Eleonora Dondossola, a former student of the very first year of the Biotechnology Degree Course at UniSR, now a researcher in the United States and author of numerous scientific articles on the most prestigious international journals, has been selected by Nature publishing group among the 10 finalists of the Nature Research Award for Inspiring Science.
The Inspiring Science Award is an annual award for early-career female researchers or academics that aims to honour outstanding female scientists in order to provide encouragement and inspire the next generation of women interested in science.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree and a PhD obtained at UniSR, she moved to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, USA, one of the best centers for the study and treatment of cancer, where she was promoter to Instructor. Her research focuses on the role of the microenvironment in tumor progression and treatment. Recently, she has further expanded her studies towards tissue-engineered technologies for inflammation and cancer, with emphasis on prostate cancer bone metastasis and its therapeutic targeting. Since 2014 she has been receiving financial support for her research from various organizations, including the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Bone Disease Program of Texas, NCI/Sage Bionetworks and the Prostate Cancer Spore.
“When I was in high school I was discouraged by many people, including classmates and friends, from a career in science because it was perceived as a trajectory with very limited rewards and opportunities. I did not abandon my dream: my commitment was very strong, my family totally supported me and I successfully pursued my studies in Cell/Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. I am very satisfied with my decisions and the way my career developed, and would do it all again”.
In 2017 Eleonora was included among the youngest 100 Italian experts in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). On this regard, she pushes girls: “You need to play an active role in their development and make THE difference! Do not believe that a scientific or technological career is better suited to men, it is not true at all! Pursue your ambitions with passion in any field you are interested in”.
She finally states:
“I am very excited and quite amazed to have been included in this list of exceptional female scientists aimed to provide encouragement and inspiration to the next generation. I share this news with my University, since my education totally took place in UniSR: the education received gave me very solid intellectual and experimental foundations, which allowed me to be competitive within the international scientific community since the beginning of my career, and surely contributed to lead me where I am today”.
Eleonora Dondossola (front row). Second row, left to right: Daniele Robesti (graduated at UniSR International MD Program, currently in Italy for his medical license exam), Maria Parlani and Claudia Paindelli, both former Biotechnology students at UniSR graduated under Eleonora's supervision, now part of her team at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.