Portuguese American Journal

João Gonçalves winner of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation award – Portugal

Portuguese researcher João Gonçalves is the recipient of the Grand Challenges Exploration Award granted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a research project underway aimed at eliminating HIV-1 viruses from infected organisms.

Professor João  Gonçalves teaches at the Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa and is a researcher at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular of Lisbon. 

In a released statement, Professor Gonçalves  said, “We are very proud to receive this award. It will allow us to pursue an out-of-the-box, bold approach to fight HIV/AIDS infection, something that is seldom funded by traditional funding schemes. This award also shows that science in Portugal is recognized internationally and that it can be a trigger for the country’s development.”

João Gonçalves is the second researcher from Instituto de Medicina Molecular to be funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2010, Miguel Prudêncio won Grand Challenges Exploration Award to fund the development of a vaccine against malaria.

According to 2009 figures, there are 42,000 individuals living with HIV/Aids in Portugal, representing 6 percent of a population estimated at 10,760, 305 (2011).

Portugal is third on a list out of 27 European countries with the highest cases  of HIV infections. Only England and Holland have higher figures.

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