Personal tools
You are here: Home / News / Lifetime Achievement Award to Helena Santos

Lifetime Achievement Award to Helena Santos

Award given by the International Society for Extremophiles

Oeiras, 28.09.2016

The International Society for Extremophiles attributed to Helena Santos, full professor and head of the Cell Physiology and NMR Lab at ITQB NOVA, the Lifetime Achievement Award 2016. The ceremony took place during the 11th International Congress on Extremophiles, this September in Kyoto, Japan.

The International Society for Extremophiles (ISE) honors outstanding contributions to the field of research on extremophiles. Awards are given to talented scientists who open up new frontiers in terms of basic and applied research. Eligible persons can be nominated by all ordinary members of the society and are selected by a jury chaired by the ISE president.

Past awardees include Koki Horikoshi, from Japan (2008), Mosè Rossi, from Italy (2010), Garabed Antranikian, from Germany (2012) and Mike W. Adams, from USA (2014). 

It’s a great honor to be part of an outstanding group of scientists that have received this award before me”, said Helena Santos. “I thank the International Society for Extremophiles for this distinction and my students and collaborators who were instrumental to the success of my scientific career”.

"Helena Santos is clearly one of our most distinguished scientists, with key contributions and international reputation in a wide variety of areas, ranging from protein biochemistry, structure and function, in vivo NMR and the biochemistry of microbes, with a focus on extremophiles”, according to Cláudio M. Soares, ITQB NOVA Dean. “We are very proud to have Helena among our ranks."

Helena Santos has created the Cell Physiology & NMR Laboratory at Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier in 1989. Her research team has pioneered the use of in vivo NMR techniques to study metabolism of lactic acid bacteria and brain cells. Since 1993 she started to study stress responses in hyperthermophiles, which led to the identification by NMR of several novel compatible solutes in extremophiles adapted to hot environments, the discovery of their biosynthetic pathways and the characterization of key-genes and enzymes. Moreover, the efficacy of these exquisite ionic solutes for the stabilization of proteins was thoroughly investigated in vitro as well as in vivo. The molecular basis of protein protection against heat denaturation was studied by NMR and other methodologies.

Helena Santos has supervised 25 PhD students, 2 Master students and 24 last year undergraduate projects. She has also delivered over 100 invited lectures, co-authored 6 International Patents and 235 peer-reviewed articles. She was President of the International Society for Extremophiles between 2010 and 2015 and was the Principal Investigator of the National NMR Network Project that led to the installation in 2007 of thirteen NMR spectrometers in eight universities. She was also the Coordinator of two EU projects, the Chair of 10 International Conferences and president of the jury of António Xavier Prize.

Helena Santos graduated in Chemical Engineering (Instituto Superior Técnico, 1974), went on to an M.Sc. in Inorganic Physical Chemistry (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 1978) and a Ph.D. in Biophysics (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 1984) under the supervision of Prof. António V. Xavier. She is Full Professor at New University of Lisbon since 2002 and Coordinator of CERMAX, the NMR Facility at ITQB NOVA, since 2007.

Helena Santos distinguished as woman scientist at "Mulheres na Ciência", exhibition and book by Ciência Viva


Helena Santos Prizes and awards

1998. Prémio Gulbenkian de Ciência, Applied Sciences and Technology

2004. “Estímulo à Excelência”, Prize for scientific productivity, Portuguese Ministry of Science, Innovation and High Education

2007. Câmara Pestana Award

2009. Elected member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences

2016. ISE Lifetime Achievement Award


In the news

Cientista portuguesa distinguida com Prémio de Carreira Internacional, TV Europa, 29.09.2016

Cientista portuguesa distinguida com Prémio de Carreira Internacional, Gazeta Rural, 29.09.2016

Cientista portuguesa distinguida com Prémio de Carreira Internacional, Notícias do Nordeste, 30.09.2016

Cientista portuguesa distinguida com Prémio de Carreira Internacional, Ardinas 24, 30.09.2016

Cientista do ITQB da Quinta do Marquês premiada no Japão, Jornal da Região, 5.10.2016

Document Actions