The Women in Science Award - Highlights 2020 was presented to 10 researchers from the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) who stood out last year with studies about coronavirus, five of whom were professors at the Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo.

The award ceremony was held on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2021, at an online event, marked by debates and officinals about women in scientific careers and tributes to researchers at the University. The organization was the Pro-Rectory of Research and the Office of Careers (Ecar).

To the professor Anna Shafferman Levin, of the Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases of FMUSP, who coordinates two essential services at the Hospital das Clínicas (HC) the Hospital Infection Control and the Division of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, it was an honor and a great happiness to receive the tribute. "In March 2020, faced with an unknown disease in relation to transmission, prevention and treatment, health professionals around the world began a huge and courageous effort to cope. The work that HCFMUSP’s health professionals have done, and continue to do in this resurgence of the pandemic, is arduous, dangerous and almost invisible, and the majority of frontline professionals are women. I see this award as a just tribute to them", said Profa. Anna Levin.

Another FMUSP award-winning researcher was Profa. Marisa Dolhnikoff, of the Department of Pathology, who emphasized: "in the fight against Covid-19, women are the majority in the frontline, in patient care, and in the care of the most vulnerable, such as the elderly and children who stopped attending school. To somehow represent them is a great honor for me". Prof. Marisa Dolhnikoff added: "At this difficult time of the pandemic, and in a scenario where the federal government treats science and the scientific community with contempt, I consider it a privilege to be able to contribute with my work to the advancement of knowledge about the disease. This award is the result of the intense and permanent work of the Minimally Invasive Autopsy team at FMUSP. I am very grateful to this team of researchers, technicians and professors, among them several great women.

Professor Thais Mauad, of the Department of Pathology of FMUSP, said that in a moment of great sadness for everything that happens in the country and in the world, she would like this memory to extend to all who are dedicating their time  facing against Covid-19 in Brazil, despite the setbacks that Brazilian science has been suffering. Prof. Thais said: "I would especially like to dedicate this memory to every brave and tireless group that has studied the autopsies of Covid-19". And she added: "I repudiate with all my strength the federal government we have, which has caused so much suffering to so many human beings. I think of those who lost their lives to the virus, and science couldn’t help in time, and here is my compassion. I would like that, after the pandemic, the area of health can work urgently for a better planetary health, so that our future generations do not have to go through as much suffering as we go through now".

The Women in Science Award has also been awarded to the Professor Ester Cerdeira Sabino, of the Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, and Profa. Ludhmila Abrahão Hajjar, of the Cardiopneumology Department, both from FMUSP. In addition, to researchers Larissa Dias da Cunha (FMRP), Lorena Guadalupe Barberia (FFLCH), Lúcia Helena Faccioli (FCRFP), Maria Rita Passos-Bueno (IB) and Regina Pelkemann Markus (IB).

Profa. Anna Sara Shafferman Levin
Profa. Ester Cerdeira Sabino
Profa. Ludhmila Abrahão Hajjar
Profa. Marisa Dolhnikoff
Profa. Thais Mauad