Public Release: 

Symposium encourages scientific collaboration between São Paulo and California

On May 12-13 FAPESP Week UC Davis in Brazil brings together researchers to discuss neurosciences, food and agriculture, and cancer research, among other topics

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo

FAPESP and the University of California, Davis, will hold FAPESP Week UC Davis in Brazil on May 12-13, 2015. The event will be attended by 26 scientists from UC Davis and institutions in São Paulo State to discuss research findings in a range of knowledge areas.

The aim of the symposium is to extend the opportunities for scientific collaboration with the support of both institutions and follow on from FAPESP Week California, held in November 2014 at Davis and Berkeley in the United States.

The program for the São Paulo symposium comprises scientific sessions on neurosciences, cancer research, particles and matter, materials science and chemistry, food and agriculture, water and energy, and collaborations and opportunities.

The opening session will feature Celso Lafer, President of FAPESP; Harris Lewin, Vice Chancellor for Research, UC Davis; and Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, FAPESP's Scientific Director.

The first scientific session, on neurosciences, will be addressed by Cam Carter, a professor at UC Davis and director of its Imaging Research Center, and Rodrigo Bressan, a professor at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP). Carter will speak about integrated neuroscience as a foundation for translational research. Bressan's subject will be prevention in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

For the second session, on cancer research, the speakers from UC Davis will be Laura Marcu, who heads the Biophotonics Laboratory, and Julie Sutcliffe, Department of Biomedical Engineering. The Brazilian speakers will be Dirce Maria Carraro, Principal Investigator in Genomics at A. C. Camargo Cancer Center, and Roger Chammas, Director of the Center for Translational Cancer Research at the São Paulo State Cancer Institute, which is part of the University of São Paulo's School of Medicine.

The topics to be addressed include molecular imaging, the discovery of genes linked to cancer development and progression, the use of fluorescence techniques for surgery guidance, and the tumor microenvironment as a target for experimental combination therapy.

The subject of the third scientific session on day one (Tuesday, May 12) is Particles & Matter. The speakers from UC Davis will be researchers Robert Svoboda, Department of Physics, and Qing-zhu Yin, Earth & Planetary Sciences. The Brazilian speakers will be Ricardo Trindade, Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics & Atmospheric Sciences, University of São Paulo (IAG-USP), and Ernesto Kemp, Gleb Wataghin Physics Institute, University of Campinas (IFGW-UNICAMP). The topics to be addressed include experimental research in neutrino physics in Brazil and the US, and the evolution of life on earth in the Precambrian period.

Speakers at the fourth session, on Materials Science & Chemistry, will include Edgar Dutra Zanotto, a professor at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) and Director of the Center for Research, Technology & Education in Vitreous Materials (CeRTEV), one of the Research, Innovation & Diffusion Centers (RIDCs) supported by FAPESP. His subject will be research opportunities in glass structure, dynamics, crystallization and properties.

The same session also features presentations by Alexandra Navrotsky, UC Davis Interim Dean and a researcher in mathematical and physical sciences, and Munir Skaf, a professor at UNICAMP's Chemistry Institute, who will speak about the development of lignocellulosic biofuels using sugarcane bagasse and other agricultural residues as feedstocks.

Day two of the symposium (Wednesday, May 13) begins with two sessions on Food & Agriculture. Bernadette Franco, director of the Food Research Center, another RIDC supported by FAPESP, will talk about food safety issues in international trade; Luiz Antonio Martinelli from the Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA-USP) will discuss ways of reconciling agriculture with environmental conservation in Brazil; and Patricia Fernanda do Pinho from the Center for Earth System Sciences at Brazil's National Space Research Institute (CCST-INPE) will focus on how extreme weather events in the Amazon influence society's relations with the environment.

The speakers from UC Davis on day two will include Josette Lewis from the World Food Center on innovation in the international food system; Bennie Osburn from the School of Veterinary Medicine on food safety and security; and Graham Fogg from the Center for Climate Change, Water & Society on sustainable management of water resources.

Scientists from both countries will also take part in presentations and discussions on the relationships between water, soil, food and climate in California, improving the performance of biorefineries, and technologies to enhance the efficiency of the Brazilian electric power system.

Strategic partnerships

Over more than two decades FAPESP and UC Davis have supported more than 60 scientific collaboration initiatives involving researchers in the United States and São Paulo. In December 2012 the two institutions signed an agreement to stimulate this interaction between research groups in connection with the preparation and joint funding of research projects.

The organization of FAPESP Week symposia is part of FAPESP's strategy of intensifying the international impact of the science done in São Paulo by encouraging scientific collaboration. Since 2011 these scientific meetings have been held in Washington, Morgantown, Cambridge, Charlotte, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and São Francisco (USA), Toronto (Canada), Salamanca and Madrid (Spain), Tokyo (Japan), London (UK), Beijing (China), Munich (Germany), and Buenos Aires (Argentina). This is the first FAPESP Week to be held in Brazil.


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