Dr. Alexandra Antunes, Centro de Química Estrutural from the Instituto Superior Técnico (CQE-IST), Portugal
Dr. Antunes received the Cefic-LRI Innovative Science Award in 2014 on the topic: “Covalent Modification of Histones by Carcinogens: a novel proteomic approach toward the assessment of chemically-induced cancers – CarcHistonOmic”.
Dr. Antunes’ winning research proposal investigates improvements can be made in the detection of early stage cancer . She postulates that early stage cancer formation can be detected by studying the binding –by mass spectrometry – of chemicals substances to the human proteins. This new specific biomarking has enormous potential to improve early detection and thereby the chances of successful therapy.
Dr. Antunes obtained a degree in chemistry in 1994 at the University of Lisbon and a master of science degree in industrial organic chemistry and a doctorate in organic chemistry at the New University of Lisbon, in 1998 and 2003, respectively. She is principal researcher at the Centro de Química Estrutural from the Instituto Superior Técnico (CQE-IST).
The Award was presented in conjunction with the Federation of European Toxicologists and European Societies of Toxicology (EUROTOX), the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and the International Society of Exposure Sciences (ISES).
The other two finalists were Spyros Karakitsios, from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and Julita Stadnicka-Michalak from EPF Lausanne – Eawag, Switzerland , with the following proposals respectively: “The NOVA methodology and computational platform for risk assessment of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic compounds” and “Improving environmental risk assessment of chemicals: linking in vitro cellular responses to sub-lethal effects on fish via mechanistic models”.