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South Africa, Healthcare
Dr. Pamela Chavez-Crooker runs Aguamarina – a biotech research and development company that offers services for the mining and aquaculture industries. Based in Antofagasta, the largest city in northern Chile, Aguamarina offers laboratory services to local mines and it develops prototypes for environmentally responsible products that increase the efficiency of copper extraction.
Born and raised in the center of Chile’s mineral region, Pamela always knew she wanted to be a scientist. She studied Aquaculture Engineering, and upon graduating became a professor. Later, she accepted the prestigious Mombusho Scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education and received her Master of Science in Aquatic Microbiology and PhD in Molecular Marine Microbiology from the University of Kyoto, Japan. Shortly after, Pamela completed her post-doc fellowship in Cell Physiology of Marine Invertebrates at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
When she returned to Chile from Hawaii, Pamela identified a market gap in biomining, the extraction of minerals using microorganisms. In 2005, she co-founded Biotechnologias Antofagasta, a biotech company that obtained grants to develop solutions for biomining and wastewater treatment.
In 2007, she left her previous endeavor to found Aguamarina. The company has been able to cover costs during its initial years of operation by selling a variety of laboratory services. The company offers biotech services for mining and water treatment. The majority of these services include laboratory analysis of mineral, soil, or water samples from clients’ sites.
Aguamarina is a promising R&D company that is about to launch highly innovative products in receptive international market.
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