Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): UC academics obtain the “Adelina Gutiérrez” Young Researcher Award for Scientific Excellence

They are Paula Aguirre, an academic from the Institute of Astrophysics, and María Belén Camarada, an academic from the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy. The award seeks to contribute to the promotion of science and recognize young researchers.


Last Wednesday, the Chilean Academy of Sciences announced the new winners of the 2021 “Adelina Gutiérrez” Young Researcher Award for Scientific Excellence . This recognition that is granted annually, with the aim of contributing to the promotion of science in the country and encouraging young researchers under 40 years of age.

In the category of Exact Sciences, the award went to Dr. Paula Aguirre, an academic from the Astrophysics Institute of the UC Faculty of Physics . Mechanical civil engineer and doctor in Astrophysics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, she has conducted studies on submillimeter galaxies, extragalactic astronomy and radio astronomy; She is currently an academic and works in the preparation of proposals , development and control of technological and scientific projects in multinational teams.

Meanwhile, in the Natural Sciences category, the prize was awarded to Dr. María Belén Camarada, who has a doctorate in Chemistry and is an academic at the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy at UC . She conducts research related mainly to the design and synthesis of new nanomaterials with application in electrochemical, energy and biomedical systems, using molecular modeling, quantum chemistry and molecular dynamics , to predict and understand atomic-scale phenomena.

Post-ad impressions
Academic Paula Aguirre “very sincerely thanked the Academy of Sciences for this recognition, which helps make visible the work of the excellent researchers in our country, and which serves as a great motivation and incentive to continue developing the best research possible, and advance our academic careers” .

In addition, Aguirre emphasized the value that is given to the interdisciplinary development that she has as a researcher. “Personally, I am also grateful that varied research careers are valued, since in my case I have not only dedicated myself to the discipline in which I did my doctorate (astrophysics), but I have also moved to other areas such as disaster science – at CIGIDEN – and more recently artificial intelligence – at CENIA –, which has allowed me to carry out interdisciplinary research and connect different topics and applications of interest to me,” he said.

María Belén Camarada expressed her gratitude for having obtained recognition like this, taking into account that there are many women who carry out outstanding work at the national level . In addition, she highlighted and thanked the support that she has received from her since she began her career studying and then working: family, college and university professors, undergraduate, doctorate and postdoctoral tutors; They have all contributed to her career.

“This recognition brings a message to me. Apart from happiness, there is a stage of reflection on the meaning of what has been all this way, towards the research that I have carried out so far, and that I hope will continue to be of good quality” , said.

On the other hand, he highlighted the figure of the woman on whom this award is inspired, who was a pioneer as a scientist and academic, being the first Chilean to obtain a doctorate in astrophysics and the first woman to join the Chilean Academy of Sciences. “The name already has a super important weight. Adelina Gutiérrez was an excellent researcher and of course she is a form of inspiration for me, and I hope for other researchers as well” , emphasized the professor.

future perspective
Within the framework of this announcement, the president of the Academy of Sciences, Dr. María Cecilia Hidalgo, congratulated the winners, emphasizing that it is an impulse to continue devoting themselves to science. “For this well-deserved award, we hope that, like Dr. Adelina Gutiérrez, they will stand out in their fields of research, and that this achievement will be an incentive for the future of their careers” , said the president.

Along the same lines, María Elena Boisier, Director of Research at UC , highlighted both winners for this recognition, emphasizing that it is a milestone on the way to greater leadership by women in this field. In fact, Boisier is the one who leads the InES Gender project at UC, an Innovation in Higher Education (InES) initiative that focuses on reducing gender gaps in the fields of research, development and innovation based on science and technology.

“The news not only makes us happy; we are proud that UC academics once again obtain this important recognition for the trajectory of young researchers. And that, in this way, they become models for new generations, undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate. This is one of the ways to incorporate greater leadership of women in areas such as science, innovation and technology transfer. Through the UC Gender InES project, which I direct, we will continue to promote and deepen the leadership of women in research at the university. Awards like this help with that task” , said María Elena Boisier.

The winners will receive their distinction, equivalent to 1,500 dollars, in an extraordinary session of the Chilean Academy of Sciences, which will be convened for this purpose, in which they must also make an exhibition of their work .

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