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University of São Paulo visit sparks new innovations

President Marco Antonio Zago and Vice President Raul Machado Neto from the University of São Paulo (USP) recently visited with President Michael V. Drake, MD and other key leaders at Ohio State to further discuss expanding research opportunities. The two-day visit was facilitated by the Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and the Brazil Gateway.

The Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences has had a long standing research and training relationship with USP, first through the Plant Molecular Biology-Biotechnology Program and now through its successor, the Center for Applied Plant Sciences (CAPS). In addition, Ohio State is involved in a well-established tripartite research collaboration in biotechnology along with USP and Rutgers University, that includes biannual scientific conferences at each institution.

In 2012 Ohio State and USP signed a Memorandum of Understanding that finalized a dual PhD degree in plant and microbial molecular biology based on Ohio State’s historic scientific collaborations and exchange of students and postdocs between Ohio State and USP laboratories. This dual degree PhD program is well under way and it is led at Ohio State by the new Translational Plant Sciences Graduate Program, directed by Professor Erich Grotewold. The dual PhD degree between Ohio State and USP allows students to get a PhD from both institutions and will put Ohio State in a unique position to take advantage of increased exchange opportunities.

During the two-day visit, President Zago and Professor Machado Neto met with faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, the College of Medicine, the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Office of Research and the Office of International Affairs.

USP is one of the largest institutions of higher education in Latin America, with approximately 90,000 enrolled students (56,998 undergraduates; 25,591 graduate students). It has eleven campuses, four of them in São Paulo.