Sylvia Daunert, Pharm.D., M.S., Ph.D., the Lucille P. Markey Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been elected to the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna, one of the most famous scientific societies in Europe.
The academy, which is associated with the University of Bologna, the oldest continuous university in the world, was formed in 1690 with its original focus on experimental, medical and physical-mathematical sciences. Dr. Daunert joins the academy in the class of physical sciences, a group filled with luminaries including Guglielmo Marconi, Albert Einstein, and Marie Curie.
“This election is fascinating and humbling to be among all these incredible scientists throughout history,” Dr. Daunert said. “Being from Spain, I have known of the academy early on and have even been able to give talks and be among collaborators there. It is amazing to now be able to continue doing so but as a full member of the academy.”
Dr. Daunert was recognized for her research in nanotechnology, considered ahead of its time by harnessing what nature offers in enabling technologies. She was also recently elected as a fellow of the International Academy of Nanotechnology and to two different Royal Academies in her native Spain.
Dr. Daunert and her lab were the first to develop biosensors in which cells were engineered to detect biomolecules in clinical and environmental samples that could then be used as health biomarkers. She also pioneered developing biosensors for quorum sensing molecules, the chemical signals that bacteria use to communicate within their community and the human body. In other projects, she has worked extensively in targeted and responsive drug delivery employing smart biomaterials and nanocarriers.
“This is a field of research that is in necessary demand, and we have proven how important it is to develop enabling tech,” Dr. Daunert said. “We are always thinking about how we can use what nature has to offer and either synthesize or make something in the lab that leads to new ways of targeting treatments while being biologically inspired.”
As a member of the academy, Dr. Daunert will receive a medal and a diploma to commemorate the achievement while being invited to the University of Bologna to lecture and network with hundreds of scientists in the institute.
“It is rewarding to see how our team’s efforts are being regarded in research and education,” Dr. Daunert said. “These recognitions are inspiring and could not happen without the continued dedication and hard work of my team at UM during the past 12 years, focusing in an exciting emerging field that holds great promise for solving critical unmet biomedical challenges.”