Focus Area - NEGLECTED DISEASES
(Prof. Dr. Thomas. J. Schmidt - WWU; Prof. Dr. Fernando Batista da Costa - USP)

The research topic ‘Neglected Diseases’ (ND) represents one out of three focus areas of wwu.usp. In order to establish a long-lasting interdisciplinary cooperation between WWU and USP in the main areas of expertise related to ND, activities, such as summer schools and workshops are intended to exchange ideas, knowledge, materials and human resources. They will help to found a Competence Centre on Neglected Diseases and to prepare a joint proposal for further coordinated actions to be submitted at the end of of the present wwu.usp project.
In this context the  Research Network Natural Products against Neglected Diseases - (ResNet NPND) is of particular importance.

© USP

Thematic focus Neglected Diseases – third workshop and summer school held in São Paulo

The third scientific meeting and summer/winter school event of the wwu.usp thematic Focus Neglected Diseases took place from Sept. 10 – 14, at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCF) of USP in São Paulo. The meeting was organized in an excellent way by Prof. Dr. Gustavo Trossini of FCF in collaboration with the Brazil Centre of the WWU. The program set up by Gustavo Trossini made it a successful and enjoyable event for the students as well as for the senior researchers. For the third time a Summer School has been offered to  27 undergraduate and PhD-students, being twenty from USP, and other interested persons Scientists of USP and WWU presented the results in their specific research fields in talk sessions. In addition five selected PhD-student had the opportunity to give short talks concerning their research work. In the frame of the summer school a round table with the theme “Drug development in Brazil“ has been organized with the participation of invited experts from the pharmaceutical sector.

© Thomas Schmidt

During the afternoon sessions, the participating scientists have discussed many important points concerning the proposal and the IRTG to be established. The previous draft of the DFG pre-proposal has been refined. The concepts for the selection and supervision of students at the program were stipulated. Training activities and the possibility to offer a double-doctorate were discussed. Moreover the title defined at the 2nd workshop for the IRTG was slightly adapted to CELLS UNDER FIRE – MULTIMODAL APPROACHES TO FIGHT INTRACELLULAR PATHOGENS. Prof. Dr. Thomas Schimdt and Prof. Dr. Marcelo Dias Baruffi has been designated as the project coordinators for the WWU and for die USP, respectivelly.

Furthermore, an updated schedule for the submission of our IRTG pre-proposal has been decided, as follows:

- Nov. 05 – 09, 2018: Visit of a USP delegation of scientists involved in internationalization and academic affairs (Monica T. Pupo, Fernando B. Da Costa) with the aim of preparing harmonized regulations for graduation (joint degree for the doctorate students of the IRTG at WWU and USP).

- Finalization of the pre-proposal and submission to DFG by the end of December 2018 or the beginning of January 2019.

- One further meeting as part of the (now extended) wwu.usp partnership program can take place in 2019. It will be scheduled in due course.

© wwu.usp

Topic of high relevance: Neglected Diseases
- Strategic partnership wwu.usp supports Workshop and Summer School in Ribeirão Preto

From September 11th to September 15th, 2017 PhD students from both universities, WWU and USP, attended a Summer School at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at USP Ribeirão Preto. It is titled “Science beyond the borders: actions against neglected diseases". Professors from USP and WWU held lectures on various interdisciplinary research field related to neglected tropical diseases.
The Summer School was combined with a workshop, headed by Prof. Dr. T.J. Schmidt (Coordinator of the WWU.USP Neglected Diseases project on the WWU side). Group leaders from WWU’s Faculty of Chemistry met colleagues of USP in order to further develop a joint coordinated research proposal.
The vice-rector of the USP Prof. Dr. V. Agopyan and the Director of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prof. Dr. Maria V.L.B. Bentley, officially opened the meetings with a public ceremony. Prof. Vahan Agopyan emphasized the importance of the cooperation agreement between USP and WWU, which is not simply a "piece of paper". Among the 300 USP-agreements with universities all over the word, WWU belongs to the most active ones and is considered as one of few genuine strategic partners. Subsequently, the German Honorary Consul in Ribeirão Preto underlined the significance of activities, such as the DAAD funded project ‘wwu.usp’ for academic research and education. Finally, Prof. M. da Silva Baptista and Dr. R. Schuch presented further ongoing activities of the wwu.usp project.

© globo tv

The opening ceremony was completed by the representative of the DAAD at the German Centre of Science and Innovation Ana Backhausen who presented the objectives of the Program ‘Strategic Partnerships and Thematic Networks’ and gave an overview on the funding opportunities of DAAD.

The scientific workshop then started with talks of the representatives of DFG Katrin Winkler and FAPESP Luis N. Oliveira, followed by a round table discussion on financial support facilities with specific regard to the cooperation agreement of DFG and FAPESP.
The event was organized in a very efficient and successful manner by Prof. Dr. Ferando B. Da Costa, who is known at WWU as the previous first holder of the Brazil chair professorship at WWU’s institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry and who is the Brazilian coordinator of the WWU.USP Neglected Diseases project.

GLOBO, a Brazilian TV station, broadcasted a report on the Summer School. Please open at:

http://g1.globo.com/sp/ribeirao-preto-franca/jornal-da-eptv/videos/t/edicoes/v/pesquisadores-da-alemanha-participam-de-encontro-na-usp-de-ribeirao-preto/6152795/

Wwu Usp Ii
© IPBP - Schmidt

Neglected Diseases - Summer School and Workshop
September 26 – October 1, 2016 (held at IPBP, Münster University)

In the course of the initial meeting of the contributors in the WWU.USP Neglected Diseases focus program, held at the Pharma Campus of WWU Münster from Sept. 26 until October 01, 2016 and organized by Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Schmidt of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry together with the Brazil Centre of WWU, sixteen experienced researchers (eight from the University of Sao Paulo (USP), eight from WWU) had the opportunity to interact, exchange views and ideas and create possibilities for new research projects in the field of Neglected Diseases. During the meeting, conducted in the form of a scientific workshop and a summer school for graduate students and interested post-docs, all contributors presented their work and field of expertise and each taught a class in the summer school. Besides learning about and from each other, the main objective of this meeting was to lay the foundations for joint network research that is ultimately expected to lead to a joint proposal and application for a coordinated research and education program (e.g. an IRTG) in the field of neglected diseases which is supposed to be launched at the end of the WWU.USP program funded by DAAD/BMBF.

The program...

WWU-USP cooperations shown as bold lines; Intra-University collaborations on neglected diseases are shown as thin lines
© IPBP - Schmidt

In an atmosphere of intense scientific interaction during this week, all contributors could identify possibilities for new cooperative projects and develop new ideas to continue already existing ones. In the diagram, the planned and already existing cooperations are shown, representing, as an important outcome of this meeting, an overview of the dense network created during this week. All scientists of USP and WWU involved agreed to commit a significant part of their research efforts, within this initiative and network, to research on neglected diseases, the responsible pathogens and strategies to fight against them, and signed a joint document to demonstrate this intention.

WWU.USP Summer School and Workshop on Neglected Diseases
© IPBP - Schmidt