UC researcher awarded at the 19th edition of the L'Oréal Portugal Medals of Honour for Women in Science
Raquel Boia, researcher at iCBR - Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, was one of the four winners of the 2023 L'Oréal Medals of Honour for Women in Science. The awarded project focuses on vision restoration in glaucoma through the regeneration of retinal cells
“We have already determined that activating the adenosine A3 receptor in the retinal ganglion cells is able to protect them,” explains the researcher, who will now assess whether this receptor can help regenerate the axons of these cells and reintegrate them to the visual system, so that the optic nerve is once again able to transmit visual information to the brain.
In this research work, Dr. Boia will also use a different approach for ocular drug delivery to the retina: a biodegradable intraocular implant. “In the future, this implant could replace the need for multiple intravitreal injections, currently used in the treatment of chronic retinal diseases.”
Although there is still a long way to go, Raquel Boia's new approach expands the knowledge about the possibilities of regenerating the visual system in people with glaucoma, contributing to a greater goal - a therapy that can restore the lost vision to millions of people.
The L'Oréal Portugal Medals of Honour for Women in Science distinguished three other Portuguese scientists.
The four female PhD researchers, aged between 31 and 35, were selected by a scientific jury. All awardees receive an individual prize of 15 thousand euros, which will support their research, motivate them to carry on their work and promote equity in science.
English version: Diana Taborda