Published 27 June 2014
Faces – Young Scientist Profile: Renata Gomes
This new edition of “Faces” Features Renata Gomes from Portugal.
About Faces: „Faces“ is a new series on the Lindau Blog. It highlights the remarkable young scientists who participate in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and shares their stories and thoughts.
On her research interests:
“I focus my research in the cardiovascular field; cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the Western World and unfortunately a pathological signature of developing nations (also I am fascinated by the heart, a muscle in constant movement, my favourite organ, amazing piece of engineering). I use various different fields of science, like molecular biology, imaging and nanotechnology to develop new technologies and strategies to Mend Broken Hearts and Patch Vessels. I have been able to develop new systems based on nanotechnology to improve failing hearts after a heart attack that overcomes any available current technologies. In addition I also explore the basis behind many diseases such as cholesterolemia – understanding the basis and basics of disease can be even more important than developing cures.”
On the challenges of a scientist’s life:
“I encountered many obstacles in my life. I come from a very modest family and money was never in excess. My family emigrated from Portugal many times even before I was born, my grandfather was a soldier in the Colonial Portuguese Wars for many years and then emigrated to Germany, where my mother lived for a very long-time, after I was born we were in Portugal for a little while, going to France and finally England.”
On her personal struggles:
“During my Doctoral studies I went through a particularly difficult time. I was diagnosed with cancer a month before starting my PhD, although not lethal (if treated), treatment still had to be done. At a time where financial hardship was a daily routine due to the great expenses of an international doctoral program, I also had to cope with treatments and incur many additional expenses. Currently I am very well, happy and healthy again. I even ran the whole of the London Marathon to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.”
On her road to Lindau:
“I was nominated by Nobel Laureate Oliver Smithies. I met him when I visited his lab in North Carolina in 2013. I was so excited to meet him and his wife, Nobuyo Maeda. Smithies invented so many techniques I use and Maeda made the ApoE-/- mice which I also use daily. I was so curious to see the famous PCR machine that Oliver had made decades ago and it still worked. I could see pure and genuine love for science on Oliver’s face in every second. Smithies suggested the Lindau Meeting to me. I was so excited and applied upon his nomination and I could not believe when I got told that I had my place.”
On her expectations on the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting:
“Firstly I am really eager to meet people from all different backgrounds and parts of the world. We all share the same passion for science and it will be amazing to see how different cultures deal and work with science. The intercultural aspect of Lindau is priceless. The Master Classes are also really interesting and I feel they are food for great inspiration. Being able to interact with others is the best part. Also participating on the debate about “Academia and Industry: Exploring the Collaborative Landscapes of the Future” (Panel Discussion on Thursday) is an honour for me and the most special opportunity I have ever received. I will endure to do my best, express my personal concerns, often very similar to many of those of the young scientists in the audience as well as expose our ideas and how to progress upon what is being done (by institutions and governments) and what maybe could be done. I cannot wait to be able to meet Oliver Smithies, Tim Hunt and Bruce Beutler again. Having them on the same table for even a few minutes could change the world for sure – these gentlemen have enough ideas to turn around the world and make the difference.”
Renata Gomes will participate in the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. She will also take part in the Panel Discussion “Academia and Industry – Exploring the Collaborative Landscapes of the Future”o n Thursday, 3 July.