Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Uruguay is “world power” in biomedicine, scientist says

Montevideo, Dec 25 (EFE).- Uruguay has one of the “planet’s most powerful” scientific communities in the area of biomedicine, researcher and this year’s Mexican Science and Technology Award winner, Rafael Radi, told EFE.

“We have in Uruguay a formidable team of researchers … that we’ve maintained over the course of many years and that gives us tremendous power on the world level. In our area (of biomedicine) we’re among the planet’s most powerful teams,” the Uruguayan said.

Fotografía del 22 de diciembre de 2016 del científico uruguayo, recientemente galardonado con el Premio Ciencia y Tecnología de México, Rafael Radi, durante una entrevista con Efe en su despacho de la Universidad de la República de Uruguay (Udelar) en Montevideo (Uruguay). Según Radi, Uruguay tiene uno de los equipos de investigadores “más potentes del planeta” en el área de biomedicina. “Tenemos (en Uruguay) un equipo formidable de investigadores de distintas etapas de formación que hemos mantenido a lo largo de muchos años y eso nos da una potencia tremenda a nivel planetario, en el área nuestra (la biomedicina) somos de los equipos más potentes del planeta”, aseguró el científico. EFE

Radi, 53, works at the University of the Republic of Uruguay (Udelar) School of Medicine along with his team studying molecular, biochemical and cellular mechanisms by which free radicals, oxidants and nitric oxide are involved in causing cells “to go from being healthy to being sick.”

He was recently awarded Mexico’s science and technology prize for his contributions in his chosen area. The prestigious award has been bestowed each year since 1990 by Mexico’s president in a special ceremony.

“It made a real impact on me because I was informed that there had been 52 nominations from 12 countries from all areas of knowledge, … but winding up in first place was very surprising,” he said.

Meanwhile, he was selected for admission to the US National Academy of Sciences, a recognition that only a small group of scientists receive each year after an internal selection process by the entity. He is the first Uruguayan to be so honored.

“There are some basic phenomena that we understand that later could be applied to the understanding of different diseases,” he said, adding that the work is “very prestigious (and) really helps make Uruguay visible in science” work.

He is one of the main figures in scientific development in his homeland, being a founding member of the Uruguayan Academy of Sciences in 2009 and says that Uruguay has been developing its scientific potential with a process of “very high” quality control to “move to the next level.”