Celebrating WOMEN IN SCIENCE: Interview with Ana Vieira

March 3, 2020



Today we present you Ana Vieira, a Research Fellow in Water Quality Research Group at INL.

We’ve met Ana during the organization of NNT2016 Conference and since then she has built her own path as a Researcher. Nowadays, her work consists of evaluating and developing multifunctional materials for removal of microorganisms from water.

She finished her Bachelor Degree in Biochemistry in 2016 and holds a Master Degree in Biophysics and Bionanosystems since 2018, from the University of Minho. Her Master thesis was based on functionalization of nanoliposomes, for delivery of a marine toxin, at a specific target, to be used in prostate and breast cancer treatment.

What inspired you to pursue a career in science?

The excitement of doing, finding and optimizing the different materials. The fact the day is never the same as the day before. To be continuously challenged. We face a “daily battle” to conquer our goals, and the feeling of succeeding overtakes all the daily frustrations along the way.


How did you get where you are in your career path?

Still unsure I wanted to be a Researcher one day, I started my Bachelor Degree in Biochemistry at the University of Minho, where I had the chance to execute a small scientific project. This was the start of all the possibilities I had in front of me and what I could do for the rest of my life.

But the “real click” happened during my Master Thesis, here at INL, while working in the Water Quality Group. I had the real experience of doing research and being in the lab. I kept going and had the possibility to develop the project and to overcome all difficulties and challenges. I was surprised and motivated and this work made me understand that this should be my path and that I would pursue this as a career. 


Briefly, what is a ‘day in the life’ of Ana and what excites you about your work and INL?

At the end of my master in Biophysics and Bionanosystems, I continued to work at INL, as a Junior Research Fellow. Along with the amazing Water Quality Group Researchers, I develop and test multifunctional surfaces with the main goal of removing microorganisms from water, by improving microbial adhesion and subsequent elimination by photocatalysis.

With all the environmental problems that our planet is facing, this work is a great motivation and I try to develop new or improved materials that can help the environment and society. As my first research job, this is an incredible carrier start. Here, at INL, I have the opportunity to learn and evolve every day.