Madrid dedica una plaza a Gabriella Morreale

Madrid dedicates a square to Dr. Gabriella Morreale

The Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Alberto Sols (IIBM), is pleased to announce that the City Council of Madrid has dedicated a square to Dr. Gabriella Morreale, in the Pacifico district (junction of streets Valderribas, 28 and Abtao) (BOAM 8.879, May 4th, 2021). It is a well-deserved recognition to her person for her contribution to science and society.

Gabriella was born in Milan in 1930, but lived in Spain from the age of eleven. Most of her scientific life was developed at the Biomedical Research Institute (IIB, Madrid). She devoted her life to the study of iodine and thyroid hormones, with particular reference to their necessity for fetal brain development. In the 1970s, she was pioneer in establishing in Spain the early detection of congenital hypothyroidism in newborns, to start an early therapy with thyroxine aiming to prevent mental retardation and neurological damage caused by hypothyroidism. She defended the universal iodization of salt and to achieve an adequate iodine intake in the Spanish population.

She demonstrated the importance of maternal thyroid hormones and an adequate maternal iodine intake for a proper fetal brain development, helping to define iodine requirements in pregnant women and in premature infants, as well as the control of thyroid function in pregnant women. These achievements were always preceded by basic research and experimental models, that supported their clinical and social implementation.

But above all, she created a school of thyroid research, based on experimental data and scientific rigor, a school that has been recognized internationally, and has trained many scientists and professors.