Science and football? Why not…

Recently, the Deník Employee League football tournament took place, which was attended by a team consisting of employees of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno and its International Clinical Research Center. Our colleagues certainly did not disgrace, they took fourth place in the strong competition. Nevertheless, we clearly stood out among all the participants, because a woman also appeared on the list. Dr. Soraia Fernandes played really good, she scored hattrick in one match and she showed off her technical skills all match long. After the end of the tournament, she did not reject the request for an interview, so we interviewed her properly.

The first question will be classic one… How did you get into FNUSA-ICRC?
I met Dr. Giancarlo Forte, my actual boss, in a workshop in Rome in 2018. After that we kept in contact and I started working for him in January 2019. I have to admit it has been a very pleasant experience. The CTM facilities are great and very good research is done here!

What do you do in your research?
It has been now a couple of years that I am working on the field of nanomedicine. More specifically, I studying the potential of nanoparticles to be used as carriers for the specific deliver of drugs at the tumour site. Using such therapeutic strategies, we aim at reducing the drug dosage and the side effects of general drug chemotherapy, improving the life quality of the patient. Nowadays, at the CTM, I am focusing on developing a prostate cancer model, using patient isolated cells, in order to test the new therapies in a patient-specific fashion.

What do you like about Brno and what would you like to change?
I like the fact that is very safe and relaxed. I also like that the people in general is super engaged in physical activity, I mean cycling, running, hiking, etc. What would be nice in my opinion, is to have more integrating activities for non-Czech speakers, both culturally and sports wise.

You participated as the only woman in a football tournament, was it a bet or are you actively involved in football?
No, this was not a bet! 🙂 Football is one of my favourite sports. I was grown with football all around me. My father played it, my older brother and all my male cousins, with whom I was raised, are football players! So as you can imagine I spent a lot of time during my childhood playing football! 🙂 Then, as an adult I kept doing it. Nowadays I try to organize friendly matches at work with my colleagues. It´s not always easy to find enough people but I am happy to see that at least some of them got engaged with the sport and actually have a good time while playing. 🙂

Any other sports activities?
Yes definitely! I love sports in general and I like to keep myself active. My favourites are football and running. But I enjoy other sports like riding the bike and hiking. Especially, since I am here in Brno, I also discover how funny it is to play squash and badminton.