The 4th Sven Brohult Award was given to Dr Lourdes Cruz of the Philippines for her research on the medical and biochemical applications of Conus spp.
Over the years, Prof Cruz of the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines Diliman has been honoured for her scientific work with a number of national and international awards, including the IFS Sven Brohult Award. She was one of five laureates to receive the prestigious L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science on 4th March 2010. Representing Asia (including Oceania and Pacific), she is honoured for her pioneering work on marine cone snail toxins. The toxins can serve as powerful tools to study brain function and as lead compounds for the development of neuroactive drugs. IFS staff met her in Montpellier and asked her about the IFS grants and the link to the prize. To quote her:
"The grants from IFS provided support for me to study peptide toxins from the venom of Conus species. Initially working with very limited resources, the IFS grants provided supplies and important items of equipment including a cold cabinet, UV-monitor, fraction collector and a high pressure liquid chromatography system, which made possible the isolation of conotoxins from several fish-hunting snail species."
Prof Cruz is very grateful for the encouragement and technical advice that she received at an early stage of her scientific career from IFS scientific advisers and the programme staff in the Natural Products area. Likewise, she values the other types of support from IFS including travel grants to conferences. She has always retained strong ties with IFS and since many years she has been supporting the IFS programme and its grantees in her capacity as scientific adviser.