Today we speak about María Basco Marhuenda. A Spanish scientist that stands out for important advances she has achieved in the field of molecular biology. El Rincón del Tándem Spanish school tells you more in this post ?

We continue to talk about women who have achieved or continue to work for the progress and advancement of the society.
In the previous post we talked about Concepción Arenal and her fight for gender equality and women’s rights in 19th century Spain.

Today, we focus on the present and move to the science field. Undoubtedly, one of the educational and professional sectors to which women traditionally did not have easy access.

Nowadays, among all women that stand out for their achievements in scientific research, there is María Blasco Marhuenda. In order to satisfy the curiosity of our students that usually have their Spanish lessons in the “Blasco” Room, we are going to speak briefly about this scientist and her main achievements.

María Blasco Marhuenda is a molecular biologist, specialized and known worldwide for her discoveries on telomeres and telomerase.

María Blasco got a PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, supervised by Margarita Salas. Another important scientist, known for boosting, together with Euladio Viñuela, the development of molecular biology in Spain.

After a work experience as a researcher in New York, she moved back to Spain. Here, she led a research group at the National Centre of Biotechnology, and she created her own research group at the Department of Immunology and Oncology.

She is mainly known worldwide for her research in the field of telomeres and telomerase and their connection with ageing and cancer. In fact, in 2003 she started working as a researcher at the CNIO (Centro National de Investigaciones Oncológicas) as a team leader of Tolomeres and Tolomerase group. From 2005 to 2011, she occupied the post of Deputy Duirector of basic research.

At present, she is the CNIO Director (since 2011).

Furthermore, in 20120 María Blasco founded Life Length, a CNIO spin-off and leading company in telomeres measurement. The company uses a cutting-edge technology to measure the individual life expectancy according to the telomerase’s length and the prediction of cell division.

Her scientific merits and her commitment in the fight against cancer have been recognized by several institutions and organizations. Among them, she was awarded the Golden medal by the European Molecular Biology Organization, the award for the best European researcher under 40 and the Rei Jaime I award for basic research.

Also, María Blasco engages to disseminate her theories to a non-expert audience, through mass media and publications. She is co-author of books like Envejecimiento (2011) and Morir joven a los 140 años (2016).

In regard to the position of women in science, María Blasco has expressed her concern about their underrepresentation and the obstacles that women usually face when moving up in this professional sector.

In fact, in 2016, she received the Award Mujeres a Seguir. Nowadays, she is also a member of the Associations of Women researchers and technologists.

We hope this short article on this inspiring woman, bring you to read her publications and articles.

As usual, El Rincón del Tándem Spanish school encourages you to keep improving your Spanish, by reading and discovering more about Hispanic cultures.

Have a good day and ¡Hasta pronto!