If the science budget for next year is preoccupying, at least 2020 will have good news: The World Science Academy (known as TWAS) has published the list of the 36 new members of the scientific association and five of them are Brazilian professors from public institutions. Three of them are from USP: Célia Regina da Silva Garcia, Luisa Lina Villa and Edson Antonio Ticianelli.

Professor Célia Regina da Silva Garcia is a teacher at the Clinical and Toxicological Analyzes Department of the Pharmaceutical Sciences School (FCF) of USP, in São Paulo, since 1995. Célia was nominated in the area of structural, cellular and molecular biology on account of her researches, which “has made novel contributions to our understanding of the chemical signals that regulate the development of the malarial parasite”, according to the TWAS description. Malaria is a disease transmitted through the Anopheles mosquito and can lead to death. According to the 2015 data of the World Health Organization, the disease occurs in 95 countries.

Luisa Lina Villa was elected in the area of biological systems and organisms. She is a professor of the Radiology and Oncology Department of the Medical School of USP (FMUSP), in São Paulo, since 2011. She is a titular member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) and Commander of the National Order of Scientific Merit. With works aimed at research on the natural history of HPV infection, she recognized a persistent infection of high risk HPVs is the main factor which leads to cervical neoplasia in women. Luisa’s researches have also contributed to the creation of prophylactic vaccines for men and women.

For the relevant contributions in the electrochemical field, professor Edson Antonio Ticianelli, teacher at the São Carlos Chemical Institute (IQSC) of USP, was elected into TWAS. He is a member of the Science Academy of the State of São Paulo and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. The professor’s researches involve the oxidation process of hydrogen, reduction of cellular oxygen and fuel, water electrifiers and reduction of carbon dioxide.

Brazilians in the Academy

The list was published on December 10th and also counted with two more Brazilian names: Márcia Cristina Bernardes Barbosa, of the Rio Grande do Sul Federal University (UFRGS), and Wilson Savino, of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz).

Márcia Barbosa develops research in the Physics Institute of UFRGS. She contributes to the understanding of the mechanism behind high mobility of water in extreme conditions of temperature and pressure, besides when it is confined within nanostructures or nanotubes of carbon. She won the L’Oréal-Unesco Award for Women in Science in the field of Physical Sciences and the Claudia Award in the Science category, among others.

Wilson Savino is coordinator of Regional and National Integration Strategies of Fiocruz. He was acknowledged with the title of Honoris Causa doctorate by the Sorbonne University, in France. His researches involve the understanding of cellular migration on the lympho-hematopoietic system, migration and death of lymphocytes in infectious diseases, leukocyte migration on autoimmune diseases and organ transplants, cellular migration in leukemia and lymphomas and immunotherapy, cellular migration and cellular therapy in neuromuscular diseases.

More women represented

The TWAS choses scientists affiliated to national science academies. The researches they develop must contribute to the sustainable development and to damage reduction of economic growth to the environment. The induction ceremony will happen at the end of 2020, however the researchers have been integrated to the community since January 1st.

At the 2020 election, 33% of the 36 researchers are women, a marked never before reached by the entity.

As part of the organization in 2020, are scientists from South Africa, Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Singapore, South Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Japan, Nepal, Norway, Kenia and Uganda.