Jon Irazusta Astiazaran: “It is easier to advance in technology than in society”

2021/12/01 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Born in San Sebastian in 1964, he is a PhD in Biology from the UPV. He is Professor of Medicine and Physiotherapy, Master in Biomedical Research and Healthy Aging and Quality of Life. He was the promoter and first director of the latter master. The main research topic has been intercellular communication and the physiology of physical exercise. In recent years it has focused on healthy aging and is responsible for the Ag? On group. In the answers given to the questions posed by Elhuyar magazine, it is also evident their interest in mixing different areas and their concern for health.
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Physiologist
What has surprised you most, altered or fascinated you since you started working?

There have been many contributions that have surprised me and I find it difficult to choose one. Undoubtedly, advances in the Internet and in information and communication technologies have been very significant in molecular biology, physics...

Instead of choosing one, I would stress the importance of interdisciplinarity. I mean, how by bringing people together from different backgrounds, they can make very significant contributions. For example, the use of artificial intelligence, the knowledge of amino acids, has made it possible to predict the structure of the protein. This achievement may lead in the future to significant advances in life and health sciences.

And the more varied they are, the richer the collaboration. That is not easy: on the one hand, because the languages of each other are different, and on the other, because the objectives of scientists from different disciplines can be different, and sometimes one of the objectives must be left behind. Only one area must apply what it knows to achieve progress in the other. It happens a lot with statistics or other technologies.

On the other hand, it's easier to advance in technology than in society. At Pandemic we have seen it very clear: vaccines have been achieved very quickly and vaccines are very good, but on a social level we cannot say that we have changed a lot. In the psychological, relational, sociological sphere, it is more difficult to evolve than in the technological sphere.

What would you like to witness the revolution or the discovery?

A lot of things! But the first thing that comes out to me, and I don't know if it's because I'm so conditioned by family issues, is to get a good cancer treatment. If you are not able to cure, at least, it will make you chronic with a good quality of life. Of course, it's not just in my family, there are many cases in our environment and I find children particularly painful. It should be noted that much progress has been made in this area. I recently read that 85 percent go forward and that's good news, but if we got 100 percent, it would be even better. I would like to witness this revolution: obtaining effective therapy that alleviates or eliminates that suffering.

The other is similar, but related to Alzheimer's. This is also associated with the personal situation and if progress is made in prevention and treatment…

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