Dear reader hope you are doing fine, wherever you are, with pandemic still ravaging through many countries while others are starting progressive deconfinement with life getting back to normal.
I have been working from home for the past two months. One of my ‘new’ activities to vary my daily routine included reading printed newspapers which I bought from a nearby newspaper kiosk. It was something I did not do very regularly in my pre-pandemic life when I had to rush off to work every morning. A couple of weeks ago, as I rediscovered the pleasure of reading a printed newspaper compared to an on-line edition, I came across an article about an extraordinary woman, June Almeida (née Hart), an internationally renounced virologist.
Although she left school at 16 and never went to the university, June Almeida became a known scientist and pioneered new methods for viral diagnosis, considered a discoverer of human coronaviruses.
Upon leaving school for financial reasons she became a laboratory technician (a histopathologist) in Glasgow, then moved to London, married a Venezuelan artist and moved to Toronto where she worked at the Ontario Cancer Institute. In Canada it was easier to pursue career without formal degrees. While working int Toronto, June made a number of discoveries, co-authored many scientific publications and became to be known for research in viruses.
Eventually she moved back to London where here publications have been rewarded with a DSc. She went on making new scientific discoveries and training virologists. When June retired she became a Yoga teacher, running classes in her hometown, and also pursued one of her passion in china becoming a china restorator, gaining considerable experience and expertise in this field.
Ever since I have read this article I keep thinking about June and how passion drives innovation. It makes us overcome challenges, adapt to them and maintain enthusiasm for discovery. We all have greatness within.
Reference: Le Journal de Dimanche, May 10, 2020