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ACS and SBQ present Brazilian Women in Chemistry awards

Honorees will be recognized during the Brazilian Chemical Society virtual meeting later this month

by Alexandra A. Taylor
November 4, 2021


The American Chemical Society and Brazilian Chemical Society (SBQ) have awarded the 2021 Brazilian Women in Chemistry and Related Sciences award to three women scientists in Brazil: Rafaela Salgado Ferreira of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Nubia Boechat of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), and Marília Oliveira Fonseca Goulart of the Federal University of Alagoas.

The awards are sponsored by C&EN and CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, with support from SBQ and ACS (ACS publishes C&EN). Their aim is to promote gender equality in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in Brazil and to advance understanding of the impact of diversity on scientific research and the field of chemistry.

“It is a great honor to watch the growing acceptance and recognition of the award in this country, with an increased number of applicants year by year. This demonstrates the importance of this recognition for the women in the scientific community and reinforces the commitment of ACS to award the contributions of female scientists in Brazil,” says Denise Ferreira, CAS’s country manager for Brazil. “This year in particular, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are identified as one of the pillars to advance innovation in this country, according to the Brazil’s National Innovation Policy. We are delighted by the recognition that stimulation of STEM has a direct impact on innovation in this country.”

Each winner will receive a $2,000 cash award, a SciFinder ID valid for 3 years, free ACS membership for 3 years, and an award certificate and trophy. The winners will be honored at a virtual event on Nov. 23 alongside SBQ’s annual meeting.

“2021 marks the fourth edition of the Brazilian Women in Chemistry awards, and I’m proud that in just a few years this initiative has quickly become a true celebration of Brazilian chemistry,” says Bibiana Campos Seijo, editor in chief of C&EN and vice president of C&EN Media Group. “This partnership between ACS and SBQ keeps going from strength to strength, and this year we received a record number of nominations coming from all corners of the country and representing all disciplines within the chemical enterprise.”

A photo of Rafaela Salgado Ferreira.
Credit: Courtesy of Rafaela Salgado Ferreira
Rafaela Salgado Ferreira

Ferreira is the winner in the Emerging Leader category. This award “recognizes the achievements of an outstanding young chemical scientist or entrepreneur. This exceptional scientist will be younger than 40 years old and no more than 10 years removed from earning a PhD.” She is being honored for her medicinal chemistry research with a focus on the rational design of drugs for the treatment of neglected and emerging diseases. Ferreira has contributed to the discovery of new classes of enzyme inhibitors as potential treatments for parasitic diseases and viral infections, the development of computational tools for drug planning, and the validation and characterization of therapeutic targets.

A photo of Nubia Boechat.
Credit: Courtesy of Nubia Boechat
Nubia Boechat

Boechat is the winner in the Leadership in Industry category. This award “recognizes an individual working in chemical industry whose research and creative innovations have led to discoveries that contributed to commercial success and to the good of the community and society.” Andrade is the deputy director of education, research, and innovation at Fiocruz, where she coordinates strategic projects for new drugs to treat neglected diseases, leukemia, and AIDS. She’s also involved in establishing Fiocruz’s National Reference Center for Drug Synthesis.

A photo of Marília Oliveira Fonseca Goulart.
Credit: Courtesy of Marília Oliveira Fonseca Goulart
Marília Oliveira Fonseca Goulart

Goulart is the winner in the Leadership in Academia category. This award “recognizes an established academic who has made an important contribution with a global and societal impact on scientific research in chemistry or a related science.” Her work spans such areas as redox mechanisms of biologically active compounds, chemical sensors, nutraceutical analysis, biomarkers of oxidative stress, and natural products.

For more information, visit the award homepage. Nominations for the 2022 awards will open in July.


This article was updated Nov. 4, 2021, to use an awardee's preferred name presentation. It is Nubia Boechat, not Núbia Boechat Andrade.


This story was updated on Nov. 5, 2021, to clarify that the award is presented by the American Chemical Society and the Brazilian Chemical Society, not C&EN and CAS.


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