Un blog de Universitat Politècnica de Valéncia, Campus de Gandia.

New “Dones de ciència” Mural in Gandia

Last year in November, Sara García-Alonso was selected out of nearly 23,000 people to become a reserve astronaut in the European Astronaut Corps of the ESA (European Space Agency), becoming the first Spanish woman to ever do so.

Now, her likeness will inspire the students at CEIP Cervantes de Gandia. The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and the Las Naves innovation center of the Valencia City Council have inaugurated a spectacular mural paying tribute to her as part of the Dones de ciència (Women in Science) project. This initiative is backed by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

“A mural to inspire them to dream and be like Sara”

The mural is the work of the Mexican artist Dolores Navarro “Yuda” and is more than a mere portrait: it features the images of two girls that make reference to Sara’s childhood, “to her insatiable curiosity and desire to learn” accompanied by a small portrait of the researcher from León.

“Sara has always been motivated by her tremendous curiosity, her desire to learn more and to contribute to society. And this is what I wanted to convey to all the boys and girls at school, so that they feel inspired to dream and be like Sara”, explained Yuda. Furthermore, over the days that she was painting the mural, the Mexican artist encouraged the students to draw pictures of Sara and included a reproduction of two of them as a finishing touch to the mural.

“Never, never, never stop imagining, dreaming”

“It is the most beautiful tribute ever paid to me. The surge of emotion that I felt when I saw the mural arriving at the school was indescribable, just like every minute that I spent with the boys and girls of the school.” This is what Sara declared, overwhelmed by the warm reception given to her by all the students and teachers of the school and “by the marvelous work of art created by Yuda.” During the inauguration of the mural, the researcher from Leon, who works as a research scientist at the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), conveyed a clear and hopeful message to all the students: “never, never, never stop imagining, dreaming, because the future is yours, each and every one of you.”

The rector of the UPV, José E. Capilla was present at the inaugration of the mural, placing particular emphasis on the fact that the project aims to help fight the gender gap in the STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) and also help promote an interest in science in younger generations. Also taking part in the inauguration were the mayor, José Manuel Prieto, who highlighted the importance that Gandia is acquiring as a City of Science and Innovation, as well as the Director of Campus Gandia, Jesús Alba. For her part, the Minister of Science Diana Morant highlighted the importance of putting o spotlight on role models as a way to achieve true equality.

Interview with Diana Morant, Minister of Science and Innovation at Radio Gandia SER.

About Sara García-Alonso
Sara García-Alonso is a senior researcher at the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) and a member of the astronaut reserve pool of the European Space Agency (ESA). She graduated with a degree in Biotechnology from the University of León as the first of her class, obtaining several awards for academic excellence. During her undergraduate years, she interned at various laboratories and finished a Master’s degree with a specialty in Biomedicine.

Subsequently, she went on to work at the Cancer Research Center (2013-2018), where she received her PhD cum laude in Molecular Biology of Cancer and Translational Medicine, obtaining the Extraordinary Doctorate Award for the best doctoral thesis in Medicine, from the University of Salamanca. During this time, she worked on the identification of therapeutic targets and drug resistance mechanisms in different types of cancer. In 2019, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Mariano Barbacid at the CNIO, where she has made significant advances in the study of KRAS-driven lung adenocarcinoma. Her work is having a considerable impact in the identification of targeted therapies against this type of cancer.

In November 2022, Sara García-Alonso was selected out of nearly 23,000 people to become a reserve astronaut in the European Astronaut Corps of the European Space Agency, becoming the first Spanish woman to ever do so.

About Dones de ciencia

With the mural paying tribute to Sara García-Alonso, a total of 33 murals have been created as part of the Dones de ciència project, an activity that received the prize last year for the most outstanding project at the Prismas Casa de las Ciencias Awards for Science Popularization 2022, the most important awards in the country in the field of scientific communication and dissemination. And that also falls into line with the philosophy of the European project Science Goes To School, to bring science and its protagonists closer to schools, that the UPV participates in.

More pictures of the event at:: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cienciagob/albums/72177720309180863/with/52986590973/

Source: Laida Frasquet Pascual, Campus Gandia Office of Communications


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