The Scientist

Edgar Figueiredo da Cruz e Silva 1958-2010

Edgar F. da Cruz e Silva was an exceptional scientist but also a charismatic and visionary leader.

Edgar was born in Lisbon and, as a child, lived in Porto Alto, Samora Correia. From a very young age he demonstrated a lot of independence by going to live in Lisbon where he studied in the Colégio Gil Vicente. He was always an excellent student and in 1983 obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biological Sciences at the University of Essex, England. In 1988 he obtained a Ph.D in Biochemistry at the University of Dundee, Scotland. It was in the ‘MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit’, headed by Professor Sir Philip Cohen, that he began to develop his scientific areas of interest, in particular signal transduction and protein phosphorylation. He subsequently moved to the laboratory of the renowned scientist, who was awarded a Nobel Prize, Prof Paul Greengard. He worked, in the years that followed, at the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Rockefeller University, New York.

Edgar returned to Portugal and in 1996 founded the Center for Cellular Biology (CBC), at the University of Aveiro, with the intention of continuing with his research in Portugal. The CBC trained several researchers and produced work recognised nationally and even internationally. One of the areas of investigation was Signalling and Cellular Comunication. This is a very important control mechanism in eukaryotic cells, which controls many cellular processes. It follows that many diseases and dysfunctional states are associated with abnormal cell signalling, so Edgar’s research contributes to several biomedical areas such as neuroscience, male infertility and cancer.

Edgar was born on the 17th of May 1958, married Odete Abreu Beirão da Cruz e Silva on 2 September 1984 and had two children, Cristóvão Beirão da Cruz e Silva, who was born on 24 August 1988 and David Beirão da Cruz e Silva, who was born on April 26, 1992. He passed away on March 2, 2010.

Many will miss him in different corners of the world. He is also be missed very much in Samora Correia. This is a quiet city in the heart of Ribatejo, and the place where the family spent many weekends; Family roots are very strong in this region. In recent years Edgar had started activities to bring scientific developments closer to the local communities. Furthermore, Edgar was always concerned with the younger members of our society and with what could be done to ensure scientific knowledge and participation in the future by young people. So it is justified that the fbcs has its home in Samora Correia. The activities of the fbcs stem from the vision that Edgar had for this region, which has a strong driving source for change in the children and the younger ones among us.