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María Vallet Regí

María Vallet Regí during her investiture as honorary doctor by URV
María Vallet Regí during her investiture as honorary doctor by URV
Date of investiture:
22nd of April 2022
Yolanda Cesteros
Area of knowledge:

María Vallet is a full professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Complutense University of Madrid and a pioneering scientist in the field of chemistry applied to medicine. In the 1990s, she paved the way for using bioceramic materials to regenerate bone tissue and in 2001, ushered in a new therapeutic and research field focused on using these same materials to transport and release drugs and better treat infections, cancers, bone diseases and osteoporosis. Patients will have to wait a few years before they can benefit from this second stage of the research. But when the time comes, the qualitative leap will be substantial.

Vallet's research is multidisciplinary, combining the fields of chemistry, biology, pharmacology, engineering, medicine and physics to achieve solutions that benefit human health, which have marked a turning point in modern medicine. The confluence of these different fields has made it possible to manufacture tissues similar to the patient's original ones, as well as regenerate damaged tissues using mesoporous inorganic ceramic materials. With the help of matrices made from biomaterials covered with a layer of cells that grow until they colonize the complete structure, they eventually become a functioning tissue or organ.

In the early 2000s, she had the idea of using these materials in combination with nanomedicine to create an application that represents a huge leap forward and solves the problem encountered by the most hopeful drugs in the fight against cancer. These sometimes prove ineffective when introduced into the body, as they are degraded by enzymes in a matter of minutes. However, the mechanical resistance, chemical stability, biocompatibility and resistance to microbial attack of inorganic nanoparticles such as mesoporous silica, make them great for carrying the drugs needed by patients directly to the affected area.

Investiture Speeches