Angela Restrepo Moreno


Angela Restrepo Moreno – A Life Devoted to Teaching Mycology

Angela Restrepo Moreno has been a pioneer woman in Colombia. She decided to make science the axis of her life. Her contributions to knowledge, particularly in the field of Mycology, and as a trainer of new scientists, has been a model for society and for the young minds that aspire to choose science as a life project.

Angela Restrepo was born in 1931, in Medellin. She graduated as a Clinical Laboratory Technician at the Colegio Mayor of Antioquia in 1955, and entered the bacteriology laboratory of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Antioquia (UdeA) as a technician. Between 1958 and 1960, she did a Master of Science at Tulane University (New Orleans, USA). She returned to the UdeA to found the Mycology Laboratory, in the Department of Microbiology and Parasitology of the School of Medicine. Shortly after, she returned to Tulane University to obtain her Ph.D. in 1965. She went back to the UdeA to consolidate the Mycology Laboratory as a national reference in diagnosis, research and teaching of diseases caused by fungi. Following her coerced retirement from the UdeA in 1976, she served as Scientific Director of the Corporation for Biological Investigation (CIB) from 1978 until her final retirement in 2015.

Her main contribution to the knowledge of fungal diseases, was Paracoccidiodomycosis and its causal agent Paracoccidioides spp., which is based on many decades of devoted study. Dr. Restrepo reached the summit of her scientific career during her years of work at the CIB. Leading the development of mycological, immunological, and molecular diagnostic methods, while being
a pioneer in clinical trials with different medications for their treatment. Her research accomplishments are reflected in more than 250 publications, most of them in English, and over half of them as senior author. Additionally, she has been the author / co-author of over 40 book chapters. During her career, she had received multiple National and International awards (over 50), something she dislikes due to her unpretentious and humble personality. In spite of this for all of her disciples, she represents the model and standard of measurement to which all scientists should aspire to.

From the time she was a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the UdeA, Angela Restrepo has trained young students of mycology and has supported other related disciplines. She gathered around her a large number of brilliant young pupils who were trained as scientists under her tutelage. Her students have spread to multiple institutions both in Colombia and around the world, always bearing the indelible mark of having been her disciples. In her honor, several of her students chose to name one of the new Paracoccidioides species using her last-named “Paracoccidioides restrepiensis”. Angela Restrepo (la doctora, as we called her) chose science as the center of her life and did not form a classic family. However, she considers that she has hundreds of children thanks to SCIENCE.

Juan G. Mc Ewen