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Maria Salome Soares Pais received her PhD on Plant Biology at the Ecole Normale Supérieur in Paris. Between 1982 and 2003, she was a full professor at the Department of Plant Biology of the Science Faculty of the University of Lisbon. During her career, she has been responsible for Research Programmes at the Centre for Biological Engineering; Professor in charge of the Centre for Electron Microscopy and Head of the Department of Plant Biotechnology.

Prof. Soares has been member of several executive boards such as the program on Assessment of the Impact of Genetically  Modified Plants and  the Program on Plant Adaptation. Currently, she is member of the Interministerial Commission for Permanent  Consultancy on Transgenic Organisms, member of the Scientific Committee of National Geographic Magazine in Portugal and Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies for Seniors from Academy of Sciences of  Lisbon.