Santiago de Compostela, 23 November 2021- María José Alonso, Professor of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), has just been distinguished with the prestigious National Research Award ‘Juan de la Cierva’ 2021, a major distinction granted by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. This award was created to distinguish scientists that have excelled in the field of Tecnology Transfer.
María José Alonso thanked this National Research Award and extended it to all her colleagues: “I feel extremely honored for such a wonderful recognition and I want to share it with my talented and dedicated team and to all my colleagues who have helped me along my career”.
This is a new recognition of Professor Alonso’s outstanding career, after her election to the US National Academy of Medicine in 2016, to the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s (AIMBE) in 2017, to the CRS College of Fellows in 2018, and to the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium in 2021. In 2020, Alonso had also received the ‘Medal of Merit in Research and Education’ granted by the Government of Spain.
Alonso’s research trajectory
María José Alonso’s lab (http://www.usc.es/grupos/mjalonsolab/) has pioneered numerous discoveries in the field of Nanopharmaceutical Technology and nanomedicine. Her research is focused on designing novel nanostructured materials intended to transport drugs and antigens across biological barriers (such as cellular, ocular, nasal, skin and intestinal barriers) and deliver them to the target tissue. Professor Alonso is specialized in the association of biological compounds, including drugs and antigens to these nanovehicles, with the final goal of producing innovative nanomedicines and vaccines.
María José Alonso has coordinated several research consortia financed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Commission. She is the author of 301 scientific contributions with more than 34,000 cites (H factor 98) and the inventor of 22 patent families. Because of the quality of her scientific articles she has been among the TOP TEN in Pharmacology (Times Higher Education international ranking, Thomson Reuters, 2010), and she is on ‘The Power List’ of the most influential researchers in the field of Biopharmaceuticals (The Medicine Maker, 2021).
Professor Alonso was the Vice-rector of Research and Innovation of the University of Santiago de Compostela. In this role, she created a network of research institutes that contributed to the recognition of ‘Campus of Excellence’ by the Ministry of Sciences and Innovation. She has also advised the Ministry of Sciences and Innovation in the elaboration of the Law of Sciences, Technology and Innovation, and, she has been part of the advisory council of the Ministry of Health in Spain.
Alonso has held responsibilities in several scientific societies, among them the Controlled Release Society (CRS), the leading worldwide scientific organization in the area of controlled release of drugs. She first contributed to the CRS as the Founder of the Spanish-Portuguese Local Chapter (1994), and later she was Governor, Director-at-Large, Secretary and President of this Society. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the Drug Delivery and Translational Research, an official journal of the Controlled Release Society.
She has received numerous awards from institutions, scientific associations, scientific journals and foundations, including the ‘Medal of Merit in Research and Education’ granted by the Government of Spain, the ‘King Jaume I Award’ on New Technologies, the ‘Novoa Santos Award’, the ‘Maurice Marie Janot Award’, the ‘CRS Founders Award’, the ‘CRS Outstanding Service Award’, the ‘CRS Women in Sciences Award’, the ‘Medal of the General Council of Pharmacists’, the ‘María Josefa Wonenburger Award’ and the ‘Castelao Medal’. She is also a member of three Academies in Spain, a member of the US National Academy of Medicine (NAM), a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, and “Fellow” of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and of the Controlled Release Society.