Dr. Maria graduated from UFRJ, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, RJ Brazil with a BS in Pharmacy in 1988, and continue with her education getting an Industrial pharmacy degree in 1989 at the same University. She joined the Chemistry Department of UFRJ to obtain her master degree in science in the Organic Chemistry field, concluding her degree in 1992. At that time was selected by CNPq, a Brazilian government institution to come to the US to work as a visiting scholar for 2 years. Maria joined the RIPS at University of Mississippi, in August of 1993 to carry on a research program on synthesis of antimalarial analogs of Artemisinin. At the end of this research program, Maria was invited by the Medicinal Chemistry department of Ole Miss to stay and join their PhD. Program.
Immediately upon receiving her PhD in May of 2000, she joined Eli Lilly & Company where she held various positions in both computational chemistry and discovery operations. In her current role, Maria is Principal Research Scientist in the External Innovation group and provides medicinal/computational chemistry expertize to Lilly’s Open Innovation Drug Discovery program (OIDD), a novel program for expanding open access for to scientists external to the pharmaceutical industry.
Maria has published several scientific and computational chemistry papers in peer-reviewed journals. Maria was selected as one of the TOP 100 innovator of Eli Lilly & Company in 2013. She is also an Executive board member of the Organization for Latin American -OLA ERG within Lilly, serving a third term as Member at large in the local ACS chapter and recently became a board member of Women & Hi Tech.