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Jiménez Díaz Commemorative Lecture

The Fundación Conchita Rábago annually holds the Jiménez Díaz Commemorative Lecture to distinguish the work of an outstanding international figure in medicine or biomedical research. The lecture is given in the Great Hall of the Fundación Jiménez Díaz, accompanied by prominent researchers who complement the event with a symposium.

LV Jiménez Díaz Commemorative Lecture

Onsite and Online

Tuesday, May 21, 2024. 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz

Conference Hall. Av. Reyes católicos 2, Madrid


Dennis Lo

"Non-invasive plasma DNA testing: from dream to reality"

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Registration 2024



Organizing Committee:

Gregorio de Rábago Juan-Aracil, Rosa de Rábago Sociats, Pedro de Rábago González, Luis Jiménez-Díaz Egoscozábal, Isabel Ferreiro Carrobles.


Scientific Comittee:

Joaquín Sastre Domínguez, Isaura de Rábago Juan-Aracil, Carmen Ayuso García, José María Aguado García, Miguel Górgolas Hernández-Mora.



leccion 2020



SYMPOSIUM “Current and future applications of circulating DNA”

08:30 a.m.   Registration

09:00 a.m.   Introduction and modation

Carmen Ayuso García

Scientific Director, Jiménez Díaz Foundation Health Research Institute (IISFJD, UAM). Head of the Genetics Service, Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital, Madrid.

                 Damián García Olmo

Head of the Department of General Surgery and the Digestive System, Neck and Breast, Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital, Madrid. Professor of Surgery, Autonomous University of Madrid.


09.10 a.m.  Non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of monogenic diseases

Ana Bustamante Aragonés

Associate Physician, Genetics Service, Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital, Madrid


09:35 a.m. Non-invasive prenatal screening programmes for aneuploidies

Javier Suela Rubio

President, Spanish Association of Prenatal Diagnosis. Technical Director of Genetics, Sanitas Hospitales.


10:00 a.m. State of the art of liquid biopsy in oncology

Jesús García-Foncillas López

Director of the Oncology Department, Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital. Professor of Oncology, Autonomous University of Madrid.


10:25 a.m. Incorporation of liquid biopsy into the SNS service portfolio

Federico Rojo Todo

Head of the Pathological Anatomy Service, Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital, Madrid.

10:50 a.m. Circulating DNA as the origin of metastases

Ricardo Sánchez Prieto

Senior Scientist of the CSIC, Alberto Sols Biomedical Research Institute - Morreale / University of Castilla La Mancha.

11:15 a.m.  Discussion



 "Non-invasive plasma DNA testing: from dream to reality"

Dennis Lo

Li Ka Shing Professor of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

01:30 p.m.  Imposition of medal. Closure.



Dennis Lo

Professor Dennis Lo is a scientist recognized worldwide for his contribution to the development of non-invasive prenatal tests by discovering free fetal DNA in maternal blood. The importance of his discovery goes beyond the prenatal scope, since free DNA is a non-invasive biomarker to detect other diseases, such as cancer.


Professor Dennis Lo is the Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, the Li Ka Shing Professor of Medicine, and Professor of a Chemical Pathology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He is also the Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK. Dennis Lo received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge and the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Oxford.


Following his training at Oxford, he was appointed as the University Lecturer in Clinical Biochemistry and Honorary Consultant Chemical Pathologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital, the teaching hospital of the University of Oxford Clinical School. He was also a Fellow at Green College, Oxford.


Dennis Lo returned to Hong Kong in 1997. In the same year, he discovered the presence of fetal DNA in maternal plasma. His group has since remained at the forefront of this field. His group was the first to report the presence of cell-free fetal RNA and fetal epigenetic markers in maternal plasma and pioneered the use of such markers for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. Dennis Lo was also the first to show that cell-free fetal nucleic acids in maternal plasma could be used for the non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of fetal trisomy 21 and had devised multiple solutions for this hitherto difficult diagnostic problem, including methods based on plasma RNA-SNP allelic ratios, plasma epigenetic markers, digital PCR and massively parallel DNA sequencing. With the use of massively parallel sequencing and the development of novel bioinformatics strategies, Dennis Lo’s group succeeded at deciphering a genome-wide genetic map of the fetus through the analysis of the small amounts of fragmented DNA floating in the blood of pregnant women. This scientific achievement lays the foundation for developing non-invasive prenatal diagnostic tests for multiple genetic diseases in a non-invasive way.


Dennis Lo has extended his work to other fields. He discovered that DNA from a transplanted solid organ could be detected in the plasma of a transplant recipient. This discovery has led to the development of non-invasive test for monitoring post-transplantation rejection. He has also done foundational work in the development of cancer liquid biopsies. Using nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) as a model system, he demonstrated that cancer liquid biopsies could be used for the detection, monitoring and prognostication of cancer. He also demonstrated that screening of NPC in asymptomatic individuals using a plasma DNA test was feasible and resulted in a 10-fold reduction in mortality. More recently, he has demonstrated that screened individuals showing a seemingly ‘false-positive’ test result had an increased risk of future cancer on follow-up.


Dennis Lo has developed multiple approaches for generalizing cancer screening by plasma DNA analysis to multiple cancer types. He developed a genomewide DNA methylation based approach in which a single blood test could be used to detect multiple types of cancer. He has also demonstrated that such an approach could be used to localise the tissue of origin of a detected cancer. These technologies have now been commercialised through the Grail’s Galleri test.


Professor Lo has received numerous awards, including the 2014 King Faisal International Prize for Medicine and being named as a ‘Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate - Chemistry’ in 2016. Professor Lo was also selected as the winner of the inaugural Future Science Prize-Life Science Prize in 2016, a prize which was seen as China’s Nobel Prize, Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award in 2019, Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2021, Royal Medal in biological sciences in 2021, and the Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award in 2022. He has been named the “Top 20 Translational Researchers” by Nature Biotechnology in five consecutive years.


Professor Lo was also elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011 and an International Member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2013. He is also a Founding Member and the current President of the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences.


Executive Committee Jiménez Díaz Memorial Lecture


Joaquín Sastre Domínguez

Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz.

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


Vice Chair:

Borja Ibáñez Cabeza

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares

Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz



Luis Jiménez-Díaz Egoscozábal

Despacho Jones Day


Fernando Alfonso Manterola

Fernando Alfonso Manterola

Hospital Universitario de La Princesa

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Juan Luis Arsuaga Ferreras

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Museo de la Evolución Humana de Burgos

Carmen Ayuso García

Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz, IIS-FJD, UAM

Fundación Conchita Rábago de Jiménez Díaz

Lina Badimon Maestro

Centro de Investigación Cardiovascular, CSIC-ICCC

Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Gorka Bastarrika Alemañ

Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Universidad de Navarra

José Luis Calleja Panero

Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Damián García Olmo

Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Pedro Guillén García

Clínicas CEMTRO

Real Academia Nacional de Medicina de España

César de Haro Castella

Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, CSIC-UAM

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

University of California, San Diego








Katalin Karikó

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

University of Szeged, Hungary


Domingo A. Pascual Figal

Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca

Universidad de Murcia

Silvia G. Priori

Universidad de Pavia

Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri

Pedro de Rábago González

Fundación Conchita Rábago de Jiménez Díaz

Gregorio de Rábago Juan-Aracil

Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Fundación Conchita Rábago de Jiménez Díaz

Isaura  de Rábago Juan-Aracil

Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas

Rosa de Rábago Sociats

Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz

Fundación Conchita Rábago de Jiménez Díaz

Olga Sánchez Pernaute

Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz

Andrés Varela de Ugarte

Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


José Vivancos Mora

Hospital Universitario de La Princesa

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid





Jiménez Díaz Commemorative Lecture (1969/2023)


2023. Katalin Karikó

“Developing mRNA for therapy"

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2022. Pedro Guillen Garcia

"The Cell as Medicine. The Cell, the Chondrocyte – a Therapeutic Opportunity"

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2021. Juan Luis Arsuaga Ferreras

"Disease Should Not Exist but Everyone Dies"

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2019. Professor Silvia Priori

"Genetic engineering: towards molecular medicine in cardiology"

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2018. Prof. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte
“Therapies based on pluripotent cells: from biology to the clinic”
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2017. Prof. Jesús Egido de los Ríos (Spain)
"Diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease. The Perfect Storm"
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2016. Dr. Luigi Naldini (Italy)
"Turning foes into friends: exploiting HIV for the gene therapy of inherited diseases and cancer"
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2015. Prof. Rafael Yuste (Spain)
"The BRAIN project: mapping neural connectivity and its clinical relevance"
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2014. Dr Venki Ramakrishnan (India)
"Antibiotics and the ribosome, the cell's protein factory"
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2013. Dr. Manuel Serrano Marugán (Spain)
"New frontiers in cell reprogramming"
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2012. Prof. Antonio Damasio (Portugal)

"Feelings and Sentience"

2011. Prof. José M Mato (Spain)
“Metabolism, metabolomics and the discovery of new biomarkers and medicines”
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2010. Prof. Carlos López-Otín (Spain)
“Cancer and aging: new genomic and degradomic keys”

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2009. Dr. J. Craig Venter (United States)
"Sequencing the Human Genome and the Future of Genomics"
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2008. Margarita Salas Falgueras (Spain)

DNA Replication in Model Viruses and its Application in Medicine"

2007. Francis Collins (United States)

“Genomics, Medicine and Society”

2006. Juan Rodés Teixidor (Spain)

“Hepatorenal Syndrome”

2005. Joan Massagué (Spain)

“Sociology of Our Cells and their Decontrol”

2004. Catherine M. Verfaille (United States)

“Old cells can learn new tricks: mechanisms and possible applications”

2003. SGO Johansson (Sweden)

“The discovery of IgE and impacts on allergy”

2002. Mariano Barbacid (Spain)

“Functional Genomics and Cancer”

2001. Mario R. Capecchi (United States)

“Gene targeting into the 21st Century”

2000. Norman E. Shumway (United States)

“Past, present and future of thoracic organ transplantation”

1999. Gerald M. Edelman (United States)

“Displacing metaphysics: Consciousness research and the future of Neuroscience”

1998. Manuel Serrano Ríos (Spain)

“Diabetes Mellitus: epidemiology, genes and environment”

1997. Salvador Moncada (Great Britain)

"Conjectures, Bioassay and Discovery"

1996. Valentin Fuster (United States)

“Three Mechanisms for Progress of Coronary Disease and

New Guidelines for its Therapeutic Regression

1995. Yasutomi Nishizuka (Japan)

“Protein Kinase C and lipid mediators for intracellular signaling network”

1994. Barry M. Brenner (United States)

“Chronic Renal Disease- A disorder of adaptation”

1993. Paul M. Nurse (Great Britain)

“Eucaryotic Cell Cycle Control”

1992. Sir Roy Calne (Great Britain)

Liver Transplantation

1991. Roberto J. Poljak (United States)

“The Three-dimensional Structure, Specificity and Idiotype of Antibodies”

1990. Jean Dausset (France)

“L'Aventure HLA”

1989. Antonio García Bellido (Spain)

“Genetic Analysis of Morphogenesis”

1988. Luc Montagnier (France)

“The strategies of the AIDS virus”

1987. George E. Palade (United States)

“Control of Protein and the membrane traffic in Eukaryotic cells”

1986. Ruth Arnon (Israel)

“Basic research in Immunology and its impact on the fight against disease”

1985. Christian de Duve (Belgium)

“Lysosomes and Medicine”

1984. Francisco Grande Covián (Spain)

“Diet, Lipoproteins and Atherosclerosis”

1983. Arthur Kornberg (United States)

“Genetic chemistry and the future of Medicine”

1982. René Favaloro (Argentina)

“Myocardial Revascularization Surgery:

critical analysis of fifteen years of evolution”

1981. César Milstein (Great Britain)

“Derivation and Use of Monoclonal Antibodies”

1980. Dame Sheila Sherlock (Great Britain)

“The Immunology of Liver Disease”

1979. Osamu Hayaishi (Japan)

“Indolamine 2.3-Dioxygenase. Properties and functions”

1978. Francisco Vivanco (Spain)

"Influence of Sex and the Adrenals on Secretion of Gonadal Hormones"

1977. Sune Bergström (Sweden)

“The prostaglandins-bioregulators with clinical and economic implications”

1976. Jean Bernard (France)

L'Hematologie Geographique”

1975. Feodor Lynen (Germany)

“Multienzyme complexes involved in the biosynthesis of polycetate compounds”

1974. Donald S. Fredrickson (United States)

“Lessons about plasma lipoproteins learned from Tangier disease and other mutants”

1973. Luis F. Leloir (Argentina)

“Biosynthesis of Glycoproteins”

1972. Jan Waldestrom (Sweden)

“Depression of One Protein Forming Template”

1971. Hans A. Krebs (Great Britain)

“Inter-relation between the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and ketone bodies”

1970. André Cournand (United States)

“The Cardiac Catheterism”

1969. Severo Ochoa (Spain)

“Polynucleotide-Phosphorylase and its Applications”

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