Spanish scientific women who lead the way

Spanish scientific women who lead the way

The celebration last February 11 of the International Day of Women and Girls in Scienceestablished in 2015 by the UN, has once again highlighted the work carried out by many women researchers, but also the discrimination they have suffered throughout history in this field, as well as the difficulties they encounter today.

As part of the commemoration of that date, a study by the Ministry of Education revealed last week the figures that reflect the gap that separates young women from scientific vocation. According to this report, the students of the Mathematics career do not reach 30% today, when 30 years ago they represented 50% of the total. The data worsens even more in computer science and programming careers, where they remain in a meager 10% of the student body. Young women are systematically in the minority in these disciplines at all educational levels (high school, vocational training and university) and, moreover, the gap continues to grow.

That does not prevent, however, that many Spanish women stand out in various scientific and technological fields. Here are five of those proper names:

Mary Blasco

María Antonia Blasco (Alicante, 1965) is a molecular biologist specialized in the study of telomeres and telomerase. She has received numerous national and international awards, and is director of the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO). She graduated in 1989 in Biological Sciences from the Autonomous University of Madrid and received her doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology under the tutelage of Margaret Chambersone of the great names of Science in Spain in recent years.

Montserrat Calleja

In the field of physics, Montserrat Calleja (Ourense, 1973), a researcher at the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), is specialized in bionanomechanics. He graduated in Physics from the University of Santiago de Compostela in 1998, the same center where he received his doctorate with an extraordinary prize in Physical Sciences in 2002. His career has been developed in the field of nanotechnology and is co-founder of the company Mechwinsspecializing in nanomechanical biosensors.

Rosa Menendez

Rosa Menéndez (Cudillero, Asturias, 1956), president of the CSIC since 2017, she was the first woman in history from the center to reach the position. He graduated in 19890 in Organic Chemistry from the University of Oviedo, where he received his doctorate six years later. He focused his career on the materials And Energy Research, as well as in graphene. During his career he has collaborated in the electrical, aeronautical or coal and oil sectors. She was one of the promoters of the Margarita Salas Foundation, which seeks to defend and promote the role of women in science.

Elena Garcia Armada

The researcher Elena García Armada (Valladolid, 1971), a graduate in Industrial Engineering and a doctorate in Robotics in 2009 from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, leads the CSIC group that developed the world's first bionic exoskeleton for children with spinal muscular atrophy. He also participated in the SILO 4 project, a robot that deepened its autonomy to adapt to different tasks in reconnaissance and rescue work in catastrophes or demining.

Maria Jose Alonso

María José Alonso (Carrizo de la Ribera, León, 1958) stands out in the field of pharmaceutical technology and biopharmacy. Her research has focused on the development of nanostructures as a vehicle to transport drugs and vaccines to act more safely and effectively. She has a degree in Pharmacy and a doctorate in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Santiago de Compostela. Ella Alonso created the first laboratory in the country in the field of pharmaceutical nanotechnology.

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