Dr. Alvim Gaston graduated from UFRJ, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil with a BS in Pharmacy in 1988. She continued her education getting an Industrial pharmacy degree in 1989 at the same University and joined the Chemistry Department of UFRJ to obtain her master degree in organic chemistry, concluding her degree in 1992. Soon after, she was selected by CNPq, a Brazilian governmental institution, to come to the US to work as a visiting scholar for 2 years. Maria joined the RIPS at the University of Mississippi in August of 1993 to carry out a research program on the 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. Maria worked as a Principal Research Scientist in the External Innovation group providing medicinal/computational chemistry expertise to Lilly’s Open Innovation Drug Discovery program (OIDD). The OIDD was a program that expanded open access for external scientists to the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, Maria is an Senior Director of the Talent Development Academy - Medicines Innovation Hub at Eli Lilly.
Maria has published several scientific and computational chemistry papers in peer-reviewed journals and was even selected as one of the TOP 100 innovators of Eli Lilly & Company in 2013. Lilly also recognized her with the 2020 LRL President's Diversity and Inclusion Award and the #iamIN 2021 LRL President’s DEI Award. Maria is an Executive board member of the Organization for Latin Americans -OLA ERG within Lilly, and a member at large in the local ACS chapter.LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maria-alvim-gaston-phd-12950027/