Meet Brazilian Scientist Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus

This month, we invited our readers to explore the work women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We spoke at length with Brazilian scientist Dr. Jaqueline Goes, who made history earlier this year for genome sequencing the first Covid case in Latin America in less than 48 hours. Alongside Dr. Ester Sabino, she led important scientific research with teams based in Brazil and in the UK cross analyzing data in real time. Her efforts made it possible to differentiate the version of SARS-CoV-2 that was infecting people in Brazil to the one that first emerged in Wuhan.

Jaqueline identified that the version of SARS-CoV-2 that infected the first Brazilian patient was more akin to the German strain which emerged in late January than the original form, whilst the second form more similar to strains from the United Kingdom.

She is part of the United Kingdom–Brazil Centre for Arbovirus Discovery, Diagnosis, Genomics and Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Genomics and Epidemiology (CADDE), an epidemics monitoring project that looks to understand the circulation of arbovirus in Brazil and how it persists in non-epidemic periods.

After earning her doctoral degree, Jaqueline joined the University of São Paulo Institute of Tropical Medicine as a research fellow. She started working on the ZIBRA (Zika in Brazil Real Time Analysis) project, which sought to better understand the zika virus spread around Brazil. The ZIBRA project developed two mobile sequencing laboratories, in which they traveled Brazil looking to sequence 750 genomes. Jaqueline subsequently used the ZIBRA mobile sequencing units to study the epidemiology of a dengue virus outbreak. She identified that the strain of dengue virus during the 2019 outbreak was most similar to viruses found in Martinique and Guadalupe.

Jaqueline recalls becoming so passionate about science she decided to pursue a career in hopes of finding the cure for HIV. She laughs as she looks back at that dream now. Over the years, she has realized that every single discovery is a contribution, no matter how big or small. Every scientist hopes to provide an answer to something, but no one can provide answers to everything. Knowledge is collectively built and there is meaning to that process.

In the following video clip, Dr. Jaqueline addresses the invisibility of women who work in STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Having just turned 31, Jaqueline looks back on her accomplishments and opens up about the joys and challenges of her leadership in the field of science.

In March, her success was recognized by Legislative Assembly of Bahia. Cartoonist Maurício de Sousa announced Jaqueline as a character on his classic Turma da Mônica series.

“Não sou a primeira e não serei a última. Meu desejo é que cada vez mais mulheres sejam reconhecidas por suas contribuições nas ciências” diz @drajaquelinegoes, a cientista e biomédica de 31 anos recém completados que assumiu destaque internacional por seu trabalho. Fez história ao liderar, ao lado de Ester Sabino, o grupo que sequenciou o genoma do primeiro caso de coronavírus no Brasil em apenas 48 horas. A média mundial é de 15 dias. Confira esse teaser da entrevista que fizemos com a brilhante Dra. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus, nascida em Salvador.

women in stem

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