The University of Arizona

UA Looks to Expand Academic Collaboration With Brazil

By Rebecca Ruiz-McGill, University Communications | February 2, 2012

Representatives from Brazil met with UA President Eugene G. Sander, along with faculty members and researchers as part of an effort by the Office of Western Hemisphere Programs.

The UA Office of Western Hemisphere Programs fosters and supports academic, cultural and business exchanges among countries in the Americas and the UA. (Photo by Norma Jean Gargasz/UANews)
The UA Office of Western Hemisphere Programs fosters and supports academic, cultural and business exchanges among countries in the Americas and the UA. (Photo by Norma Jean Gargasz/UANews)
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Representatives from the University of Sao Paulo – including Adnei Melges, vice president for international affairs – are finishing up an eight-day visit to the University of Arizona campus to discuss initiatives to advance research collaborations and student and faculty exchanges. 

The University of Sao Paulo is consistently ranked among the two most important higher education institutions in Latin America. It is the largest institution dedicated to higher education and research in Brazil with advanced centers for research, education and community services.

On its seven campuses across the state of Sao Paulo, the university offers 240 different undergraduate programs to more than 57,000 students in all fields of knowledge. The graduate program is composed of 239 programs for master's and doctoral levels in which more than 26,000 students are enrolled.

The Brazil representatives met with UA President Eugene G. Sander and Mike Proctor, UA vice president for outreach and global initiatives, and deans of different colleges, along with faculty members and researchers as part of an effort organized by the Office of Western Hemisphere Programs, a UA unit dedicated to the identification of collaborative opportunities with Canada, Mexico and Latin America.

Francisco Marmolejo, assistant vice president for Western Hemispheric Programs at the UA, expressed that considering the impressive recent development in Brazilian higher education, establishing collaborative partnerships such as the one existing with the University of Sao Paulo confirms the prominent role of the UA as a leading U.S. university connected with Latin America.

Marmolejo said a successful UA and Mexico collaboration recently was highlighted as a prime example of binational collaboration during a meeting between the rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, and the new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from the U.S.

In a story making headlines in Mexico, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Anthony Wayne, met with the rector of the UNAM, José Narro, to discuss ways the Mexican university and the U.S. could expand upon existing academic collaborations to make research and cultural exchanges more accessible. 

During the meeting, the UA-UNAM collaboration and the work done by Dr. Leslie Boyer and her UA research team was highlighted as a success in its gaining the first ever U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of a drug fully developed in Mexico. The drug, Anascorp®, is an antivenom produced in Mexico and tested in clinical trials conducted through the UA, for use in treating patients suffering the effects of scorpion sting.

As part of the discussions with the University of Sao Paulo, collaborative work has been defined in a variety of academic areas including pharmacy, agriculture, Portuguese, engineering, chemistry and geosciences, among others.