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Mariana Pinho elected as EMBO member

Two-times ERC winner is the fourth ITQB NOVA researcher to be elected to the European Molecular Biology Organization

Mariana Gomes de Pinho is the newest ITQB NOVA PI to be elected to EMBO. The European Molecular Biology Organization has just released the name of its 63 new members, and Mariana Pinho is one of the three Portuguese in it. The two-times ERC winner joins ITQB NOVA PIs Cecília Arraiano, Maria Arménia Carrondo and Claudina Pousada.

"The new members have contributed to the success of research in the life sciences in Europe and around the world," says Maria Leptin, Director of EMBO. "As EMBO members, they can help shape the future through the EMBO's work to support talented researchers, gather ideas and promote an international research environment conducive to excellence in science". Today, the association has over 1800 renowned researchers, including 88 Nobel prize winners. Portugal has two dozen researchers in the organisation.

"Being elected an EMBO member is a great honor. It is an organization that aims to promote excellence in the field of life sciences and has as members several scientists for whom I have great admiration”, says Pinho. “I am very grateful to all the students and collaborators who have worked with me over the years. And to Professor Claudina Pousada for the role she has played over the years in promoting the election of several Portuguese scientists to EMBO".

The researchers are elected by peers, in recognition of their work in areas such as cell biology, immunology and molecular medicine, among others. This year, Mariana Pinho was elected along with Caren Norden and Luís Teixeira, from the Gulbenkian Institute of Science (IGC). Both institutions are based in Oeiras, a municipality that has developed a Science and Technology Strategy grounded on a partnership with research institutions in the municipality. This election also recognises the importance of basic research in life sciences and the importance of recruiting and supporting the best researchers in Portugal.

EMBO was created in 1963, when it brought together an initial group of 150 researchers to promote excellence in life sciences in Europe and beyond. The main goals of the organisation are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, to stimulate the exchange of scientific information and to help build a research environment where scientists can do their best work.


About Mariana Gomes de Pinho, ITQB NOVA PI

Mariana Gomes de Pinho leads the Bacterial Cell Biology Lab of ITQB NOVA. She is a two-times ERC winner, with one Starting Grant (2013-2018) and one Consolidator Grant (2018-2023). In February 2020, she was elected member of the European Academy of Microbiology. Her research is dedicated to the study of intracellular organization of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Currently, she is studying the regulation of the cell cycle of Staphylococcus aureus to identify moments of greater vulnerability to antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is a subject she knows well, in which she started working in the beginning of her career, in the laboratory led by Hermínia de Lencastre at ITQB NOVA.

The researcher has a degree in Applied Chemistry from the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the New University of Lisbon (FCT NOVA). She obtained her PhD from NOVA with work developed at Rockefeller University, New York, in Alexander Tomasz's laboratory. In 2001 she received an EMBO fellowship to join the laboratory of Jeff Errington at Oxford University, UK, to study where and how proteins localise in bacterial cells. After 8 years abroad, she returned to Portugal and in 2006 started her own research group at ITQB NOVA. She has split the role of researcher with that of mother of three daughters, each born in a different country where she has spent her career.

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