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Gulbenkian 2009 Science Award

 - 20/07/2009

Logotipo do Prémio Gulbenkian de CiênciaOn 20 July 2009 at the headquarters of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the 2009 Gulbenkian Science Prize (text in Portuguese) was awarded to Maria João Saraiva, of the IBMC – Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology and ICBAS– the Abel Salazar Institute for Biomedical Sciences.

The 54 year-old scientist was given the award in recognition of the work she has carried out in the area of biomedicine and in particular research into the mechanisms of Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (FAP). Whilst the name of the eminent neurologist Corino de Andrade will always remain associated with the description of the disease, that of Maria João Saraiva has been associated with the biochemical and genetic mechanisms responsible for the disease, particularly the formation of amyloid molecular deposits derived from transthyretin (TTR), especially in the peripheral nerves.

The jury which made the choice was made up of Fernando Lopes da Silva (Chair), Alexandre Quintanilha, Augusto Barroso, Luís Magalhães and Manuel Nunes da Ponte.

Based on these key discoveries, Maria João Saraiva and her team are currently widening their field of research to the signalling channels which play an important role in cases of cerebral damage, particularly in the area of Alzheimer's disease.

The Gulbenkian Prizes were set up to mark the 50th anniversary of the Foundation and relate to the four statutory areas established in the will of the founder, namely the spheres of activity of the Foundation – Art, Philanthropy, Science and Education.

Last updated ( 13/07/2011 )