Where Ideas grow

i3S PhD student earns award for "excellent" research

Cláudia Martins, a first-year PhD student of Biomedical Sciences at the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICBAS), and developing her research work at i3S, was recently awarded an Early Career Investigator Prize under a European Science and Technology Cooperation Action (COST), called Nano2Clinic. According to the jury, the €2,500 prize recognizes the "excellence of the research work" presented at the Action Conference which took place at the end of October in Riga, Latvia.

The paper presented by Claudia Martins, entitled Synthesis of Biologic-Responsive Polymers for the Manufacturing of Docetaxel-Loaded Nanoparticles for Glioblastoma Chemotherapy, is being developed in the Nanomedicines & Translational Drug Delivery group, led by Bruno Sarmento, and results from direct collaboration with researcher Marco Araújo of the Bioengineered 3D Microenvironments Group and Jonathan W. Aylott of the University of Nottingham.

"My work focuses on developing an oncological nanomedicine for glioblastoma chemotherapy, a type of brain tumor that, despite great efforts, remains virtually untreatable, with an average survival of around 15 months", explains Claudia Martins. The researcher's main goal is to create a nanomedicine structure, loaded with a variety of chemotherapies, and send it directly to the brain. This will make it possible to transport the treatments across the blood-brain barrier and direct the drug to the glioblastoma.

The €2,500 prize will allow the PhD student to attend an international conference of their choice to present the latest results of their PhD project. For Claudia Martins, this award "is a great honor, because it recognizes the baby steps of my work during this first year of my PhD". The award, she adds, represents a "unique opportunity to possibly attend an international conference at this early stage of my doctorate, and a tremendous motivation to continue my research work and to trust its potential".

The prize was open to Early Career Researchers from the COST Action Inclusion Target Countries who had the opportunity to be selected for oral communication at the conference.