30 March 2021


TO PROFESSOR BOVERIS, ONE YEAR AFTER HIS DEATH.


“Integration and cooperation in academic, scientific and technology transfer issues far exceed competitive or confrontational evolution; and they constitute the collaborative growth that can occur in the university and its institutes both in the intellectual and ethical aspect as well as in the pragmatic one ”Alberto Boveris, 1999

If we ask ourselves why do we remember someone special and what do we remember about him? The answers will be different depending on the interlocutor. Stories about human characteristics, their triumphs, their stumbles, their failures, and their journey through life can surely be woven together.

Today we remember a great TEACHER, a scientist, a human resources trainer and above all a visionary, Alberto Boveris.

Boveris was born on April 29, 1940 in Elortondo, Province of Santa Fe, with only 22 years he obtained his diploma as a Pharmacist and two years later he graduated as a Biochemist. In 1969 he received a Ph.D. in Pharmacy and Biochemistry with an outstanding qualification. Alberto Boveris had the opportunity to grow as a scientist sharing the “work tables” with Dr. Andres Stoppani and Dr. Rebeca Gershman, years that marked his training as a researcher.

His academic, scientific and strategic achievements are immeasurable, he was Senior Researcher of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) since 1996 and emeritus professor at UBA since 2006 as well as advisor-consultant in the Rector’s Office and member of the Advisory Council of the Rector for science , technology and productive development. He has published 285 documents in high-impact international journals that have been cited 25,100 times, with an h-index of 70. One hundred and fifty Argentine and foreign authors have had the privilege of sharing their publications. He has authored 61 chapters in reference books published in the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India and Germany, and editor of 5 books related to his research topics, at the same time that he has dictated numerous lectures and popular articles. Alberto Boveris has been one of the Argentine scientists with the highest number of publications and the highest volume of citations in the scientific publications of other colleagues around the world, which is why he received the Scopus Prize in 2007. His academic merits have been recognized by world universities, he has been appointed Honorary Professor of the University of the Republic (Uruguay), of the University of Southern California (USA), of the Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia (Peru) and Doctor honoris causa of the National University of Asunción of Paraguay.

The generosity of his qualities as a scientist and teacher can be seen if we see the central role he had in the training of human resources. He directed 23 doctoral theses at the University of Buenos Aires. Likewise, he organized and taught numerous national and international postgraduate courses. It encouraged the participation of undergraduate students in research tasks, in scientific meetings, congresses and symposia. Distinguished scientists from the University of Buenos Aires and CONICET have been trained by Prof. Boveris and are currently leading high-quality research groups within the framework of the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine created by him.

The contributions to scientific knowledge and technological development of Dr. Boveris are numerous. His research in the fields of biochemistry, basic chemistry, applied chemistry and medicine represent an important contribution to knowledge. The lines of work developed during his scientific career include knowledge of oxidative stress; the discovery of the Boveris – Chain Reaction on the cellular aging process by oxygen and nitrogen free radicals; his study of mitochondrial metabolism and physiology and the concept of oxidative stress; biophysics and mitochondrial biogenesis; pathologies associated with oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, aging and neurodegeneration. Likewise, studies on copper and iron toxicity, and the effect of antioxidants in different experimental models were lines initiated by Alberto Boveris through the development of original methods for determining and calculating steady-state concentrations of reactive oxygen species in mitochondria, kinetic and thermodynamic studies. It is interesting to note that Dr. Boveris is a pioneer in the field of the study of oxidative stress and damage in Argentina, and has trained numerous researchers on this subject who are currently following the development of their lines of work at IBIMOL and other institutions. , both in our country and in the United States, Uruguay, Brazil, Spain and Germany.

Throughout his career, he promoted the transfer of technology from the university to the government and the company, an activity that began in 1986, being Secretary of Scientific and Technological Promotion of the University and later concretized with the formation of UBATEC, as an entity administrator of scientific activity in 1991, of which he was president in two terms (1998-2003 and 2008-2012).

His scientific and academic career has been recognized by numerous national and international institutions. Boveris was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2014, for his valuable contribution to the deepening of bilateral relations and academic cooperation between Argentina and Germany. Finally, in 2017 he was distinguished as an Outstanding Personality in Science, Technology and Education by the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires.

The academic-scientific trajectory of Prof. Boveris has left marks in Argentine science and in the training of human resources, not only in the generation and transmission of knowledge but also in forging the scientific spirit that led his collaborators and scientists to follow in his footsteps in the area of ​​biochemical and medical sciences nationally and internationally. Consequently, the creation of the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine has not been accidental or capricious, but is the intellectual, ethical and pragmatic expression of Alberto Boveris’ personal values ​​and of his idea of ​​what scientific development and science should be. academic excellence.

Although his health was very weak during his last steps, his commitment as a teacher remained intact. Surely many will remember him for his achievements, but above all else Prof. Boveris is remembered for HEARING, it did not matter who the interlocutor was, he greeted like a gentleman, he stopped before everyone and in his words there was always a message of humility and greatness to transmit his teaching. That is the true mark that we wish to commemorate today when thinking of Professor Alberto Boveris.