Quite an achievement for the scientific world and even in the month that International Women's Day is celebrated.
Professor Yvonne Mascarenhas, USP in São Carlos, in SP, has just won a coveted prize the Brazilian Physics Society.
At the age of 90, the Brazilian scientist is the first woman to win the award, which recognizes the work of researchers and her contribution, throughout her career, to the Physics of Condensed Matter of Materials in Brazil.
The professor received the Joaquim da Costa Ribeiro Award - 2021, granted by SBF, “for her pioneering research activities in X-ray crystallography and for starting a solid scientific community in this area in Brazil”.
"Yvonne has four children, she is not only an icon of Brazilian science, but a reason for great pride and example for her colleagues, women, scientists", says the statement on the USP portal.
The prize will be delivered during the Autumn Meeting of the Brazilian Physics Society, an event scheduled between the 21st and 25th of next June.
The Brazilian researcher was born in the interior of São Paulo and after moving to Rio de Janeiro with her family, she graduated in Chemistry, in 1954, the National Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Brazil.
Yvonne was the first woman to occupy a chair at the School of Engineering at the University of São Paulo, in São Carlos.
She helped found the São Carlos Institute of Physics and Chemistry (IFQSC), which would later have two separate units.
In 1959, she received a scholarship and spent two years working at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States. There, she developed her passion for crystallography and started consolidating this area of research in Brazil, founding the Associação Brasileira de Cristalografia (ABCr).
Throughout her career, she has worked at prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Princeton and Birkbeck College and participated in the group responsible for the development of the Cambridge crystallographic database.
In her productive and continued career, Professor Yvonne supervised around 40 masters and doctoral students, published approximately 200 indexed articles and produced numerous contributions at conferences and symposia.
Her research group has become one of the most important centers in Chemical Crystallography and Structural Biology in South America.
Among her achievements, the collaboration that resulted in the determination of the crystalline structure of oxytocin (Science, 1986) and snake venom toxins (Eur. Biophys. J., 1992) stands out.
In addition to research, his personal interest and dedication in the training of young people and his actions to promote girls and women in science are noteworthy and incessant.
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