The researcher Margarita Salas, Nobel Severo Ochoa disciple dies

The Asturian researcher Margarita Rooms, one of the main references of Spanish science during the last decades, has passed away today at the age of 80, sources from the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center have confirmed to EFE.

Margarita Salas, who worked alongside Nobel Severo Ochoa at the University of New York, he has developed his research work in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology, and was an academic of Science and Language of Spain.

Throughout his career, he has obtained several patents, but that of his method with phi29 DNA polymerase It is still the most profitable ever presented by the CSIC. Between 2003 and 2009, he represented more than half of the organization's copyright, returning millions of dollars in investment to publicly funded research, and allowing Salas and his team to make further advances in genetics.

Doctor of Science (1963) by the Complutense University of Madrid, He did his Postdoctoral Work (1964-1967) in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of New York with Severo Ochoa as director. She has also been a professor of Molecular Genetics at the Faculty of Chemistry of the Complutense University (1968-1992), as well as a Professor of Research since 1974 in the "Severo Ochoa" Molecular Biology Center (CSIC-UAM) and Head of the line "Replication and Transcription of the bacteriophage 29 DNA".

Between his awards and distinctions are the Severo Ochoa of Research of the Ferrer Foundation (1986), Carlos J. Finlay of UNESCO (1991), King Jaime I of Research (1994), Medal Principality of Asturias (1997), Prize to the Human Values ​​of the Mail Group (1998), Research Award of the Community of Madrid (1998), Mexico Prize for Science and Technology (1998), Medal of the Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1999), Helena Rubinstein-UNESCO Prize "Women in Science" (1999), Santiago Ramón y Cajal National Research Award (1999), Universal Spanish for the Independent Foundation (2000) and Gold Medal of the Community of Madrid (2002).

It is also Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universities of Oviedo (1996), Polytechnic of Madrid (2000), Extremadura (2002), Murcia (2003) and Cádiz (2004). He has the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise (2003), the International Prize for Science and Research of the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation (2004), the Gold Medal for Merit at Work (2005), Medal of Honor of the Complutense University of Madrid (2005).

In June of this year, the scientist received two awards from the European Patent Office (EPO): to the European Inventor 2019 in the category of ‘Achievement of a lifetime’ for having made DNA sequencing available to many more researchers and scientists; and the prize in the category of ‘Popular Prize’, granted by the public.

Rooms was Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO, since 1983), European Academy (since 1988), American Academy of Microbiology (since 1996), European Academy of Sciences and Arts (since 1997) and American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 2005). President of the Institute of Spain (1995-2003).

Likewise, he was part of the Editorial Board of 12 international journals. His scientific activity amounts to more than 300 publications in international journals and books and has a patent in operation. He has directed 28 Doctoral Theses.

The scientist, qualified by the CSIC as "one of the greatest Spanish scientists of the twentieth century", has systematically used her public visibility to promote research and encourage the participation of women in science.