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Young women researchers recognized by L’Oreal Portugal

ITQB alumna receives one of the three Medals of Honor for Women in Science 2011

Oeiras, 25.01.12

Ana Barbas, ITQB alumnus now working at iBET, is one of the three awardees of the L’Oreal Portugal Award for Women in Science 2011. This prize aims to support young women researchers in developing their research projects. Also awarded in this 8th edition were Adelaide Fernandes from the Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa and Inês Sousa from Instituto de Medicina Molecular and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. The award ceremony takes place today at Pavilhão do Conhecimento in Lisbon.

Created in 2004, the L’Oreal Portugal Medal of Honor for Women in Science is the result of a partnership between L´Oreal Portugal, UNESCO National Foundation, and Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. Targeting women up to 35 years old holding a PhD, the award includes an honor medal to be attributed at the ceremony and prize of twenty thousand euros to be used in a research project with relevance to health, life, and the environment. This year, the juri selected three out of 90 submitted projects.

After obtaining her PhD at ITQB in 2007 under the supervision of Cecília Arraiano, Ana Barbas moved to ITQB’s closest partner, iBET, to work as Project Manager and Team Leader of the Bayer Healthcare Satellite Antibody Discovery Laboratory. The initial focus of this research collaboration is the screening and generation of therapeutic antibodies from phage display antibody libraries against targets provided by Bayer Healthcare to IBET. The project now awarded by L'Oreal is centered on metastatic breast cancer, the oncological disease that affects and kills more women in Portugal, and aims at producing human antibodies capable of blocking the abnormal cell division and growth present in tumors. These antibodies may serve as a novel and innovative therapeutic approach in the treatment of this type of cancers.

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