The 14th European Conference on the Spectroscopy of Biological Molecules was held in the campus of the University of Coimbra, Portugal, from 29th August to 3rd September 2011. The local organisers of the conference were Maria Paula Marques and Luis A.E. Batista de Carvalho. The University of Coimbra, founded in 1270, is one of the oldest in the world. It provided an excellent venue for spectroscopists from Europe and other parts of the world to meet, present their latest research work and engage in a fruitful exchange of ideas. Some of the topics discussed in the conference are presented in this book.
This special volume, containing the Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Spectroscopy of Biological Molecules (28 August–3 September 2011, Coimbra, Portugal), is dedicated to Professor Juana Bellanato, who is an inspiration to us all. We all had the pleasure of meeting her in Coimbra. One of us (PIH) previously communicated with Prof. Bellanato to obtain photograph of her, next to an early commercial infrared spectrometer, for inclusion in a book (see ). Prof. Bellanato is one of the early pioneers in the use of vibrational spectroscopy for the study of biological molecules and her work has been highlighted by Barth and Haris . Maria Paula Marques (MPM), one of the organisers of the conference, had a conversation with Prof. Bellanato (JB) in Coimbra and a summary of this is presented below.
Prof. Juana Bellanato obtained her BSc in Chemistry, in 1950, and her PhD in Chemistry in 1954 (both from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain).
She started her academic career in the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, Madrid) as a research assistant at the “Patronato Alfonso X el Sabio”, in 1955, and as a scientific collaborator of the “Patronato Juan de la Cierva”, in 1956.
She obtained postdoctoral fellowships for the Institute of Physical-Chemistry of the University of Freiburg (Germany), between 1956 and 1957, and for the Physical-Chemistry Laboratory of the University of Oxford (UK), from 1959 to 1960.
In 1967, she became a research scientist at the “Patronato Juan de la Cierva”, and from 1971 to 1990 she was a research professor at the Institute of Optics of CSIC (Madrid). Between 1990 and 1994 she was Doctor “ad honorem” at the Institute of Optics. Since 1994, she is a Doctor “ad honorem” at the Institute of Structure of Matter of CSIC.
She is the author of more than 200 scientific papers, 1 book, and several chapters in books. She has also collaborated with numerous international groups, with short stays in research centers from Montreal, Florence and Bologna Universities.
She was appointed member of numerous scientific boards:
1975–1979 Head of the Molecular Spectra Section and of the Infrared Spectroscopy Laboratory of the Institute of Optics of CSIC.
1979–1990 Head of the Molecular Spectroscopy Department of the Institute of Optics of CSIC.
1985–1988 President of the Spanish Spectroscopy Committee and Vice-president of the Spanish Spectroscopy Group.
1990–1994 President of the Spanish Spectroscopy Group.
Since 1987 Member of the International Organizing Committee of the European Congress on Molecular Spectroscopy (EUCMOS).
She was awarded several prizes:
1968 Perkin Elmer Prize to the best work on Absorption Spectroscopy (with A. Hidalgo).
1996 Silver Medal of the Spanish Spectroscopy Committee.
2002 Honor Fellow and Silver Medal of the Spanish Optical Society.
2003 Medal of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry.
2006 Prize “Jesús Morcillo Rubio” of the Iberic Spectroscopy Conference (CIE) (sponsored by Bruker).
2006 Institution Award of CSIC.
2007 Gold and Brilliant Insignia of the Chemists' Association of Madrid.
 A. Barth and P. Haris, Infrared spectroscopy – Past and present, in: Biological and Biomedical Infrared Spectroscopy, A. Barth and P.I. Haris, eds, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2009, pp. 1–52.
Maria Paula Marques, Luis A.E. Batista de Carvalho and Parvez I. Haris