“We need space. One possibility is to build new facilities”

Eva Poveda (Lugo, 75) is a biologist from Compostela University and a medical microbiologist from Complutense. An award from the L’Oreal-Unesco Foundation for “Women in Science”, signed in 2018 for Galicia Sur, coordinating the Virology and Pathology group.

She was the signature star of the Galicia Sur Institute for Health Research (IISGS) in 2018. She came to promote HIV research, but that’s not the only area in which this doctor excels in medical microbiology, who has published 175 articles and who presents them is of great interest. In highlighting the role of women in science and the transfer of knowledge to society. “With great enthusiasm and a desire to work” he has just taken over the management of the Institute for International Studies of Islamic Geosciences (IISGS), which Dr. José Ramón Fernández Lorenzo left after obtaining the institution’s greatest ambition to date: accreditation by the Carlos III Institute of Health.

– The franchise is still very recent, but has it really been noticed?

– The accreditation came only when a call was opened from Carlos III himself to provide infrastructure and equipment for the research centers, and therefore, we were able to order the equipment that is essential for the projects that we are developing in a much larger quantity. In the future, it will allow us to qualify for more funding. It represents the mark of excellence that places us at the elite of national biomedical research.

“Carlos III’s accreditation puts us at the fore in national biomedical research”

– Once this is achieved, what are the main challenges now?

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Outlined in our Strategic Plan 2022-2026, it is broad in scope and very ambitious. We can mention promoting translational research and innovation; improving synergy between the clinical segment and core research groups; promoting generational change; Attract research talent. Promoting citizen sciences … and encouraging our interaction with society by, for example, collaborating with patient associations, educational institutions or the general public, as well as ensuring compliance with the institute’s gender equality standards.

– In which regions does Galicia Sur stand out at the national and international level or in what region do you think it could be?

– It already has excellent professionals and experts in different fields. Many national and international references already. But, as with everything, there is room for improvement and another challenge is uptake, strengthening collaboration with other foreign reference centers or as researchers move between them. The potential is enormous.

In which specialty is more obvious than others?

– All areas have great and excellent experience.

– With the pandemic, research has turned to Covid-19. Were other projects affected? What is the current situation?

Many projects that were under implementation were affected. Although some of the Covid-19 is currently still in the process of being finalized and some will continue, much of the rest has been brought back again.

– What is the size of the institute now and what do they aspire to?

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The number of the attached cadre exceeds 800 researchers. In the strategic plan there are measures to attract talent, but I will not consider aspirations a matter of numbers. What I want is for current researchers to work in the best possible conditions.

“It has already allowed us to order major equipment for a much larger amount and will bring in more funding.”


– A while ago they talked about expanding facilities, is the project on the table?

– The need for space is a reality. Various alternatives are currently being evaluated. Some will be able to be more immediate and some will be more long term. In the meantime, we are working to reorganize and improve our space.

– and it all happens because you focus on Cunqueiro or because it lifts spaces, was that for example?

“This is another possibility. There are already spaces in other centers and there is also the possibility of creating new facilities. This is also believed.

– In building new facilities? Annex buildings, for example?

Yes, this is one possibility. It would be perfect.

“We have set up an observatory to ensure compliance with gender equality standards”

– The arrival of women in the direction of Galicia Sur also coincides with the creation of the Observatory of Equality. Why did you decide to take this step?

– In person, before arriving at the Directorate, It’s something you’re already committed to.. She has commented on it on several occasions, and one of the first actions in her capacity as Deputy Scientific Director was the establishment of this observatory to promote and ensure compliance with gender equality standards, both in organizational structures and in all activities undertaken by the Institute. The aim of the International Institute for Islamic Geosciences (IISGS) is also to promote training and education activities in the field of equality.

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In health, the proportion of women is higher than that of men. In high school too?

– Yes, out of more than 800 researchers, about 60% are women. .

Do you see or suspect gender inequality in the institute?

Although our organization is committed to meeting these standards and they are met in various committees and organizational structures, as they are integrated into our thinking, there are areas for improvement. The review team also pointed out some.

Myrtle Frost

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