First double doctorate title granted between the University of Sao Paolo (USP) and IPS done at NIB

Published: 05. apr. 2019

Contacts between Brazilian and Slovenian researchers date back to history for more than two decades, as the fields of biology, biodiversity, research of waters, and marine biology simply invite the cooperation of the two so beautiful countries, such as Brazil and Slovenia which are different regarding the size and many more! Formal cooperation between the National Institute of Biology and several Brazilian universities and institutes, especially the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the University of Sao Paolo (USP), dates to 2010 when we organized the first strategic meeting between the researchers from Brazil and Slovenia. The formal memorandum of this cooperation which was prepared by Bojan Sedmak Ph.D. and which was signed by the Prof. Vivaldo Moura Neto and me, predicted the establishment of a series of bilateral agreements on cooperation between different universities in Brazil which followed in the next years along with the support of the both national agencies for research activity in the countries. We try to revive the latter today.

Within the framework of the acquired CNPq project of the Federal Agency for Research and Technology of the Republic of Brazil, Prof. Ulrich Henning and I gained a project of several years from the field of studying the microenvironment of the brain tumor – glioblastoma. A part of that was a scholarship of a young researcher Mona das Neves Oliveira who performed a part of her research work also here in Slovenia. In addition, she enrolled and concluded Ph.D. studies at the IPS. An important step to cooperation was also recently signed an agreement between the IPS and the USP. The purpose of this agreement was to encourage academic cooperation between both institutions, especially within the framework of nanoscience and nanotechnology by co-financing the doctoral students of both institutions with the purpose of preparing the doctoral dissertation and double or multiple diplomas.

Mona Oliveira defended her doctoral dissertation titled “The role of quinine signaling pathways in glioblastoma cells upon co-culturing with human mesenchymal stem cells” on the 20th of February at the UPS and on the 25th of March on the IPS. Both times she enthused the eleven-member commission which consisted of six members at the USP and five members at the IPS (four of them, however, had to be the same). During her studies in Slovenia, Mona gained a lot of experiences mostly in the field of English language and other skills at the NIB. Not least important, there are woven family ties between both countries.

There is more to this. Mona’s future path is the foundation of a detached company for which she gained an initial investment in Sao Paolo. The rest – thus, we hope – we will be able to gain in Europe and Slovenia as partners! It is about time that we learn to use not only the money of capital funds but also the irreplaceable human capital which is created by a researcher’s work without any frontiers!
In the end, it is very important that I thank sincerely to all the previous ambassadors of the Republic of Brazil in Slovenia, especially to Debora Barenboim and her husband Prof. Bogdan Šalej for incentives in the initial phase of the cooperation with Brazil and also today. I would also like to thank especially to Renato Mosca de Souza for his further efforts in this direction and especially for the attention he paid with his presence during the defense of the doctoral thesis and at the reception after the defense which took place on the premises of the NIB in the Brazilian fiery style!
Prof. Tamara Lah Turnšek
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