Oswaldo Cruz Foundation an institution in the service of life

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Fiocruz has a new president

Foto of Nísia Trindade, Fiocruz


By: Agência Fiocruz de Notícias


Brazil´s most important health institution, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), has a new President. Nísia Trindade Lima, a highly awarded researcher, teacher, sociologist and former vice-president of Fiocruz, is the first woman to chair the institution in its 116-year history.

After winning the internal elections with 59.7% of votes over second-place-runner Tania de Araujo-Jorge’s 39.6%, Nísia was nominated on January 4th by the President of Brazil, Michel Temer, and his Minister of Health, Ricardo Barros, to rule from 2017 to 2020.

The President’s Profile

Senior researcher with a Ph.D. in Sociology, Nísia Trindade Lima has been a Fiocruz civil servant for almost three decades. She joined the institution in 1987, as a researcher for the House of Oswaldo Cruz (the Foundation´s institute dedicated to the History of Health and Sciences), which she would direct from 1999 to 2005. During the first decade of the new millennium, Lima took part in Fiocruz Publishing House’s Editorial Board (Editora Fiocruz), in both the scientific and the executive committees of the 4th Science Centers World Congress, and also in the organizing committee for the Chagas Disease Discovery´s Centennial celebrations.

She was one of the founders of the specialization course on History of Health in the Amazon, as well as the History of Science and Health Graduate Program at the House of Oswaldo Cruz. Her major role in shaping-up the partnership between Fiocruz and the Brazilian Government helped enhancing the preservation of both cultural and tangible heritage of Health in Brazil – largely concentrated at Fiocruz historical buildings’ legacy.

From 2011 to 2016, Lima served as the Vice-President of Teaching, Information and Communication of Fiocruz (VPEIC/Fiocruz), channelling the institutional commitment with both the democratization of knowledge and the free access to information. She personnally endorsed and participated in the shaping of the foundation’s Open Access Policy and the creation of programs such as the Virtual Health Libraries Support Program and the Fiocruz’ institutional repository (ARCA); Fiocruz scientific journals Portal; the Public Health Virtual Campus ; Fiocruz Virtual Campus ; and the Fiocruz Science, Innovation and Technology Watch.

During the same period, she also became a member of the Counselling Board for the Open University System of the Unified Health System (UNA-SUS), supporting the continuous quality improvement and permanent education of Brazil´s Unified Health System (SUS) professional staff.

In 2012, Lima joined the group responsible for creating a regional office from Fiocruz in Piaui, a federal state in Brazil´s northeastern region. In that same year she helped launching the SciELO Books Network (, which already surpassed 62 millions of downloads.

In 2015, her articulations were vital to the process for Fiocruz to be designated as a Collaborative Center for Global Health at the World Heath Organization (WHO), as well as to win the José Reis of Scientific and Technological Communication Award election. Nisia´s own awards include the “Achievement of the year in scientific orientation”, from the Brazilian National Council of Research (CNPq) and the Nise da Silveira Award, by the Special Secretary of Policies for Women of the City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

She also earned a medal of honor from the Brazilian Academy of Letters (ABL) and another during the Foundation´s 100th anniversary. “Louis Pasteur e Oswaldo Cruz: tradição e inovação em saúde”, Lima´s book on the two eminent scientists’ tradition and innovation in Health, was a finalist at the prestigious Jabuti Award literary competition in Brazil.

In 2016 Nisia created the Fiocruz Network of Social Sciences and Zika, for studying and developing public policies considering the human dimensions of the epidemic.

The new mandate´s platform

During the election campaign, Nísia Trindade Lima defined ten central commitments for the mandate: 1) to uphold the universal right to health; 2)to defend the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS); 3) to promote science, technology and innovation for the benefit of society; 4)to value Fiocruz’ workers and to promote inclusive working relations that respect diversity; 5) to advance environmental health and sustainable development in the policy agenda; 6) to promote public engagement with science and technology; 7) to promote information and communication as key-factors to the institutional development of Fiocruz and as rights of society; 8) to support international cooperation to foster universal health systemsand scientific and technological development; 9) to perform a democratic administration, committed with Fiocruz role as a strategic institution of the Brazilian State; 10) to contribute for the construction of a Future’s Fiocruz.

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