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Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences

The Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences of Universidade São Francisco is designed for the training of teachers and researchers in the fields of Pharmacology and Cellular/Molecular Biology. Highly qualified faculty members guide students at the Master’s degree and Doctorate levels for the development of research projects using current scientific methods.

The physical structure includes five fully-equipped research laboratories, and animal facilities for handling and experimenting with different animal species.

Lines of Research

Below we present further information on the research lines of our program:

General and Clinical Pharmacology is aimed at developing methodologies and applying them in pharmacokinetic studies on drugs with therapeutic use and their relationship with pharmacodynamic aspects, as well as studying aspects related to cardiovascular and endocrine pharmacology, plus pharmacology of the inflammatory process, neuromuscular junction and genito-urinary system.

Obtainment of Chemical and Biological Characterization of Compounds with Therapeutic Potential involves obtaining compounds from natural products, through biotechnological processes or by modification of the chemical structure of existing drugs, as well as the chemical, pharmacological and toxicological characterization of these compounds, aimed at identifying and improving the therapeutic activity thereof.

Cellular and Molecular Biology of Microorganisms: aims to develop knowledge of aspects related to the interaction between microorganisms and humans, including molecular aspects of factors of virulence and antimicrobial resistance, as well as the use of micro-organisms in obtaining biotechnological processes and products.

Cellular and Molecular Biology of Tumors: investigates the cellular and molecular changes associated with the genesis and treatment of tumors, as well as verification of variables related to prognosis and treatment of patients with cancer.

Structure of the program

The Graduate Program in Health Sciences is regulated by CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), an agency of Brazil’s Ministry of Education whose central purpose is to coordinate efforts to improve the quality of faculty and staff in post-secondary education through grants. The Master’s degree program lasts 24 months and the PhD program lasts 48 months. During this period, the students must enroll in courses (disciplines) and develop a research project under the guidance of one of the Program’s accredited professors.

The students go through a qualifying stage, with presentation of partial results of the project to an examination panel composed by faculty members within and outside the Program. At the end of the academic and research activities, students must present the Final Argument, with all of the results of their project to a panel of researchers for assessment. After passing all the steps, the student receives the title of Master or Doctor in Health Sciences, with an emphasis on a specific area of the Program.

Scholarships

Students enrolled in the Graduate Program in Health Sciences may periodically apply for scholarships offered by CAPES. Additionally, students may apply for scholarship grants from other funding agencies such as FAPESP and CNPq. For more information, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies by calling [+55] (11) 2454-8981.

Faculty of the Graduate Program in Health Sciences

Prof. Alessandra Gambero, PhD
alessandra.gambero@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Gambero earned a PhD in Pharmacology from Universidade de São Paulo (2001). She develops research projects in the area of Inflammation of the Gastrointestinal Tract and Inflammation Associated with Obesity. In these projects, in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models are used, seeking an understanding of pathophysiological aspects, the development of new therapeutic approaches, and the study and development of functional foods. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (1994) and a Master’s degree in Biological Sciences (Pharmacology) from Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (1997). In 2010, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier (France) under the supervision of Prof. Philippe Valet. Productivity Researcher – Level II.

Research project: Study of morphological and physiological changes in adipose tissue vis-à-vis the intestinal inflammatory response, aspects related to systemic, liver and adipose tissue inflammatory disorders during obesity, as well as pharmacological interventions. Dietary interventions have also been employed, such as the actions of beverages consumed in Brazil (mate-tea and coffee), structured lipids (new molecules), and artificial sweeteners.

Prof. Carlos Augusto Real Martinez, PhD
Carlos.Martinez@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Martinez is an Adjunct Professor (Livre-Docente) in the Department of Surgery at Universidade de Sao Paulo. He earned a PhD in General Surgery from the São Paulo Santa Casa School of Medicine and a PhD in Surgical Gastroenterology from the São Paulo State Civil Servant Medical Assistance Institute. Holds a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine from Universidade São Francisco. Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, School of Medical Sciences – Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Coordinator of the Program of Medical Residency in Coloproctology at HUSF. Scientific Director of GASTROCENTRO/UNICAMP. Coordinator of the Colorectal Neoplasm Outpatient Clinic at GASTROCENTRO/UNICAMP. CNPq Productivity Researcher: Level II

Research projects: Exclusion colitis: Genetic, proteomic and biochemical aspects of excluded colon subjected to intervention with chemicals and plant extracts. Colorectal carcinogenesis. Study of primary pathways of repair, apoptosis and cell signaling involved in post-chemoradiation therapy pathologic response.

Prof. Denise Gonçalves Priolli, PhD
denise.priolli@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Priolli earned a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine from Universidade de Mogi das Cruzes (1992), a Master’s degree in Medicine (Surgical Gastroenterology) from the São Paulo State Civil Servant Medical Assistance Institute (1999), a PhD in Gastroenterology from Universidade Federal de São Paulo (2006), and postdoctoral studies at Universidade de Coimbra. She is a collaborating professor and has experience in Morphology, with an emphasis on Molecular Biology, acting mainly in the following areas: colorectal neoplasm, oxidative DNA damage, immunohistochemistry, experimental surgery, and computer assisted image analysis.

Research projects: The research seeks to establish the relationship between production of tumor proteins by analyzing the distribution and intensity of tissue and/or serum immunostaining, related to CCR morphology, evaluating histopathological aspects of neoplastic cells. Functional changes resulting from the process of carcinogenesis, such as antigen production capacity, and changes in the secretory dynamics, are considered in order to determine possible therapeutic targets.

Prof. Fernanda Bruschi Marinho Priviero, PhD
fernanda.priviero@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Priviero earned a Bachelor’s degree in physical education, a Master’s degree in Motricity Sciences from UNESP - Rio Claro, and a PhD in Pharmacology from UNICAMP, as well as postdoctoral studies in the Physiology Department of the Medical College of Georgia and Physical Education Department at UNESP. She has experience in vascular pharmacology, with an emphasis on endothelial and erectile function in models of obesity and hypertension. Investigates the effects of dietary supplements and physical exercise in the prevention/treatment of endothelial and erectile dysfunction.

Research project: Investigation of vascular and erectile function in experimental animals under conditions associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, with an emphasis on the NO-cGMP signaling pathways and Rho kinase pathway, and the correlation with oxidative stress. Assessment of pharmacological and non-pharmacological chronic treatments, such as physical activity and eating habits, in the prevention and treatment of organ dysfunction associated with cardiovascular disease.

Prof. Giovanna Barbarini Longato, PhD
giovanna.longato@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Longato earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Universidade Federal de Alfenas (UNIFAL-MG/2007), a Master’s degree and PhD in Cell and Structural Biology from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP/2014). She developed scientific research at the Pharmacology and Toxicology Division of the Multidisciplinary Center for Chemical, Biological and Agricultural Studies (CPQBA-UNICAMP/2008-2014) and conducted postdoctoral studies at the Center for Research in Molecular Oncology at Barretos Cancer Hospital (Fundação Pio XII/2015). She has experience with phytochemistry, tumor cell cultures, biomolecular biological techniques and preclinical toxicological trials, working in the area of Natural Products and Cancer.

Research project: Assessment of the antiproliferative activity of natural compounds on cultured and in-vivo human tumor cells. Investigation of the mechanism of action of the most promising compounds by means of techniques such as western blotting and flow cytometry. Identification of potential antitumor compounds and candidates for future clinical trials that enable the development of a new anticancer drug originating from Brazilian biodiversity.

Prof. José Pedrazzoli Junior, PhD

jose.pedrazzoli@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Pedrazzoli earned a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (1983), graduate certification in Expert Medical Examination from Fundação Educational Lucas Machado (2014), PhD in Medicine from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (1989), postdoctorate degree from Universidade de Campinas (1995), postdoctorate degree from Universität Freiburg (1996), postdoctorate degree from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (1991), and medical residency at Universidade Estadual de Campinas (1987). He has experience in Medicine, with emphasis in Internal Medicine and Pharmacology. Productivity Researcher – Level II.

Research projects: Assessment of in-vivo behavior of pharmaceutical formulations for therapeutic use following administration to healthy volunteers, in a single dose on an empty stomach, and/or postprandial with randomized crossover design. Drug plasma concentrations are determined by LC-MS/MS. Study aspects related to the pharmacology of the digestive tract with an emphasis on gastric disorders and treatment to eradicate Helicobacter pylori infection, as well as liver pathologies, whether associated or not with obesity.

Prof. Lúcio Fábio Caldas Ferraz, PhD
lucio.ferraz@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Ferraz earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology (1995) and in Biomedicine (1997) from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp), a Master’s degree (1999) and PhD (2006) in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Unicamp, with sandwich period (1999-2002) at the University of Southern California/USA. He has experience in the area of Molecular Genetics, with an emphasis on Genetics of Microorganisms, working mainly in the study of the mechanisms that regulate the expression of virulence genes in pathogenic bacteria.

Research project: Characterization of transcription factors of Klebsiella pneumoniae, with an emphasis on iron metabolism and production of fimbriae, and their contribution to the pathogenesis of infections caused by Klebsiella in an animal model.

Prof. Manoela Marques Ortega, PhD
Manoela.ortega@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae (CNPq)

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Ortega earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) Júlio de Mesquita Filho (1996), a Master’s degree (2002) and PhD (2006) in Internal Medicine from the School of Medical Sciences (FCM), UNICAMP, and postdoctorate studies in Cancer Molecular Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, USA, from January 2008 to December 2011, and the University de Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, USA, from January 2012 to May 2014. She has experience in Conventional Cytogenetics, Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) and molecular biology in Onco-Hematological Diseases, mainly in studies of polymorphisms, gene expression and microRNA, and interaction of oncogenic signaling pathways.

Research project: Identification and characterization of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in microRNA as risk factors for glioblastoma multiforme by means of global analysis. The role of SNPs is also investigated in genes involved in DNA repair that likely contribute to susceptibility to colorectal cancer among the Brazilian population.

Prof. Marcelo Lima Ribeiro, PhD
marcelo.ribeiro@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Ribeiro earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from PUC-Campinas, a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences and a PhD in Pharmacology, both from UNICAMP. He develops research into two distinct areas; (1) Effects of Helicobacter pylori infection on epigenetic modulation associated with gastric carcinogenesis, and (2) Assessment of natural compounds in molecular and epigenetic modulation associated with obesity. In 2014, was a postdoctoral researcher at Instituto Biodonostia San Sebastian (Spain) under the supervision of Dr. Ander Matheu. Productivity Researcher – Level II.

Research projects: Assessment of the effects of yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) in combating obesity and modulation of adipogenesis, in vitro and in vivo. Effects of Helicobacter pylori infection on the modulation of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms associated with gastric carcinogenesis.


Prof. Mário Angelo Claudino, PhD
mario.claudino@usf.edu.br
Curriculum Lattes

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Claudino earned a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and Biochemistry from Centro Universitário de Votuporanga (UNIFEV), and a PhD in Pharmacology from Universidade de Campinas (UNICAMP). He developed postdoctoral studies in the Department of Pharmacology at UNICAMP and the Department of Physiology at Louisiana State University’s Health Science Center (LSU-USA). Works as collaborating researcher in the Department of Pharmacology and Center of Hemostasis and Hematology (Blood Bank) at UNICAMP. Has experience in the field of sexual medicine and vascular pharmacology, with an emphasis on intracellular signaling mechanisms, endothelial dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, and urogenital changes.

Research project: Morphological and molecular assessment of erectile dysfunction and symptoms of the lower urinary tract in animal models (in vitro and ex vivo) associated with cardiovascular disease and heart failure, with an emphasis on the NO-cGMP-PDE5 signaling pathway. Investigation of new pharmacological treatments for the prevention and treatment of urogenital disorders associated with cardiovascular disease and heart failure.

Prof. Michelle Darrieux Sampaio Bertoncini, PhD
Michelle.bertoncini@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Bertoncini earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Universidade Federal de São Carlos, and a PhD in Biotechnology from Universidade de São Paulo/Instituto Butantan, as well as a Sandwich-program PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham - USA, with funding from CAPES. She has experience in the areas of Molecular Biology and Immunology, working in production and investigation of bacterial proteins as vaccine candidates.

Research project: Development and immunological assessment of vaccines based on surface antigens of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans. Proteins of these organisms are produced recombinantly and evaluated for induction of protective immune responses in systemic and focal infection models. The contribution of bacterial virulence factors for pathogenesis of infections in animal models is also investigated.

Prof. Patrícia de Oliveira Carvalho, PhD
patricia.carvalho@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Carvalho earned a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Universidade Federal de Alfenas (UNIFAL/1989), Master’s degree and PhD in Food Engineering (Food Science area) from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP/1998). She has experience in Food Science with an emphasis on Bromatology, Food Biochemistry and Biotechnology; conducts research on issues involving food, nutrition and health. Productivity Researcher – Level II.

Research projects: Biosynthesis and characterization of bioactive compounds and functional ingredients/foods having antioxidant properties. Applications of lipidomics and metabolomics are tools exploited to study the relationship between such compounds and their effects on health.

Prof. Raquel de Cássia dos Santos, PhD

raquel.cassia@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Santos earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP/Botucatu), a PhD in Biological Sciences, with a concentration in pharmacology, from the same institution, and postdoctoral degree in Health Sciences from Universidade São Francisco (USF). Develops research in the area of Natural Products.
Research Project: Investigation of the pharmacological potential of plant species in gastrointestinal disorders such as peptic ulcer, diarrhea and inflammation. Development of products geared toward human health with therapeutic purpose derived from Brazilian plant life.

Prof. Thaís Manzano Parisotto, PhD
thais.parisotto@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Parisotto earned a Master’s degree and PhD in Pediatric Dentistry from Universidade de Campinas/FOP-UNICAMP (2008; 2011), a Bachelor’s degree in Dentistry from Araraquara School of Dentistry / FOAr-UNESP (2004), a sandwich program PhD at the Forsyth Institute, USA, and attended a course in Oral Immunology at Harvard Medical School. She has experience in research related to etiology of dental caries in childhood.

Research project: Observational clinical studies involving a multifactorial approach to early childhood caries; assessment of clinical parameters of carious lesions relating to the microbiological and biochemical composition of dental plaque, immunological factors of saliva, diet, and oral hygiene. Also investigates the association between early childhood caries and obesity and the relationship between oral and intestinal microbiota in childhood.

Prof. Thalita Rocha, PhD
thalita.rocha@usf.edu.br
Lattes Curriculum Vitae

Brief curriculum vitae: Dr. Rocha earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences (2002) and a Master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology (2004), both from Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho” – UNESP; and a PhD in Cellular and Structural Biology from Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP (2008); she completed part of her doctoral dissertation and postdoc (2009) at Newcastle University (UK). She has experience in morphology, with an emphasis on Cell Biology and Histology.

Research projects: Investigation of the toxinological potential of peptides, proteins and total venoms of bacteria, insects, arachnids and snakes; the direct and/or indirect action thereof on the mechanisms of cell death (necrosis and apoptosis); dermal, inflammatory, myotoxic and neurotoxic action; and the use of herbal medicines or other drugs in promoting cell and tissue regeneration.

Laboratories

The physical structure of the Graduate Program in Health Sciences includes six (06) fully equipped laboratories, distributed among the buildings of the Bragança Paulista Campus, and a Central Animal Testing Facility that houses several different species. Below we present more information about our laboratories:

1. Integrated Pharmacology and Gastroenterology Unit (UNIFAG): The pharmacology laboratory is designed to carry out pharmacokinetic studies on drugs with therapeutic use, including bioequivalence testing of medications. These environments are equipped with high-efficiency liquid chromatographs, refrigerated centrifuges, mass spectrometers coupled to high-efficiency liquid chromatographs, and equipment for ultra-pure water. The area also includes a 44-bed infirmary for bioequivalence testing. Professor in charge: Prof. José Pedrazzoli Jr.

2. Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology/Immunopharmacology: In this lab, located on the ground floor of building VII (next door to UNIFAG), aspects related to the pharmacology of inflammatory processes are studied, with an emphasis on inflammation related to obesity. Additionally, molecular mechanisms associated with gastric carcinogenesis are also evaluated. The environment includes RNA extraction room, experimental diets preparation area, a dark room, and a cell culture room. Among the lab equipment are thermocyclers, laser detectors for real-time PCR, a DNA UV-crosslinker, an ultrapure water system, microplate readers, a fluorescence reader, Nanodrop, cytospin, refrigerated centrifuges, high-performance centrifugal with elutriation system, hybridization oven, laminar flow hoods, CO2 greenhouse, microscopes, a multiplex platform, and a flow cytometer. Faculty members: Prof. Marcelo Ribeiro, Prof. Alessandra Gambero and Prof. Raquel dos Santos.

3. Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Microorganisms: In this lab, located on the first floor of Building VII, studies of bacterial virulence factors are conducted, including assessment mechanisms of gene regulation, protein production in recombinant systems, and immunoassays. The facilities includes a cell culture room with CO2 flow and oven, a room for manipulation of pathogenic bacteria with laminar flow hoods, an electrophoresis room and DNA analysis with an imaging system, and a central laboratory with counters. The set of equipment also includes thermal cyclers, cytospin, water purification system, ultra-freezers, microplate reader, among others. Faculty members: Prof. Lucio Ferraz, Prof. Michelle Bertoncini and Prof. Thais Parisotto.

4. Multidisciplinary Research Laboratory: This lab, located on the first floor of Building V, has a large set of equipment, which includes: microtome; cryostat; microscope with integrated image capture; inverted microscope; CO2 incubator; vertical laminar flow chamber; microcentrifuges; electrophoresis sources; run and transfer system; dry bain-marie; Karl Fisher; spectrophotometer; mass spectrophotometer gas chromatography, ELISA (Epoc), and refrigerated centrifuge. The following techniques are developed here: production and purification of enzymes; lipidomic and metabolomic analysis by gas chromatography with flame ionization detector and by mass detector; microtomy; cryomicrotomy; histochemistry; immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence; western blotting; cell culture; creation of animal models of tumors by xenograft; analysis of oxidative stress by biochemical methods; genotoxicological analysis by comet assay. Faculty members: Prof. Denise Gonçalves Priolli, Prof. Patrícia de Oliveira Carvalho and Prof. Thalita Rocha.

5. Laboratory of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Located on the first floor of Building V, this lab is designed to evaluate the morphological as well as functional, molecular and biochemical aspects of vascular, urinary and erectile function, in experimental models associated with cardiovascular disease and heart failure, with an emphasis on the autonomic signaling pathways and the correlation thereof with oxidative stress, as well as the search for pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. This environment has a bath system for isolated organ, strip and ring myographs, system for measuring blood pressure and intracavernous pressure, cystometric system, electrical stimulator, ultrapure water system, centrifuge and microcentrifuge, magnifying glass, electrophoresis sources, image capturing system, and treadmill for rodents. Faculty members: Prof. Fernanda Bruschi Marinho Priviero and Prof. Mário Angelo Claudino.

6. Medical Research Laboratory: Located in a physical area measuring 90 square meters on the ground floor of Building I (Law Building), the Medical Research Laboratory is designed for preparation and analysis of histological sections by different techniques. To this end, it has an optical microscope coupled to a morphometric analysis system, immunofluorescence microscopy, automated tissue processor, paraffin block inclusion systems, tissue homogenizer, reverse osmosis system, scanned infusion pump, exhaust hoods, a freezing microtome for immunofluorescence on fresh tissue, and a conventional microtome. Faculty members: Prof. Carlos Augusto Real Martinez and Prof. Manoela Ortega.

USF also has an animal testing facility for common use of all faculty members who conduct research on animals. The 348.54 square meter facility includes level II biosafety, where different animal species are housed. The rodent area is equipped with an exchange and isolation module for accommodating mice, and ventilated shelving to keep rats; there is also an isolated environment for the maintenance of special mice (nude lineage). Both have climate control, light-dark cycle and humidity control. The laboratory also has two rooms for experimentation with sinks and counters, also with controlled temperature and light. One of these rooms houses metabolism equipment (PhysioCages) and an exchange module. A third animal testing room houses a treadmill to exercise rodents. The new laboratory animal facility has one-way traffic flow of clean/dirty material, and all incoming material passes through a barrier autoclave (CAPES/Pró-Equipamento).

Documents

To view the theses written by our Master’s degree candidates: click here.


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