Two UNC Chemical Sciences immunologists were honored for their work and scientific careers

Within the framework of the “Women in Science 2024” award, the provincial government, through the Secretariat of Science and Technology (SECyT), awarded Eva Acosta Rodríguez the title of “Scientist of the Year” and Adriana Grube for her scientific career.

The researchers, who are from the School of Chemical Sciences at the National University of Cordoba (UNC), and are both pioneers in immunology and the study of Chagas disease, won two of the three award categories in 2024. Maria Julia Lamberti, from the National University of Cordoba (UNRC) was recognized for It is “Young Promise”.

The event was held in the SECyT hall and was attended by the Minister of Production, Science and Technological Innovation, Pedro Delarosa; Minister of Science and Technology, Gabriel Raia Tonetti; Vice-Rector of the National University of Cordoba (UNC), Mariela Marchisio; Dean of the Faculty of Chemical Sciences (FCQ-UNC), Marcelo Mariscal; and Deputy Director of the Center for Clinical Biochemistry and Immunology Research (CIBICI), Pedro Echenique, among other academic, governmental and scientific bodies.

In her speech, Raya Tonetti highlighted the increasing participation of women in the field of science who have distinguished themselves year after year through the “Women in Science” award, which seeks to highlight researchers and appreciate them for their careers, scientific contributions and promotion. To transfer knowledge. In 2024, nearly two dozen scientists evaluated more than 40 applications in three categories: “Promising Young Woman,” “Scientist of the Year,” and “Career.”

Science as a collective challenge

Within the framework of this award, teacher and researcher Eva Acosta Rodriguez was honored with the title of “Scientist of the Year” for her outstanding activity during the Covid-19 pandemic, where she developed, with other local researchers, a study that demonstrated the superior cellular immune response in people who were vaccinated with heterogeneous (combination) regimens. Of vaccines against the virus, the results of which were recognized by the international scientific community and published last year in the journal Nature Immunology.

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The biochemist obtained her PhD in Chemical Sciences from the National University of Cordoba and performed her postdoctoral period at the Institute for Biomedical Research (IRB) in Bellinzona (Switzerland). She works as an independent researcher at CIBICI (CONICET, FCQ-UNC) and is an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at FCQ. He was a member of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and co-chaired the Youth Academy of Argentina. Likewise, he is distinguished for his publications in international scientific journals on immune system responses to Chagas infection, cancer and autoimmune diseases.

During the award ceremony, the scientist from Cordoba emphasized: “We must commit from our places to ensure that society and those who make decisions understand that it is necessary to have a strong scientific and technological system, which allows the generation of knowledge and innovation. developments to solve problems specific to our country (… The two largest centers of knowledge are public universities and Conicet, which have recently been questioned with unnecessary proposals. Therefore I ask you to protect our scientific system, because without funding progress is not possible.

It also highlighted teamwork. “Building is difficult and takes years, but destroying is easy and fast, so today I would like to thank all the people in the college and the teams I am part of, who support each other. Science is a collective project, and this is the way we should understand it in this time of questioning.” In the collective, the scientist who dedicated the award to the memory of her mother, Virginia, said: “If this is not the case, I invite you to think about some scientific or technological developments in recent decades that could only have been achieved individually.”

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At the ceremony, Dean Marcelo Mariscal highlighted the effort and dedication of the teacher and researcher in overcoming challenges and making her academic and scientific performance compatible with raising her children. In his speech, Mariscal highlighted the social commitment of the current Secretary of Science and Technology at a college in Qatar towards institutions and students and her leadership capacity, which was recently demonstrated through the implementation of the scholarship system for new researchers, the promotion of local scientific activity and the coordination of the first federal node in Cordoba in ANLIS- Malbrán.

Common distinction

For her part, after receiving her medal, Adriana Grubbe thanked the women in her family, her scientific colleagues, the UN leadership and Conicet. “I have worked for the recognition of women in science, so I share this with them. They often say that when there are more than two women working together, there are problems,” said Professor Emeritus of FCQ (UNC), researcher at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry and former head. To the Argentine Society of Immunology: “This is not the case, when we work together there are solutions.”

Adriana Grube graduated in Biochemistry with a PhD in Chemical Sciences from UNC's School of Chemical Sciences, and has had an extensive career studying exoantigens of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, and their role in inducing a protective factor. Answer.

Throughout his career, he trained at the Institut Pasteur in France, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and American centers such as the University of Washington and the Seattle Children's Research Institute. Since 1994, he has directed his own research group at UNC. The scientist was president of the Argentine Society of Immunology and was incorporated into the National Academy of Sciences. In 2024, she was appointed FCQ Professor Emeritus (UNC).

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