-Scientists, in Honor of José Baselga.” The objective of this award is to support translational or clinical cancer projects by young researchers. The grant will award $300,000 annually for three years. The first call for applications was made in August 2021.
Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, has created the Conquer Cancer - AstraZeneca Young Investigator Award in Memory of Jose Baselga, MD, PhD. This award will fund clinical oncology projects with a focus on drug development by young physician scientists. This $60,000 award ($50,000 for the young investigator and $10,000 for their mentor), aims to help young scientists become independent oncology pioneers. This grant awardee will be announced in May of 2022.
The Vall d’Hebrón Instituto de Oncología (VHIO) was founded by José in 2006 with the aim of promoting translational and clinical research, and it has since become an internationally renowned center for clinical research. To recognize and support the ongoing contribution José made to clinical research in Spain, AstraZeneca has pledged its commitment to establish a new academic program at VHIO: the “José Baselga Disruptive Innovation Program.” This collaborative preserves José’s memory by creating a prestigious new institutional research program that reflects his disruptive view of science.
More details on the José Baselga Disruptive Innovation Program will be announced soon.
The Fundació d’Estudis i Recerca Oncologica (FERO), founded by José in 2001, announced a new annual award. The “Dr. José Baselga Award” promotes cancer research in Spain with the aim of attracting cutting-edge research in the world of oncology. The grant will award EUR300,000 annually. The first call for applicants will be in 2022.
HOSPITAL CLINIC BARCELONA & FUNDACION BBVA (Spain)
Jointly call for grants to pay tribute to Dr. J.Baselga & Dr. J.Rodés for specialists in the health sciences, with experience in research, who wish to deepen their scientific specialization. The scholarships are endowed with EUR100,000 per year for 3 years. First call has been opened in October 2021.