About our department

History

In 1970, the Department of Parasitology was founded as a result of a merger of four departments from the following Schools: Medical, Dental, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences. All theses departments, especially the Department of Parasitology at the Medical School, were very prestigious at that time, nationwide and abroad. Its origins go back to 1913, when the Medical School hired Emile Brumpt, a well-known French parasitologist and author of the most important reference book at that time, “Précis de Parasitologie”. Brumpt was followed by Lauro Travassos and, in the 30s, by Samuel Barnsley Pessoa. With his enormous charisma and influence, Samuel Pessoa recruited and advised researchers such as Pedreira de Freitas, Mauro Pereira Barreto, Antônio Dácio Franco do Amaral, Maria and Leônidas Deane, Luiz Rey, Ruth and Victor Nussenzweig, Luiz Hildebrando Pereira da Silva and Erney Plessmann Camargo.

With the 1964 military coup, several researchers were banned; many of them, in addition to being banned from the academia, were arrested. All of them left the Medical School, and most of them left the country. Only in the late 80s, did the Department of Parasitology, already established at ICB-USP and under the leadership of Erney Camargo, regain its national leading position. With the recruitment of biochemists, molecular biologists, immunologists and epidemiologists as faculty members, the Department expanded and diversified its scientific production. All present faculty members maintain research laboratories with substantial external financial support. More than half of them receive scholarship for scientific productivity from CNPq.

The Department plays an essential role in national and international Parasitology and Tropical Medicine research networks. It takes part in four CNPq national science and technology institutes “Institutos Nacionais de Ciência e Tecnologia” (INCTs) as follows:  Molecular Entomology, Vaccine, Structural Biotechnology and Medicinal Chemistry in Infectious Diseases and Medical Population Genetics; in addition to large research networks funded by CNPq, CAPES and FINEP, focused on malaria, leishmaniasis and dengue. Internationally, the Department coordinates studies on trypanosomatids and malaria in Africa, funded by the CNPq Pro-Africa Program.  It is also engaged in projects funded by the European Community, Health World Organization, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

O convívio entre orientadores já bastante experientes e docentes iniciando sua atividade de orientação na PG tem sido extremamente enriquecedor. O programa tem como conduta credenciar, como colaboradores, jovens orientadores com reconhecido potencial, avaliado pela sua produção científica e capacidade de captação de recursos. Mantemos um processo constante de avaliação e renovação do quadro de orientadores e das linhas de pesquisa, assim como recomendamos fortemente que eles ofereçam disciplinas compatíveis com as linhas de pesquisa oferecidas.


Three-dimensional structure of microplusin, an antimicrobial peptide of  R. B. microplus tick .