The work presented by Mónica Giménez, researcher at the Molecular Science Institute (ICMol) of the University of Valencia, has won the first prize of the XIV edition of the Algemesí Scientific-Technical Research Award, worth € 5,000. In addition, the new award for young researchers under 26 years old, endowed with € 1,500, has been received by Àngela Vidal, a researcher at the Institute of Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio), a mixed centre of the University and the CSIC.
The work of Mónica Giménez Marqués (also recently awarded the Young Talent Award of the Valencian Community) studies Graftfast surface engineering for the improvement of furtivity in MOF nanoparticles. Àngela Vidal Verdú’s research is about the bioprospecting of Mediterranean waste, the characterisation of microbial communities and the search for plastic degrading activities. The awards will be presented on March 1 at the City Hall of Algemesí, in an event where the winners will explain their work.
“I feel very grateful for having received the Ciutat d’Algemesí award. This recognition for young researchers is a strong stimulus that encourages me to continue with more enthusiasm doing science”, said Mónica Giménez, chemist and PhD in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the University of Valencia. She is currently in the Juan de la Cierva-Incorporation program at the Institute of Molecular Science (ICMol) and is a collaborator of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry. She studies smart porous hybrid materials that respond to stimuli, as well as nanostructured bistable systems. Her contributions have implications in various fields such as energy, environment and health.
For her part, Àngela Vidal emphasises that the award “is a great impulse to continue the research career, which for young people, most of the time, seems to us an uncertain, diffuse and above all unstable path”. She learnt she won on the International Women’s and Girl’s Day in science, on February 11, “a fact that made me even more excited”, when she had just arrived in Copenhagen for a stay at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability. Àngela Vidal studied the Master in Research and Development in Biotechnology and Biomedicine, and the award-winning research was carried out in the Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology Group of the I2SysBio.
The vice-rector for Research at the University of Valencia, Carlos Hermenegildo, member of the jury, highlighted “the excellent level of the works presented” and his satisfaction “because two of them are by young female researchers of our institution”. “The quality of the work presented by Àngela Vidal is very remarkable. In addition, the work and scientific career of the winner, Mónica Giménez, are really impressive.” The vice-rector also thanked the City Council of Algemesí, on behalf of the University of Valencia, this initiative that meets fourteen editions and that this year has incorporated a new modality for research personnel under 26 years old.
The jury has been formed, in addition to Carlos Hermenegildo, by José Pío, institutional coordinator of the CSIC; José Gabriel Torres, vice-dean of the ETSE-University of Valencia; Salud Botella, Biotechnology professor; Rosa Cebrián, Physiology professor; José Vicente Castell, director of the Hepatology Research Unit of La Fe Hospital; Francisco Javier Sáiz, Professor of Electronic Engineering; Mª Antonia Ferrús, Professor of Microbiology; councilwoman Palma Egido and councilman Pere Blanco; and the mayor of Algemesí, Marta Trenzano. The Informatics professor Jaume Segura has been the secretary of the jury.
The award for the best work for young researchers from La Ribera, worth € 1,500, went to Óscar Gil Castell for his work on PCL / Ge nanofibres with tailored characteristics for biomedical applications in the field of tissue engineering.
In this edition, 24 works have been presented, eight of them from cities of La Ribera. Four runner-ups have been awarded for Adrián Cárdenas Castell, Juan Ernesto Solanes Galbis, José Gabriel García Pardó and Inés Pulido Endrino. Also two honorific mentions for Máximo Cobos Serrano and Adrián del Río Vega.