Turning ideas into reality

Dr. Taís Gratieri is a Professor and researcher at the College of Health Sciences of the University of Brasília (UnB), Brazil and has made great strides in the Biomedical, Biology and Health Sciences. Her research focuses on the “Development of mucoadhesive nanosystems for the treatment of eye infections and assessment of iontophoresis in therapeutic potentialization”. In the interview below, she tells a little bit about her career as a scientist, women’s representation in scientific careers in Brazil and what is most important for young female researchers in Brazil.

Tell us a little bit about your career and how you came to be a professor and researcher at the College of Health Sciences of the University of Brasilia?


I studied pharmacy at the University of São Paulo - Ribeirão Preto. In the first year of college, I started an internship at the laboratory of Pharmaceutical Technology. I participated in projects of scientific initiation during the five undergraduate years. Then I did a sandwich-doctorate internship at the University of Saarland, in Germany, between 2008 and 2009. After that, I started my post-doctorate studies at the University of Genève, in Switzerland, where I worked in initiatives for the development of technological products in collaboration with pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies. I am currently an associate-professor of pharmaceutical technology and cosmetology at UnB. In addition, in 2012, I received the Capes Thesis award, which acknowledged the 45 best doctorate thesis presented in 2010.


What is your scientific project and how does it work?


The name of the project is: “Development of mucoadhesive nanosystems for the treatment of eye infections and assessment of iontophoresis in therapeutic potentialization”. The initiative is the initial stage of development for an eye-drop that, after it is applied, allows the remedy to stay longer in contact with the eyes and reaches the place of the infection in sufficient amounts. For the second stage, which involves enabling the new drug to get to the market, it is essential to obtain the collaboration of pharmaceutical companies.


How is the current scenario of scientific research for women in Brazil?


All of us researchers in Brazil face many difficulties. Not only the challenges in terms of logistics here (infrastructure problems), which undoubtedly delays the receiving of consumables and equipment, bus also the bureaucratic obstacles in general. For example, we do not have appropriate space for research, minimum working conditions within the universities, rooms with minimum comfort shared by many professors, which negatively affect the reasoning process, meetings and discussions with students. I believe that the women scientists suffer the same prejudice and are the victims of the same sexism that any other woman in society. This sexism permeates all professions; I believe that there is no discrimination related to science: this is linked to our culture.


Taís Gratieri has been awarded the brazilian L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship. 


L’Oréal–UNESCO
For Women in Science

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