In the arteries of the old Medical building

A total reform of the electrical and hydraulic systems

The Medical School of the University of São Paulo, in the State capital, began a broad project for the recovery and modernization of its building, erected between 1928 and 1931 and now a registered building with the Council for the Defense of Historic and Artistic Patrimony (Condephaat). The stimulus for the realization of the project came about after the Infrastructure Program had invested close to R$ 5.6 million in the recovery of its laboratories and in the internal infrastructure of the building. A significant part of these resources were used to change the electrical and hydraulic systems, the sewage system and the air conditioning of the majority of the 62 Medical Investigation Laboratories (LIMs) of the school. The laboratories were renovated and new equipment was purchased.

“We changed all of the piping, separated the sewage system into two isolated networks, one for sinks and toilets, and the other made of material suitable for chemical residues, exclusive to the laboratories” explains Professor Gregório Santiago Montes, head of the Cellular Biology Laboratory of the Pathology Department and who coordinated, together with the director of the LIMs, the projects of the program. The hydraulics system was also substituted, improving the working conditions of the laboratories and allowing for the installation of a central air conditioning system run on an independent flow of iced water, which works to cool down the laboratories. After all, the fact that the building is part of history patrimony, rules out any type of alteration to its external structure such as the ones necessary for conventional air conditioning.

The effects of all of this didn’t take long to appear in the production of studies and in a more visible form. “In 1996, the results obtained through the experiments of the school researchers produced nearly 420 articles published in scientific magazines – 37% in publications indexed by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). In 2000, the number of articles went up y 38%, totaling some 580 scientific papers, 51% of which are evaluated through the ISI”, compares Montes.

Lipids, hormones and diabetes
In the area of Endocrinology, four laboratories were renovated and the results have already come up. “The greater part of the studies carried out in these LIMs are clinical researches, which have a clear connection to the Hospital das Clínicas (HC), the largest hospital in Latin America”, says professor Éder Carlos Rocha Quintão. At the LIM 42, which carries out routine hormone dosages for the HC, as well as molecular biology research, there was an increase from 26,000 to 38,000 in the number of monthly hormone dosages. “With the reform, we could also develop new techniques such as the Fish (Fluorescence in situ hybridization), which allows us to identify genetic mutations through chromosome markers, improving the diagnosis of illnesses such as that of Turner’s syndrome”, informs Berenice Mendonça, head of the laboratory.

In LIM 18, where studies are being carried out on carbohydrates and radio immune tests linked to diabetes, new research lines are being opened. Among them, professor Mileni Josefina Ursich highlights that of auto immunity towards diabetes type 1, which occurs in children. “This was possible with the improvement of the research animal breeding unit of the laboratory and with the creation of more space, such as the PCR room and that for cell growth” she says. Also the LIM 10 was renovated. It concentrates on lipids and protein metabolisms, and the LIM 25 for the molecular biology of diabetes and of glandular tumors and the biochemistry of fatty tissue and which also participated in the Human Cancer Genome Project.

Dr. Antônio Carlos Seguro, Nephrology professor and responsible for the LIM 12 used the funds from the Infra program for the general renovation of the laboratory and for maintenance in the research animal breeding unit.