Dr Daniela MORAIS LEME (Brazil)

During her PhD, Daniela worked on the genotoxicity and mutagenicity of water contaminated by biofuels. With her research Daniela aimed to evaluate the whole production chain of biodiesel, including raw material sources. According to her findings, water and soil contaminated with biodiesel can induce adverse effects on living organisms, including cytotoxic and genotoxic effects.

PhD in Biological Sciences

Current position: Professor at Department of Genetics, Federal University of Paraná, Brazil

Research focus: environmental monitoring, environmental hazard assessment, genetic toxicology, immunotoxicology, alternatives to animals (in vitro methods)

Since 2011 Daniela has focused on developing new in vitro approaches to detect genotoxicants for humans and aquatic organisms. In the design of these in vitro alternatives, she takes into account not only their similarities with in vivo conditions, but also their high-throughput performance, which can help Green Chemistry achieves its goals in promoting sustainable chemicals.

2015-2016 Postdoctoral Trainee Award, Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists
2013            Stratacor Best Postdoctoral Award, Dermal Toxicology Specialty Section

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2010):

Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto – USP, Brazil

Research focus: environmental impact of biodiesels

Daniela Morais Leme earned her Bachelor’s and her Master’s Degree, both in Biological Sciences, at the Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) in the city of Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil. She was currently awarded her PhD.

Daniela Morais Leme was currently awarded a PhD for her project Genotoxicity and mutagenicity assessment of reactive dye extracted of cotton fibers with artificial sweat. She is now a postdoctoral student at the Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto – USP in Brazil.

Dr Morais Leme is particularly interested in biodiesel and its environmental impact. Biodiesels are based on chemically processed vegetable oils or animal fats. They may also be blended with regular petrodiesel. Biodiesel is often seen as an alternative to traditional fossil fuels, but few studies have investigated its impact on living organisms. Her recent research suggests that in order to evaluate real environmental impacts of biodiesel, the whole biodiesel production chain, including raw material sources, need to be considered. According to her findings, water and soil contaminated with biodiesel can induce adverse effects on living organisms. This may be related to the actual raw material source of biodiesel production.

The jury was impressed by the findings of Dr Morais Leme’s research, which have been published in prestigious peer-review journals. The jury felt that her work is a vital contribution to the overall evaluation of the environmental impact of cytotoxic and genotoxic (i.e., toxic to the cell and the cell’s genetic material) effects of water and soil contaminated with diesel and biodiesel blends.

Dr Morais Leme is looking forward to the Green Talents Forum because “it will provide a valuable exchange of views with scientists working in different areas of environmental research.”