WOMEN OF TRIANA III
These biographies and interviews are part of the project «Ellas nos cuentan» , that our colleague Isabel Mª González Muñoz started last academic year. With them, we are going to get to know the lives and opinions of some «trianeras».
Susana Díaz Pacheco
Susana Díaz was born on October 18, 1974, in Seville, Spain. She grew up in a working-class family and was the youngest of three siblings. Her father worked in a factory, while her mother was a homemaker. From a young age, Díaz was interested in politics, and she joined the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) at the age of 17.
Díaz studied law at the University of Seville and graduated in 1997. After completing her studies, she began working as a lawyer, specializing in labor law. However, her true passion was politics, and she continued to be actively involved in the PSOE.
In 1999, Díaz was elected as a city councilor in Seville. She served in this role for nine years, during which time she became known for her dedication to improving the lives of her constituents. In 2008, she was elected to the Parliament of Andalusia, where she continued to work on issues related to social justice and economic development.
In 2013, Díaz was elected as the Secretary-General of the Andalusian Socialist Party (PSOE-A), becoming the first woman to hold this position. Later that same year, she was appointed as the President of the Regional Government of Andalusia, the first woman to hold this position as well.
As regional president, Díaz focused on promoting economic development and job creation in Andalusia. She also worked to improve education and healthcare in the region, and to reduce social inequality. In 2015, she was re-elected as president with an absolute majority of seats in the regional parliament.
However, Díaz’s political career hit a roadblock in 2017, when she lost the bid to become the Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) to Pedro Sánchez. This setback, combined with growing dissatisfaction among her party’s base, eventually led to her resignation as PSOE-A leader in 2017 and her departure as president of Andalusia in 2019.
Since then, Díaz has remained active in politics, but has taken a lower profile. She remains a prominent figure in the PSOE and is seen by many as a potential future leader of the party. Throughout her career, she has been known for her strong leadership skills, her commitment to social justice, and her ability to connect with people from all walks of life.
Rocío Abia González
Rocío Abia was born in 1964 in Palencia, although she considers herself a citizen
of the world. During her teenage years, she would like to highlight her love for nature and the
discovery of sports activities in the mountains.
She graduated in Chemistry at the Autonomous University of Madrid, and she did a PhD at the
Western General Hospital Medical School of the University of Edinburgh in the UK.
Subsequently, she carried out research work at the same University for 3 years.
Those were years of hard, hard work, but she can assure us that all the effort was worth it.
They were also years of her life which would have been incomplete if she hadn’t had the
opportunity to travel to many countries such as India, Australia, USA etc… and to work with
NGOs such as Save the Children with whom she worked on child malnutrition in Zimbabwe.
Those years gave her the opportunity to meet people who are very committed to society,
simple people with a big heart, from different cultures and different mentalities that taught her
to understand life from other points of view, all of them equally valid and respectable. This
helped her to be able to look at life experiences from a more relaxed position, to create
strategies, to cope with new situations and to be more tolerant of others. In 1999, she came to
work at the Instituto de la Grasa, a centre belonging to the Consejo Superior de
Investigaciones of Scientific Research, where she has been a Senior Scientist since 2001.
Her research work has focused on Human Nutrition, the fact of coming to work in Andalusia
has been fundamental in her work, since she has been working for many years in this field,
consolidating the role of superiority of olive oil over any other fat in the diet in the prevention
of metabolic ,cellular and molecular alterations associated with the development of diseases.
On a personal level, when she returned to Seville, she began to live in the Tardón
neighbourhood, Triana was like a crush for her, she liked it so much that she has lived here ever
since then. She especially loves the heterogeneous society that surrounds it.
Triana is the place where she has lived for the longest time, she feels protected, as if she were at
home, so she considers herseld its adopted daughter. Her daughters have grown up here and
have been educated in public schools in the neighbourhood. Like any good
Trianera, it’s hard for her to cross the bridge. She would like to continue living here and that’s
why we should respect its character as a neighbourhood and stop all the mercantilism of
recent years due to tourism. A neighbourhood is fundamentally for those who live in it, and
all strategies for urbanisation, health, environment, culture, etc. should be focused on the
wellbeing of those who live there.We should all strive for this for it.
Rebeca María Mejías Estévez
She was born in Seville in 1975 in the hospital Virgen Macarena. She was born into a family of 6. She has two brothers and a sister and she is the eldest child of the 4. She lived in Seville until she was 2 years old. Then her parents moved to the Escorial, in Madrid and she lived there for 6 years. After that, her parents moved to the Canary Islands, specifically to Fuerteventura and she lived there until she was 14 years old. At that time, her mother and her brothers moved to Seville and she moved with them back to Seville.
When she was a child, she wanted to be a school teacher but she didn’t know exactly in what subject but then, when she was 11, She started having biology lessons in high school and she became very interested in it and she decided to pursue a career in that.
She went to university here in Seville, to the University of Seville, specifically she did a bachelor degree in biology and then, she did her PhD in biology too in the school of medicine in the university of Seville. There she met her husband. They got married and had their first child in Seville.
After she did her PhD, she moved to the United States of America, specifically to Baltimore, where she was working as a postdoctoral fellow at John Hopkins University School of Medicine. There, her youngest daughter was born. She worked in 3 laboratories over there, and in one of them, she stayed as a research associate for several years. This means that, in addition to doing research, she also was also responsible for the training of students and postdocs in the laboratory. Afterwards, she moved back to Seville, where she worked in the University of Seville as an assistant professor and more recently, she worked for 3 years in the UK. First, she was working in Cambridge, in one biotechnology company named ABCAM as a research area lead in neuroscience and then afterwards, she worked for a couple of years in the university of East Anglia in Norwich as a senior researcher and recently,she moved back to Seville where she is working as a an associate professor of physiology.
She has worked in mouse models of different diseases, for example Parkinson’s disease and autism. Because she is a professor of physiology, she teaches physiology in the school of biology, the school of pharmacy, the school of chemistry and also teaches physiology in a couple of masters in the university of Seville. Currently, she continues working on Parkinson’s disease and she also has other research collaborations with other labs in Seville and outside of Seville in other universities.