Natalia Teruel is our 2022 Michèle-Auger awardee

The 2022 Michèle-Auger Award has been granted to Natalia Teruel, a doctoral student at Université de Montréal. This distinction, in its third installment, is awarded annually to a woman pursuing graduate studies in protein sciences within the PROTEO network. It is offered to a woman who, while pursuing advanced research activities, has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the scientific community and to society. This award has an associated monetary prize of 5000$. The award ceremony will take place during the 2022 PROTEO annual symposium during which Ms. Teruel will give a conference related to her research.

Originally from Brazil, Mrs. Teruel made her undergraduate studies in Molecular Sciences at University of São Paulo, Brazil. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies under the supervision of Prof. Rafael Najmanovich, in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Université de Montréal. Her research focuses on the impact of mutations in the Spike protein of SARS-CoV2 variants, responsible for COVID-19, using computational molecular biophysics methods.

From her studies in Brazil to the present day, Dr. Teruel, involved in many causes and committees, has been an inspiring role model for her peers. Examples include her actions to help young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in Brazil to carry out scientific projects, and her interventions to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in science and technology in Brazil.

“I am very honored to receive this award in memory of Prof. Michèle Auger. It is thanks to role models like Prof. Auger that many young women like me are pursuing a scientific career today, in a field where there are few women,” says Natalia Teruel.

“In reviewing the award’s selection criteria, I could not think of a more deserving candidate than Mrs. Teruel. Not only is she committed to the community, but she also has tremendous research potential,” said Prof. Najmanovich, the recipient’s thesis advisor.

Prof. Steve Bourgault of Université du Québec à Montréal, and Director of PROTEO, was delighted with Mrs. Teruel’s success.

“With the Michèle-Auger Award, we want to recognize and encourage talented, committed, and inspiring young women who are also role models for the scientific community in Quebec. Natalia has had a remarkable career on all fronts and PROTEO is privileged to count on such a dedicated student,” he added.

About Michèle Auger
Originally from Grand-Mère, Michèle Auger studied biophysics at UQTR. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Ottawa before pursuing postdoctoral studies at the MIT. She went on to have an outstanding faculty and research career in molecular biophysics in the Chemistry department of Laval University, before being taken too young by illness in October 2018. She was a role model for generations of scientists, especially women. Her commitment to the scientific community was notorious and inspiring.

Read the Brouillard communications press release here. 

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