ITQB NOVA and the entire COLife community mourns Claudina Rodrigues-Pousada

04 mar 2021

Claudina Rodrigues Pousada, one of the Portuguese scientists with greatest national legacy and international reputation, passed away on March 3rd, 2021.

ITQB NOVA and COLife are deeply saddened by the passing of the our illustrious Professor Claudina Rodrigues-Pousada, Head of the Genomics and Stress Laboratory.

Claudina Rodrigues-Pousada was a pioneer of molecular biology in Portugal. Her group was the only one in the country to be involved in the European Sequencing Network of the Yeast Genome. Throughout her career, Claudina advised over 30 PhD students, making a strong mark in the new generations of molecular biologists in Portugal. She was also very enthusiastic in motivating the general public for the relevance of scientific research.

Claudina graduated in Pharmacy at Universidade do Porto in 1968, and obtained her PhD in Biochemistry at Université Paris VII with a “Mention trés honorable”. Upon her return to Portugal, she joined Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, where she became head of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory and later of the Unit of Genetic Engineering. She was also a Full Professor at Instituto Abel Salazar, Porto, for almost 20 years before joining ITQB NOVA as Full Professor in 2002. In 2017, her story was told in the autobiography “Quarenta anos de investigação – na voragem do tempo”. The book remembers her path, from the youth in Tadim, northern Portugal, to her PhD in Paris and to a successful and hardworking career as a scientist, professor, advocate for science in society and a family woman.

Claudina received many awards throughout her career. She was awarded the Honorary life time member Prize by the Cell Stress Society International and received the Diplôme d´Honneur FEBS from the Federation of the Biochemical Societies, which she presided in 2003-2004. In Portugal, she received the Prize of Excellence and the Science Merit Award, attributed by two different Ministers for Science, Technology and Higher Education: Minister Graça Carvalho and Minister Manuel Heitor, respectively. She was was one of the scientists in the first edition of the exhibition and book “Mulheres na Ciência”, organized by Ciência Viva, and a member of several international scientific societies, including the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

​Claudina was an example to generations of women scientists, in Portugal and abroad, for her tireless devotion to science. She was also a very strong advocate for young scientists at national and international level, having supported many young colleagues in their careers.

Professor Claudina Rodrigues-Pousada will be deeply missed. We thank her for all the years dedicated to science, to ITQB NOVA and to the development of molecular biology in Portugal.

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