Tomàs Marquès i Bonet, a researcher at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE), a joint center of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), a professor at the same university and the Comparative Genomics Group Leader at CNAG, has been awarded the prize City of Barcelona in the Life Sciences category. The award is a recognition of excellence and international projection in creation and scientific research in Barcelona and will be awarded on February 13 in a ceremony at the Saló de Cent.


The jury unanimously awarded the prize to Tomàs Marquès i Bonet. All of them have recognized the value of the development of an international consortium that has given rise to a group of works published in the journals Science and Nature and that have generated the largest primate genomic database to date. The analysis is of great interest in conservation biology, human evolution, in the detection of new human-specific regulatory regions of the genome and of mutations linked to diseases.


Created in 1949 by the Barcelona City Council, the City of Barcelona awards are held annually with the aim of rewarding excellence in the different areas of creation, research, and cultural production in the city. This year its seventy-first edition is celebrated at the Saló de Cent.

“This award makes me especially excited because it recognizes the work of more than a decade of my entire group (present and past) dedicated to studying primates as an appropriate model to understand ourselves as a species,” says Tomàs Marquès i Bonet, ICREA professor in the Department of Medicine and Life Sciences (MELIS) of the UPF.




Tomàs Marquès i Bonet (1975) obtained his doctorate in biology at the UPF in 2007. Currently, he is the Principal Investigator of the IBE in the Comparative Genomics group. His team aims to study primate genomics to study specific genomic characteristics of humans, including the evolution of epigenetics. At UPF he is Professor of Genetics and ICREA research professor, with dual affiliation at the National Center for Genomic Analysis (CNAG) and at the Miquel Crusafont Catalan Institute of Paleontology (ICP).


His career has been marked by obtaining various grants and awards. In the same 2010, Marquès i Bonet received an ERC Starting Grant, and in 2019 the Consolidator Grant from the same institution. In 2011 he was appointed ICREA research professor at UPF; In 2013 he received the EMBO Young Investigator award and since 2017 he has been accredited as an international young investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Furthermore, between 2017 and 2020 he was director of the IBE (CSIC-UPF).


In 2023, Tomàs Marquès i Bonet led a special issue in the journal Science that brings together the analysis of the most complete genetic catalog of primates to date, a project that compares the genome of 809 individuals from 233 species of primates with 80% of genomes sequenced at the National Center for Genomic Analysis (CNAG).


The results have helped create a new clinically relevant artificial intelligence algorithm to identify the genetic causes of human diseases using genetic data from primates.


The same year, Tomàs Marquès i Bonet co-led a publication in the journal Nature that identified hundreds of thousands of conserved regions in the human non-coding genome. Research with a great impact in the fields of evolution, genetics, and human health.