IES leading researcher Dr. Ilva Nakurte – EPWS Woman Scientist of the Month

European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS) has honoured IES’s leading researcher Dr. Ilva Nakurte with the title – Women Scientist of April 2019. Honouring her outstanding performance in the research of chemistry, EPWS provides an interview with her.


Every month EPWS highlights one European women of various ages and disciplines, recognized by the scientific community for their achievements. IES’s leading researcher Dr. Ilva Nakurte has received the honour to be the Women Scientist of April 2019. She is an outstanding Latvian chemist who was awarded a L’Oréal Baltic Fellowship in 2018. To share knowledge and motivate future women scientists, EPWS invited her to the 10-question interview.

Considering the steps that one must take to develop a career in science, Dr. Nakurte stressed: “You should not be afraid of the various challenges of education and careers in your life, they must be accepted and tested. Currently, there is a lot of opportunities for young women and they need to be used.”

For last 15 years Dr. Nakurte has been working in the field of chemistry. She started in the largest pharmaceutical company of the Baltic States, AS “Grindeks”, then she found herself back in academic and scientific environment working in the University of Latvia, Department of Chemistry. Finally, in 2018, she joined IES’s emerging researchers’ team. Currently, she is working as a leading researcher in the high-end Laboratory of Chemistry on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. She is also working in various international projects, such as the project “Growing Genetic Diversity of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs)”, which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The research project intends to develop an innovative methodology for selection and organic cultivation of high value MAPs – valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), black samson echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia), common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), and siler (Saposhnikovia divaricata) for further use in the fields of medicine, condiments, food and cosmetics.


Sharing her enthusiasm about the project, Dr. Nakurte says: “This research topic is very important for both science development and society. We are obtaining and collecting the knowledge on the most appropriate genotypes as well as the organic production of MAPs in Latvian climatic conditions. My aim is to determine the quality of the raw materials, the stability of the experimental garden yield and the composition of active substances in the researched MAPs. At the end of project, we will announce the most appropriate genotypes and organic production of MAPs that are also the most suitable for biological agriculture farmers, biological animal farmers, pharma, food and cosmetics companies and households use.”

Find full interview with EPWS Woman scientist of the month here.

Find out more about the project “Growing Genetic Diversity of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs)” here