Spanish American Latina First Woman Leader in New Medicine Fields of Study

Sylvia Daunert lab

Sylvia Daunert, PharmD, MS PhD, 2022 Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Lucille P. Markey Chair and Professor, Department of, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Miller School of Medicine Director, Dr. JT Macdonald Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute, University of Miami

“To use a 2020s term, Hispanic women are the influencers of our society that preserve and spread the word of our incredibly rich culture.”

Growing up in Barcelona, Spain, Sylvia Daunert, PharmD, MS PhD was fascinated with nature and living organisms which led her to devote her life to the often male-dominated field of scientific research and education.

Sylvia Daunet, PhD

Sylvia Daunet, PhD

Sylvia graduated from the University of Barcelona with her PharmD degree. She made the difficult decision to leave her family behind when she accepted a Fulbright scholarship for her MS degree in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Michigan. There she met her husband, Leonidas Bachas, who earned his PhD in chemistry. Upon graduation, they were then challenged whether to return to Europe or take academic positions at the University of Kentucky which meant raising their family far from their roots. To be at the forefront of discovery and science, they remained in the U.S.

A life in academia is never just a 9 to 5 job. There are countless hours in classrooms, labs, lectures, writing grants, administrative duties, research papers, handling tests and homework and a myriad of other responsibilities. Despite it all, Sylvia was able to achieve her professional status and balance her life as a wife and mother and be an inspiration to her children. She earned her PhD in Bioanalytical Chemistry from the University of Barcelona while her second child was still an infant. Trips to symposiums and conferences were often turned into family affairs which brought its own share of challenges, but mostly rewards which allowed her children to travel the globe.

Sylvia’s held several leadership positions during her tenure at the University of Miami’s (UM) Miller School of Medicine, often being the first woman leading an organization or pioneering . Her research has been published in hundreds of scientific journals and books, and she invented 50 patents.

Sylvia Daunert bionium leadership

Sylvia Daunert & the Bionium leadership team

She was honored to be elected to the Real Academia Nacional de Farmacia of Spain, an Academic D’Honor of the Reial Acadèmia de Farmàcia de Catalunya receiving the title of Ilustrísima Doctora, and the title of Excelentísima Doctora from the Kingdom of Spain. Sylvia was recently named to the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna, the oldest and one of the most famous scientific societies in Europe, a group that recognizes other scientific luminary members such as Marconi, Einstein, and Curie. Sylvia’s also received dozens of other international awards, titles, and recognitions too many to list.

Sylvia is a strong advocate of promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in schools and especially encouraging young women to consider a career in one of these fields. She has mentored hundreds of undergraduates and high school students, over 100 PhD and MD students, and more than 50 postdoctoral and MD fellows.

Sylvia and her husband, Leonidas, dean of Arts and Sciences and professor of chemistry at UM, are proud of their three children, Stephanie ( Princeton, MS.Eng, PhD, Stanford), Philip (BA, MA, UM) and Sophia, an architecture student at Cornell.

The annual celebration of Community, Culture and Charity honors Latinas in South Florida, past and present.

The 21st annual Hispanic Women of Distinction Charity luncheon to be held on Friday, August 26th, 2022, at Signature Grand in Davie, Florida is anticipating another sell-out of up to 1000 guests paying tribute to Latina professionals who are strengthening the social fabric of this country and making inroads in the leadership pipeline for a growingly diverse America.

Founded in 2001 by the late Erwin M.Vasquez, M.D., a Venezuelan-born cardiologist, philanthropist and publisher of the pioneer Spanish newspaper, El Heraldo de Broward, the goal was to help to empower Latinas and to recognize the influence they have in the South Florida community.   These Latinas, both past and present, are not afraid to dream big, to carve their own paths, to be grateful for the opportunities they have received, and to pay it forward to those who will follow.

The 2022 Honorees are:


ANA VEIGAMILTON – President, José Milton Foundation, Chair of Jackson Health Foundation, UM Trustee and President of the Citizens Board, lawyer and engineer, committed to impactful philanthropy and community engagement throughout South Florida. Family Values • Community-Wide


ARLETTE GOMEZ – Third year law student at NSU, Shepard Broad College of Law, Dean’s list with awards for outstanding service.  Cuban born, this young woman is active on numerous community boards, and NSU’s President’s 64 Member, whose purpose is to strengthen the relationship with the community.

JOIN US on August 26th to honor these fantastic women! Tickets $95 per person, table sponsorship $1500.  For more information email:

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