DFG Presence at 31st Annual Scientific Conference of Brazilian Umbrella Organisation FeSBE

Anna Barkhausen from the DAAD talking to visitors at the stand

(28.09.16) Between 28 August and 1 September, the Brazilian umbrella organisation FeSBE (Federação de Sociedades de Biologia Experimental) held its 31st annual scientific conference in the city of Foz do Iguaçu, famous for its stunning waterfalls in the tri-border area of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. FeSBE unites various learned societies in the field of experimental biology, including learned societies for biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, physiology and immunology. The aim of the association is to advance scientific development in these areas in Brazil through combined efforts and joint representation.

During the official opening, the vice-president of the funding agency for the federal state of São Paulo (FAPESP), Eduardo Moacyr Krieger, paid tribute to his former colleague, pharmacologist Sérgio Henrique Ferreira, who died in July. He served as president of FeSBE between 1991 and 1995 and was the founder of and collaborator on the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. Through his scientific work on drugs to combat high blood pressure and heart failure and in the area of analgesics, Ferreira made a significant contribution to the ongoing development of these fields of research in Brazil and throughout the world. He won numerous national and international research prizes in recognition of his work. Krieger emphasised that the best possible way to honour this outstanding researcher was through the energetic continuation of his scientific activities for the benefit of society.

In addition to the scientific programme there was an accompanying exhibition, at which not only learned societies, research institutes and companies were represented, but also the Research in Germany initiative with its own information stand. Visitors took advantage of the chance to find out about research and funding opportunities in Germany, especially doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships. The stand team were pleased that there were also many questions about funding instruments for scientific collaborations, which meant that in addition to sharing information about DFG programmes they also drew attention to existing funding agreements with Brazilian institutions, thus paving the way for future cooperation with German partners. The agreement between the DFG and FAPESP, for example, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and represents successful and continuous cooperation.

The lunch session organised by the DAAD as part of the Research in Germany presence was very well attended, and over snacks and drinks in a relaxed atmosphere, the 50 or so visitors were able to gain an overview of the German research landscape and the funding programmes offered by the DFG and the DAAD. During the conversations with participants that followed, the Research in Germany initiative was rated very highly, and the lunch session was also a success for everyone involved.