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Medical and Health Sciences Network & UM-FIOCRUZ Collaboration

Advancing Science Research

The Brazil Initiative supports research conducted by University of Michigan students and faculty on important topics such as environmental determinants of health in Brazilian society and the impacts of genomic and genetic technologies on Brazilian medicine and health. This work has been made possible by the UM-Fiocruz collaboration, a distinguished initiative between UM and Braziliaan faculty and students to focus on research on health andsociety. The group of U-M researchers involved in this collaboration is quite interdisciplinary, with affiliations in the Medical School, School of Public Health, School of Natural Resources and Environment, Institute for Social Research, and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. This collaboration has generated significant reports, peer-reviewed articles, and original data sets to inform the global medical and health fields.

Events and Programs

Race, Discrimination, and Health: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

August 12-14, 2015:  A conference co-organized by Fiocruz and the University of Michigan. Learn more»

History of Eugenics: Broadening Perspectives »

August 3-5, 2015: As part of the UM-Fiocruz LACS/Brazil Initiative collaboration, LACS director, Alex Stern, co-taught this mini-course; organized by the Graduate Program in History of Science at the Casa de Oswaldo Cruz (COC/Fiocruz) in Rio de Janeiro. Read more»

University of Michigan-Brazil Milk Bank Collaborative, December 2014

A team of U-M pediatric specialists are studying Brazil’s successful model for creating human milk banks in the US. Read more»

Lisa Hammer, Assistant Professor of U-M Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, speaks with WKAR’s Melissa Benmark about what can be learned about breast milk banks from Brazil’s world-class model. Read more»

Bate Papo with FIOCRUZ, November 2014

In November 2014, we were honored to host guest speakers Simone Petraglia Kropf, professor in the postgraduate program in the History of Science and Health at Fiocruz, and Gilberto Hochman, researcher and professor of History of Science and Health at Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in a Bate Papo on Medicine in Brazil. The Bate-Papo is a series of informal meetings of students, scholars, and invited guests to discuss issues of broad contemporary interest.  Conversations are primarily in Portuguese.  

Guest Speakers and Lecture Topics

Simone Kropf: “A história da cardiologia no Brasil: medicina, debate nacional e relações Brasil-Estados Unidos”

Gilberto Hochman: “Saúde e doença como uma forma de entender a história do Brasil”

FIOCRUZ & U-M Training Course: History of Science and Medicine in Rio de Janeiro, August 2014

In August 2014, the Brazil Initiative sponsored two short-term training courses in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Both courses were co-led by Fiocruz and U-M Professors. The first, was a one week course on the history of science and medicine in Brazil. The second, was a one week course on race, genetics, and health, an interdisciplinary study of epidemiology, history, and anthropology. This course was also casted as a webinar for long distance learning students.

Student Testimonial

“I had the opportunity to attend a week long course in the History of Medicine at FIOCRUZ thanks to the support from the Brazil Initiative. Putting History of Medicine topics in local context expanded their reach, and allowed for important comparative conversations. In addition to coursework, I had the opportunity to meet with many Brazilian faculty and students both in and out of the classroom, which allowed me to take full advantage of the incredible scholarship and research going on at FIOCRUZ. Learning about the circulation of scientific knowledge in the global south threw into relief my own research on scientific narratives in microbiology and health, helping me to better characterize their history and particularism. I came away from my time at FIOCRUZ with a fresh perspective on my research as well as with new friends and colleagues.  Thanks to the Brazil Initiative for making that possible.”

 Kirsten Weis, M.D. Student, U-M Medical School & PHD Student, U-M Department of Anthropology