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Maria Mota, first Portuguese to win the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Prize

The winning work addresses several discoveries about the parasitic physiology that causes malaria and its adaptation of the life cycle with hosts.

“Malaria continues to be a disease that kills a child every 2 minutes in the world and so it is urgent to continue investigating the parasite and its complex mechanisms of action,” says Maria Mota, a scientist and the main author of the group of the work that has just been awarded the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur 2018 Prize, which translates into a € 150,000 scholarship for research.

The award recognizes not only the work done by all those involved in the research but also guarantees the laboratory the necessary funding so that one can “explore new ideas in a freer way”, points out the specialist who brings the prize for the first time to Portugal.

It was in the international career category that Maria Mota was recognized, already the French duo Claude-Agnès Reynaud and Jean-Claude Weill of the Institut Necker-Enfants Malades, won in the senior international category, thus totalling the € 350,000 annually offered by the Awards Sanofi-Institut Pasteur to investigations that demonstrate scientific progress in different areas of science and this year highlighted the areas of Microbiology and Infection and Immunology.

In addition to the author of this research, Maria Mota is also Executive Director of iMM – João Lobo Antunes, Molecular Medicine Institute responsible for the campaign ‘Before a big answer, there is always a big question’, which is currently underway.

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