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Researcher wins Glycobiology Significant Achievement Award

Salomé Pinho was recently recognized by the American Society of Glycobiology, in partnership with Oxford University Press, with the “Glycobiology Significant Achievement Award”. This is a prize awarded annually to a young scientist or  at mid-career (at the Assistant / Associate Professor level) who has made an important discovery that has had, or has the potential to have, a substantial impact in the field of glycobiology.

The prize was awarded this year to Salomé Pinho in recognition of her contributions and discoveries in the area of cancer and inflammation in the field of glycobiology. For Salomé Pinho, this international scientific recognition by her peers represents “an enormous honor, pride and increased responsibility”. This award, she adds, reflects “the quality and excellence of national research and that of my group at i3S in particular. It is an award that I dedicate to all the researchers in the group I coordinate and who have accompanied me over the years, as well as to my institution, the i3S, which made the award of this prize possible by the world scientific community”.

Salomé Pinho is currently leads the Immunology, Cancer Glycomedicine group. The researcher has focused her work on the study of glycans (sugars) on the development and progression of gastrointestinal cancer and specifically inflammatory bowel disease (which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis).

One of the scientific milestones of the research group led by Salomé Pinho was pioneering studies that allowed the identification of a deficiency in a sugar (carbohydrate or glycan) of the T lymphocytes in the intestine of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The team demonstrated that this deficiency in a sugar is associated with the hyper-activation of intestinal inflammation, which allowed them to develop new therapeutic strategies and new biomarkers of the disease's prognosis. These findings were published in several journals of high international scientific impact, namely the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences, Gastroenterology, Nature Reviews Cancer, the Journal of Crohns and Colitis, amongst others.

Her CV also includes several international awards such as the “Young Investigator Award” from the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) and an award from the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization (ECCO) aimed at financing the development of a new therapeutic strategy in the area of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Also noteworthy are the prizes awarded by the CCFA (Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America) and the IOIBD (International Organization for the study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease), as well as funding recently granted by the U.S. Department of Defense.