After studying nutrition at the School of Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences at the Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala, María José Soto started her career at CeSSIAM, Guatemala, as a research fellow in 2007. Because of her scientific performance the Hildegard Grunow Foundation (HGF) accepted to promote her future education.
In 2009 she participated successfully in the V Taller Latinoamericano de Liderazgo en Nutrición, a one-week leadership workshop in Chile, and presented her research on maternal and child nutrition at the Latin American Nutrition Society Congress as well as at the Experimental Biology congress held in Anaheim California. In 2010 María José helped with the arrangements for the II World Public Health Nutrition Congress in Porto, Portugal and presented two posters on maternal diet and fiber consumption there.
She is candidate for the TWAS (Third World Association of Scientists) Award 2015 of the World Academy of Sciences (http://twas.org/opportunity/twas-prizes-young-scientists-developing-countries).
On 14th August, 2015 Maria José Soto Mendez was appointed to the Academy of Medical, Physical and Natural Sciences in Guatemala (Academia de las Ciencias Medicas, Físicas y Naturales de Guatemala).
She completed her MSc in Nutrición Humana at the University of Granada, Spain, and started her doctorate, working title: „Study on the normative state and inter- and intra-individual variation in growth, hematology, hydration, and markers of oxidation, infection and inflammation in pre-school children with a similar dietary intake“. Her dissertation fieldwork was carried out in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
In November 2012 she presented Information on Guatemalan food intake at the Latin American Society Congress in La Habana, Cuba. In July 2013 she went again to Granada in order to finish the laboratory analyses proposed in her dissertation. She presented preliminary results of her dissertation at the Experimental Biology Congress in Boston, Massachusetts, the International Congress of Nutrition in Granada, Spain and the I International Hydration Congress held in Madrid, Spain.
In Madrid Maria José was awarded for the best poster and best oral presentation with the title “Association of urinary biomarkers of cellular oxidation with urine volume and osmolality in Guatemalan preschoolers”. Ms Soto Mendez defended her thesis on October 8 in Granada, Spain and received her doctorate degree.
Talk at the II International Congress on Hydration: Short-term oral liquid ingestion decreases human milk osmolality