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Álvaro Alberto Award

Álvaro Alberto Award winner

Biochemist Walter Colli: winner of Brazil's highest accolade in science and technology

MARCIA MINILLOBiochemist Walter Colli: winner of Brazil’s highest accolade in science and technologyMARCIA MINILLO

Biochemist Walter Colli, 74, from the Chemistry Institute at the University of São Paulo (IQ-USP), was the 2013 winner of the Admiral Álvaro Alberto Award. “This is considered the highest award for science and technology in Brazil,” said the researcher, who was taken by surprise when the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marco Antonio Raupp, called with the news. Colli is a senior collaborator at IQ-USP, served as chairman of the National Biosecurity Technical Commission (CTNBio) from 2006 to 2009, and has been a Life Sciences assistant coordinator for FAPESP since 2003, among other positions of note. After obtaining a medical degree at USP in 1962, he specialized in biochemistry and molecular biology and investigated the interaction between the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi – which causes Chagas disease – and its host cell. Colli kept his office running after retiring from IQ-USP in 2009 and has maintained ongoing collaborations to do research at the Parasite Biochemistry Laboratory, which he founded and which is now headed by biochemist Maria Júlia Manso Alves. The award is granted by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) in partnership with the Conrado Wessel Foundation and the Brazilian Navy, in recognition of researchers’ lifetime contributions to the advancement of their fields. The awards ceremony – which includes a certificate, a medal, and a R$200,000 cash prize – takes place each October in the city of Brasília, during Brazil’s National Science and Technology Week.