Tribute: Claudina Rodrigues-Pousada (1940–2021)

Like Comment

A great scientist, an incomparable mentor, an unforgettable friend

Professor Claudina Rodrigues-Pousada, who died earlier this year, is most remembered at FEBS for her key role in the development of the popular FEBS Young Scientists’ Forum (YSF) for PhD students and postdocs in the molecular biosciences, held just ahead of the FEBS Congress.

The first FEBS YSF took place in 2001 when Claudina was the Chair of the 27th FEBS Congress in Lisbon, and in many later years, following her election to Chair of the FEBS Working Group on the Careers of Young Scientists (2005–2007 and 2011–2017), Claudina was responsible for overseeing the event and particularly the young local committee of scientists tasked with its organization (as highlighted in the Network post ‘Nurturing the FEBS Young Scientists' Forum’ when she stepped down from this role).

Writing these lines of reflection takes me (I.D-M.) back to the year 2011. In her FEBS Working Group position, Claudina set my colleague Dr Ricardo O. Louro and me on the adventure of organizing a memorable FEBS YSF in Cadiz (Spain) in 2012, together with IUBMB, the Spanish Biochemical and Molecular Biology Society (SEBBM) and the Portuguese Biochemical Society (SPB). Her invaluable support culminated in an extraordinary meeting, which those of us who participated in still remember with much affection but a certain wistfulness.

IUBMB–FEBS YSF 2012 – Cadiz (Spain). Claudina is circled. 

In 2018, I was handed the baton to replace Claudina after election to Chair of the FEBS Working Group on the Careers of Young Scientists. That was a great honour and, at the same time, a tremendous responsibility since Claudina had developed the YSF into a successful format as an informal and relaxed space in which young scientists share scientific knowledge and strengthen international alliances.

The FEBS YSF 2018 was chaired by Dr Vlastimil Kulda in the beautiful city of Prague (Czech Republic). Both Claudina and I guided Vlastimil and his team, who orchestrated a perfectly organized event that was a great success. Her active participation continued in the following FEBS YSF 2019 in Krakow (Poland), chaired by Dr Anna Jagusiak. There, Claudina gave a lecture entitled “Memories of Being Chair of YSF”, which was dedicated to past YSFs she had guided. This talk, along with her closeness and ability to connect with young people, was highly appreciated by the young attendees.

FEBS YSF 2019 – Krakow (Poland)

Following Claudina’s work, my main purpose in my role at FEBS has been keeping FEBS YSFs developing every year as a satellite activity closely linked to the FEBS Congress. Even in the pandemic situation we live in, the FEBS YSF 2021 will take place, despite being virtual.

We will be honouring her legacy at the FEBS YSF 2022, taking place in her home country of Portugal, with a named lecture.

Claudina Rodrigues-Pousada (1941–2021)

  • Claudina Rodrigues-Pousada was a full professor and head of the Genomics and Stress Laboratory at Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António  Xavier (ITQB) at the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (Lisbon, Portugal).
  • Her recent research interests were mechanisms involved in homeostasis control when yeast cells are exposed to different environmental cues, in particular to arsenic and iron overload.
  • She was not only active in science, but also worked with full devotion for scientific societies.
  • From 1992 to 2001, she was a delegate representing the Portuguese Biochemical Society in the Council of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS).
  • In 2001, she was Chair of the organizing committee of the 27th FEBS Congress in Lisbon. She then served as vice-Chair (2002) and Chair (20032004) of the FEBS Executive Committee.
  • However, her most significant contribution to FEBS was her enthusiastic activity over many years targeted to career development of young scientists. She was a key person in the history of the FEBS Working Group on the Career of Young Scientists (2005–2007 and 2011–2017) and organization of the annual FEBS Young Scientists' Forum (YSF).
  • She oversaw nine successful FEBS YSF events: Budapest (2005), Istanbul (2006), Vienna (2007), Torino (2011), Seville (2012), St. Petersburg (2013), Paris (2014), Berlin (2015) and Jerusalem (2017).
  • She was a member of Portuguese Biochemical Society, American Society of Microbiology, American Society of Biochemical and Molecular Biology and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • She was honoured by the FEBS Diplôme d'Honneur in 2009 for her outstanding service to FEBS.

Irene Diaz-Moreno

Chair of the FEBS Working Group on the Careers of Young Scientists, University of Seville - CSIC

Dr. Irene Díaz-Moreno is Full Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Institute of Chemical Research of the Scientific Research Centre Isla de la Cartuja – cicCartuja, in Seville (Spain). She was awarded with her Ph.D. with European mention from the University of Seville in 2005. Dr. Irene Díaz-Moreno has worked in collaboration with groups at the Universities of Göteborg (Sweden) and Leiden (The Netherlands) on molecular recognition between metalloproteins involved in electron-transfer processes. She was an EMBO postdoctoral fellow (2006–2008) at the NIMR-MRC in London (UK), working on the regulatory mechanisms of mRNA decay by RNA-binding proteins. In 2010, she got a permanent position at the University of Seville, where she is developing research projects on Biointeractomics field, as well as on the post-translational regulation of biological macromolecules.

Comments

Go to the profile of Ferhan Sagin
5 months ago

Thank you Irene and Vlastimil & Anna...

It is so good to see that you carry her torch and continue her missions in the same way possible...

Claudina was a pillar of enthusiasm & hard work &  passion for young researchers!

May she rest in peace!

Ferhan