Margarita Salas Falgueras, molecular biologist and disciple of Severo Ochoa, died this morning in Madrid at the age of 80. According to sources from the National Cancer Research Center, Salas could not have survived an operation to intervene for a digestive problem.
Maria Blasco Marhuenda, director of the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) wanted to send a message of tribute, affection and respect for the memory of Margarita. Blasco obtained her doctorate in 1993 in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology under the direction of Margarita Salas.
Margarita Salas was a benchmark in the field of chemical and molecular biology. Between 1963 and 1967 he worked at the University of New York under the direction of the Nobel Prize in Medicine Severo Ochoa; It was one of his most prolific periods on a personal and professional level. One of his major contributions to science was the discovery and characterization of phage phi29 (Φ29) DNA polymerase, which has multiple biotechnological applications . Since 2012 she has been working at the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center of the CNIO and the UAM.
Furthermore, Maria Blasco regretted that Margarita Salas left us without being awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Research.
Crowds of members of the scientific community have also shown their dismay at the news of the biologist's death. Especially his pupils, his 'margaritos'.