Maria José Pereira, a MIT Portugal Program Bioengineering alumna was interviewed in Diário de Notícias about her research work and background. The portuguese researcher was recognized in 2015 by Forbes list “30 Under 30” in Healthcare, along with two other portuguese , Cristiano Ronaldo in Sports and street artist Vhils. She was also honored with a academic award from MIT [MIT Technology Review] and Time [Next Generation Leaders], which was her first prize back in 2014.
During her PhD she has contributed to the development of a bio-inspired adhesive that can rapidly attach biodegradable patches inside a beating heart - in the exact place where congenital holes in the heart occur, such as ventricular heart defects present on 6 out of 1000 births. In 2012, when she concluded her PhD, the proof of concept was finished and her supervisor introduced the idea to two french investors who decided to develop the project in France and started Gecko Biomedical, a start-up company based in Paris. The company is focused on developing this new technology and already has the license for the adhesive technology. Currently Maria José works as Head of Adhesive Technologies.