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Fiocruz researcher wins the Christophe Mérieux Prize


Antonio Fuchs e Juana Portugal (INI/Fiocruz) with informations from Fondation Mérieux


Patricia Brasil, Fiocruz researcher in infectious diseases, receiving the 2018 Christophe Mérieux Prize at the Institut de France (Photo: Fondation Merieux).


The leading researcher at the Infectious Diseases Laboratory of the National Institute of Infectology (INI/Fiocruz), Patrícia Brasil, was the winner of the 2018 Christophe Mérieux Prize, offered by the Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux and the Institut de France. The award recognizes the academic trajectory of the scientist and the relevance of her study on pregnant women after infection with the Zika virus and neonatal complications.

The solemnity of the prize, awarded exclusively to researchers working in the area of infectious diseases in developing countries, was held on May 30 under the Coupole of the Palais de L'Institut de France, in Paris. It is the first time that a Brazilian scientist has been chosen to receive the honor since 2007 when the annual scientific prize was instituted to support research into infectious diseases in developing countries. Brasil is also the second South American and the fourth woman to receive this award.

About the researcher

Her career has focused on both scientific research and clinical practice, driven by an interest in public service to address the public health challenges facing her country.

Before doing research at the Evandro Chagas Institute of Clinical Research (IPEC), Patricia Brasil practiced medicine at the São Sebastião hospital (Rio de Janeiro), a reference for infectious diseases.

She received a doctorate in science from Fiocruz for her work on the diagnosis of microsporidia in people living with HIV. This followed biology research initiated as part of a Brazil-France cooperation program in the field of AIDS. Through the program, she received training in the diagnosis of AIDS-related opportunistic parasitic and mycological diseases at the Parasitology-Mycology laboratory of Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris.

At the beginning of her career, during her residency in infectious diseases at the Dos Servidores do Estado hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Patricia Brasil went to the Amazon to treat Yanomami suffering from malaria.

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