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Dr. Marta Losada is the President of University Antonio Nariño (UAN), Colombia since 2010. She obtained her undergraduate physics degree and an MSc Physics from the National University of Colombia and her Ph.D. in Physics from Rutgers University in the United States. From 1997 to 1999, she was a postdoctoral fellow at at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland. She has previously held relevant positions as the National Director for Research at UAN from 2004 to 2014, and the Director of the Basic and Applied Science Research Center of UAN from 2000 to 2004. She is the group leader of the research groups in high energy particle physics focused on elementary particle phenomenology and cosmology as well as experimental high energy physics and has been a member of international collaboration efforts such as the ATLAS and NEXT Experiments.
Her main areas of expertise, in addition to high energy physics, are in higher education, having served as Commissioner of CONACES Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Physical Sciences section of the Colombian Ministry of Education and Research Policy from 2006 to 2009. One of her recent publications is “Current Challenges in Higher Education and Their Implications for Research and Development in Colombia,” published as a book chapter by Springer.
She has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the Latin American Symposium of High Energy Physics and the CERNLatin America School of High Energy Physics for a number of years, as well as being the chair of the local organizing committee when these events took place in Colombia in 2014 and 2009, respectively. She has been the PI for the UAN node for the european funded networks HELEN, Invisibles, and Elusives.
Furthering research in physics as well as physics education in Colombia has been a top priority during my professional career. The advancement of physics education at the high school and university level has been a key issue. The Colombian Physics Olympiad program that is hosted by my institution for the past 30 years has been a direct way of influencing young talents to take interest in the field and to decide on a clear path towards being a scientist. Another clear interest at the graduate level has been promoting capacity building in high energy physics both theoretical and experimental in the Colombian and Latin American region. Through the development of specialized schools, conferences, young researcher's program initiatives, being part of international networks, establishing physics infrastructure novel for the region, amongst other efforts to try to bridge the existing gap for highly trained scientists in the field. My more recent interest is in developing new and alternative teaching approaches and strategies for undergraduate physics courses.