February 23, 2008



Brazilian physician, pathologist and infectologist.

In 1902, Rocha Lima, Adolfo Lutz, Carlos Chagas and other researchers in the area of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases joined Oswaldo Cruz (1872-1941) in the establishment of the Instituto Serotherapico Federal, known as the Instituto Manguinhos, in Rio de Janeiro. In 1908 this institute was renamed Instituto Oswaldo Cruz.

Rocha Lima went to Germany in 1906. In Hamburg, he worked with Stanislaus von Prowazek (1875-1915) and together they described Rickettsia prowazeki.

In 1916, Rocha Lima grouped the microorganisms in the order Rickettsiales and named them “Rickettsia” in honor of the American bacteriologist and pathologist Howard Tayler Ricketts (1871-1910). He named the agent of typhus “Rickettsia prowazeki” after Ricketts and his old friend von Prowazek.

He later described the causative agent of Trench fever.

In Brazil, Rocha Lima participated in the foundation of the Paulista School of Medicine, and of the University of São Paulo.




Argentine cardiac surgeon who created the technique for coronary bypass surgery.

In 1967, René Favaloro became the first surgeon to perform bypass surgery on a patient suffering from coronary artery disease.

He published, in 1970, the book Surgical Treatment on Coronary Arteriosclerosis.

Dr. Favaloro obtained his MD degree in 1949 in the University of La Plata. He trained as a surgeon in La Plata, Buenos Aires and in the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

He was Director of the Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery of the Favaloro Foundation in Buenos Aires.

Dr. Favaloro is universally recognized for his contribution to the development of coronary bypass surgery.




Brazilian physician who identified Trypanosoma cruzi as the casuative agent of American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) in 1909, while working at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute in Rio de janeiro.

Chagas’ legacy is unparalleled in the history of medicine - it is the only occasion in which an individual investigator has described the infection, its agent, its vector, its manifestations, its epidemiology, and some of the hosts of the pathogenic genus.

In 1912 Carlos Chagas received the Schaudinn Price, awarded every four years for the best work in the field of protozoology and tropical medicine in the world, by the "Institut für Schiffs und Tropenhygiene" in Hamburg (Germany). Up to then this honor had only been conferred to von Prowazek (1875–1915), eminent Austrian bacteriologist.

He was granted the Great Prize of the Pasteur Centenary Commemorative Exposition in Strasbourg (France) in 1922. In 1921 Chagas became the first Brazilian to be honored with the title of doctor honoris causa by Harvard University (USA), and later by the University of Paris (France).

He was several times nominated for the Nobel Prize - in 1913 and in 1921 and in two more occasions (according to some references), but never received the award. The reasons for this failure are probably related to the fierce political opposition that Chagas faced in Brazil.

Carlos Chagas headed the Oswaldo Cruz Institute after the death of its founder (1917) until his own death; and from 1920 until 1926 he also directed the Brazilian Department of Public Health.