2016 BIO.IBEROAMÉRICA claims the Iberoamerican scientific heritage in its opening
JPA/DICYT The American researcher Tejal Desai was in charge of the opening lecture of BIO.IBEROAMÉRICA 2016. Intengrando Conteinentes'. The conference started today with an official ceremony, led by the rector of the University of Salamanca, Daniel Hernandez Ruipérez, who wanted to highlight during his intervention the close historical links between Salamanca´s academic institution , who turns 800 years in 2018, and the Latin America region. Ruiperez also expressed his wish that this anniversary would serve as an incentive to create a common university system throughout Latin America.
Eva Maria Martin del Valle, president of the organizing committee, stressed the need for contact among biotechnology researchers, considering the multidisciplinary nature of this field. "Biotechnology is, by definition, an horizontal knowledge area which covers many fields of science", she said. Moreover, in her opinion BIO.IBEROAMÉRICA 2016 is a great opportunity to vindicate "the Latin American scientific heritage, which is very unknown."
Health and food-oriented investment
The Director General of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, José Ignacio Fernández Vera stressed that international cooperation is essential to science. As he explained Spain's annual spending on biotech research amounts to 1,500 million euros, which represents 11.3% of total domestic investment in R + D + i. Fernandez Vera remarked that the investment is mainly intended to human health and to food. Finally he also claimed the importance of disseminating knowledge generated by scientists to get a well-educated citizenry.
Both the president of the Spanish Society of Biotechnology (SEBIOT), Mario Diez, such as the Portuguese Society of Biotechnology (SPBT), Jose Teixeira, stressed that Latin America region is the natural space for the Spanish and Portuguese science to expand and collaborate. In the same vein, the Mayor of Salamanca, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, highlighted the links between the city and the Latin America area, especially through its public University.
After the opening, emeritus professor at the University of Salamanca, Miguel Angel Galan, presented Tejal Desai, professor and head of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at the University of California at San Francisco, who gave the keynote conference of BIO.IBEROAMÉRICA 2016 .
Desai is the director of a laboratory of micro and nanotechnology therapeutic. As shown in her speech, her research involves modifying cell behavior and seeking new forms of drugs delivery in order to improve treatments. Her results are mainly oriented into clinical practice.