Sandra Santuario and Johana Bolívar, researchers from Tec de Monterrey, have been recognized by the 3M company for their projects.
By Ricardo Treviño | CONECTA National News Desk - 02/16/2022 Photo Hecson Olguín & Marlene González

Two female researchers from Tec de Monterrey have been recognized for their scientific work by the 3M company as part of the 25 Women in Science: Latin America initiative.

The researchers recognized were Dr. Sandra Santuario, Head of the Molecular Biology laboratory at TecSalud’s San José Hospital, and PhD student Johana Bolívar, researcher at the Álvarez-Trujillo Lab on the Monterrey campus.

Dr. Santuario is one of 6 Mexican scientists to be recognized, while Bolívar, a Colombian national, is among 4 distinguished researchers from her country.

The names of the female scientists recognized by the initiative for 2022 were announced on February 11 as part of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.


Sandra Santuario works in the Molecular Biology Laboratory at TecSalud’s San José Hospital.
Sandra Santuario, investigadora del Tec reconocida dentro de la iniciativa 25 Mujeres en la Ciencia: Latinoamérica.


Sandra Santuario: researching cancer at the molecular level

Dr. Sandra Santuario’s line of research is focused on the molecular study of breast cancer, in particular the triple-negative type.

She is head of Molecular Biology at the Clinical Laboratory of TecSalud’s San José Hospital.

“This is the first recognition I’ve received at an international level. I feel very honored and very happy because when you dedicate yourself to science, you’re not looking for recognition. You do it because you enjoy it and you’re passionate about it,” she said in an interview for CONECTA.

Dr. Sandra has also collaborated on genomics research into other types of cancer and different pathologies.

She also contributes as a mentor promoting the participation of girls and young women in science, such as in the “Women in STEM, Future Leaders” program from the US-Mexico Foundation.

Additionally, she’s a Level 1 researcher in the National Research System (SNI) run by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT).


“When you dedicate yourself to science, you’re not looking for recognition. You do it because you enjoy it and you’re passionate about it.” - Sandra Santuario


Colombian Johana Bolívar is studying for a PhD in Biotechnology at Tec de Monterrey.
Johana Bolívar estudia un doctorado en Biotecnología en el Tec.


Johana Bolívar: pursuing the bioprinting of artificial tissues

A PhD student in Biotechnology at the Tec’s Monterrey campus, Johana Bolívar is conducting a research project for which she has already received one global award.

Her project on bioprinting pre-vascularized tissues was recognized in 2021 by the International Society for Biofabrication with one of three awards given to doctoral students worldwide.

The young woman from Cali, Colombia, is working on producing filaments with empty internal channels that resemble blood vessels, which could help develop muscle tissue.

This researcher is currently developing her project at the Álvarez-Trujillo Lab at the FEMSA Biotechnology Center, where she’s being advised by Dr. Grissel Trujillo from the Tec’s School of Engineering and Sciences.

“I feel very happy with this recognition, representing Latin American women in science and demonstrating that men and women are equally capable of contributing to society,” Bolívar said.



“I feel very happy (...) demonstrating that men and women are equally capable of contributing to society.” - Johana Bolívar




Recognition of women in science

This is the second year the 25 Women in Science: Latin America initiative has taken place. It was organized by the 3M company to recognize researchers seeking to have a positive impact on society.

The initiative seeks to promote greater diversity in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), empowering women, young women, and girls in these areas.

“(This contest) seeks to highlight the contributions of women engaging in scientific fields,” said Adriana Rius, Director of Brand and Communications for 3M Latin America.

“It also breaks gender stereotypes and promotes inclusion in an area of knowledge that is fundamental for developing and innovating solutions that allow us to face the problems afflicting humanity,” she added.



The 25 winning researchers in 2022

This year, more than 550 applications were received, which were evaluated by a panel consisting of academics and specialists with experience in scientific, research, and innovation industries.

The 25 Latin American researchers awarded were:


  • Virginia Alvarado García (Costa Rica)
  • Francisca L. Aranda (Chile)
  • Alma Delia Báez González (Mexico)
  • Renata Bannitz Fernandes (Brazil)
  • Edna Johana Bolívar Monsalve (Colombia, Tec de Monterrey)
  • Paola Castillo Juárez (Mexico)
  • Iridian Cruz Silva (Mexico)
  • Camila Martínez Checaltana (Chile)
  • Andreza Martins (Brazil)
  • Yael Natalia Méndez (Colombia)
  • Natalie Millán Aguiñaga (Mexico)
  • Fernanda Parborell (Argentina)
  • Esther Pereira (Brazil)
  • Nadac Reales (Chile)
  • Yanin Albina Reyes Bermúdez (Peru)
  • Thamy Livia Ribeiro Correa (Brazil)
  • July Andrea Rincón López (Colombia)
  • Sandra Santuario (Mexico, Tec de Monterrey)
  • Ana Isabel Sarkis Fernández (Costa Rica)
  • Carmenza Spadafora (Panama)
  • Rosangela Silqueira Hickson Ríos (Brazil)
  • Nathalia Tejedor Flores (Panama)
  • Lina Carmenza Valderrama Aguirre (Colombia)
  • Gabriela Venturini da Silva (Brazil)
  • Blanca Nohemí Zamora Mendoza (Mexico)


The award-winning researchers will receive trophies, diplomas, and illustrations by Latin American artists, and their projects will gain visibility in Latin American media and 3M networks.

The winners went through both an internal 3M filter and an external filter of experts, including Karla Mayolo, Research Professor at the Tec, and Viridiana Tejada, Research Professor at the Tec’s Querétaro campus.

Additionally, their projects will appear in printed and digital versions of the book “25 Women in Science 2022, 2nd edition,” and they’ll have access to an Executive Education program at EGADE Business School.



EGADE Business School


The winners were given access to the EGADE Business School’s Executive Education Management Business Skills program.

“We’re excited to be a part of this type of initiative in which we get the opportunity to contribute to the development of (...) women leaders who generate a positive impact in scientific fields,” said Jaime Martínez, Dean of the Tec’s Mexico City Region Business School.

“Our mission and commitment as the #1 graduate business school in Mexico and Latin America is to empower new generations of leaders who create shared value and transform society,” he added.

During the first edition in 2021, Tec de Monterrey researchers Judith Zavala and Itzel Lara were recognized in this same contest.


With information from Marlene González and José de la Paz.





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