The eminent scientist
Paula Ravasco won the Eminent Scientist of the Year and Millennium Golden International Award in 2005, awarded by the International Research Promotion Council and the World Scientists Forum, thanks to her research work on nutrition in patients with cancer. Tiago Villanueva talked to her to find out what drives this Portuguese qualified nutritionist, who is on the verge of finishing her PhD while studying simultaneously for her medical degree
Being the basis of life, nutrition is a fast growing, extremely broad area. Through nutrition I actually made a difference and managed to have a very positive impact in the quality of life of many patients and that is a great victory for me. Everyone knows that to live, we have to eat, so patients intrinsically worry and know that they have to eat adequately to tolerate treatments and to maintain their weight. In the specific case of cancer, the disease itself and its treatments represent an odyssey for the patient. It is an aggressive and hostile scenario that frequently leads to a marked nutritional and overall deterioration. Hence, it is of major importance to investigate the impact of a tailor-made nutritional intervention and monitoring. For me, oncology has always been a fascinating and challenging area from the scientific, technical, professional and personal point of view.
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