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Cooperative atmosphere

USP, FAPESP and Marine Biological Laboratory (USA) hold pioneering courses in the countrycourses


Researchers that attended the Marine Biological Laboratory’s workshop, held in 2011MOLEVOL/WIKICOMMONS

Every summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), a traditional research and education center in the United States, founded in 1888, hosts 1,4 thousand scientists and students from all over the world. The scientists and students conduct advanced studies and research in the fields of biology, biomedicine and ecology. This group joins the 275 scientists and technicians who work in the laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, conducting interdisciplinary research studies on such topics as ecology, microbiology, infectious diseases, and neurobiology. The MBL educational program, which offers six summer courses and many other special courses throughout the year, is renowned as the leading center for the training of experimental biologists. Fifty four Nobel Prize laureates have already been at the institute, to work or conduct research. The news is that MBL has entered into a partnership with the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICB) of the University of São Paulo (USP), for the purpose of holding joint courses in São Paulo in the second half of this year.

Two courses are to be held. The first, on the Biology of Parasitism, is to take place from November 4 to November 9., and the second, on Neural Systems and Behavior, from December 9 to December 14 (information on the full program is available at The deadline for enrollment is August 31 and the objective is to attract researchers from all over the world. This initiative is part of the São Paulo School for Advanced Science (ESPCA) program, which is supported by FAPESP and whose objective is to increase the international exposure of the research work being conducted in São Paulo. This work is already competitive on a global scale. The program encourages researchers to organize short courses with visiting professors from São Paulo and from other countries. At least half of the audience is expected to consist of students and researchers from abroad . One of the aims is to arouse the interest of foreigners to work with scientists in São Paulo.

The two courses will be the first such endeavor organized under the São Paulo School/ESPCA program in partnership with an institution from abroad. “I have no doubt that the MBL name will help attract prominent participants from abroad, ” says Maristela Martins de Camargo, a professor at the Immunology Department of the ICB, who is organizing the said courses. Maristela has worked as a visiting researcher at MBL and has attended summer courses there. In 1997, she attended the course on the Biology of Parasitism which will now be given in Brazil . “The foremost specialists in this field were there and gave suggestions on the work being conducted by the students. One of the characteristics of MBL courses is that there are no barriers between professors and students,” she says. Maristela had the idea of proposing the courses when she heard that the Cold Spring Laboratory, which partners with the MBL, had organized similar partnerships in China. “I proposed a partnership to MBL’s director of education, who was very open to the idea.” To make sure that the MBL cooperative atmosphere is replicated in Brazil, professors and students will share everything, from commuting to having meals at the restaurant in the beach hotel in the town of São Sebastião (SP), where the events will be held.