Declaration of Intent signed to reinforce the presence of the Institut Pasteur in São Paulo

The Institut Pasteur (Paris), the University of São Paulo, and the State of São Paulo
have one year to work towards the evolution of the Scientific Platform Pasteur – USP, associated member of the Pasteur Network, into an Institut Pasteur of São Paulo.

On Monday, July 4, in São Paulo, at an event organized by the Scientific Platform Pasteur-USP to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the 200th birthday of Louis Pasteur’s birth, the Executive Vice President of the Institut Pasteur (Paris), François Romaneix; the Dean of the University of São Paulo (USP), Carlos Gilberto Carlotti Jr; and the Executive Secretary of International Relations of the State of São Paulo, Affonso Massot signed a declaration of intent towards the establishment of a future Institut Pasteur in São Paulo. 

On that occasion, an amendment to the agreement on the creation of the SPPU was also signed, permitting the continuity of the partnership and the continuum of the SPPU’s activities, at the same facilities it is currently hosted. After the signature of the two agreements and declarations made by all the guests, a bust of Louis Pasteur was unveiled, commemorating the 200th anniversary of his birth.

The SPPU, which has been in operation for three years, under the coordination of Dr. Paola Minoprio and Dr. Luis Carlos Souza de Ferreira, is an emergency cell based in USP where research is performed for the purpose of discovering diagnoses, treatments, and vaccines for diseases caused by pathogens that lead to complex immune responses and disorders in the nervous system. Equipped with biosafety level 2 and 3 laboratories, the Platform is an associated member to the Pasteur Network, a network of 33 members in 25 countries.

Commitment reaffirmed – “We are certain that this agreement will strengthen the ties with the Institut Pasteur. We have common values and we prioritize public health, research and innovation,” said Prof Carlotti, in his opening remarks to the event. “The support coming from USP – one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America – and the French Embassy in Brazil has been fundamental in the process of creating the SPPU and of its development into an Institut Pasteur in São Paulo,” said François Romaneix, who also highlighted the importance of FAPESP in the process. “With the G4 [research support program that provides for hiring researchers at the SPPU, after the project is concluded] we will maintain our level of excellence in international collaboration.”

Massot reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to continue supporting the partnership, through FAPESP. “The signing of this agreement is a demonstration of the political will for creating the Institut Pasteur in São Paulo,” he pointed out. “We are working to make this support permanent,” added FAPESP President Marco Antonio Zago. “USP, the Institut Pasteur, and FAPESP are the sponsors, but we also commemorate additional support from the state government,” he said.

Strengthened partnerships – At the event, Deputy Consul General of France Christophe Alamelama highlighted that the Institut Pasteur's collaboration with Brazil shall also develop by the strengthening of the partnership with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), which was already foreseen in the tripartite agreement, signed in 2015 between USP, FIOCRUZ, and the Institut Pasteur.

The president of Fiocruz, Nisia Trindade de Lima, who was also present at the event, stressed the commitment to pave the way for the creation of the Pasteur-Fiocruz platform in Fortaleza, Ceará, and to work in conjunction with the SPPU. “This will strengthen the extensive research work that Fiocruz is already conducting in Brazil.”

Full member - The work of the SPPU executive co-coordinators appointed by the Institut Pasteur and USP, Dr. Paola Minoprio and Dr. Luís Carlos de Souza Ferreira, respectively, was praised via video by the President of the Institut Pasteur, Stewart Cole, and by the Honorary President of the Pasteur Network, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi.The event also featured a lecture by the President of the Pasteur Network, Dr. Amadou Sall, on the importance of the Pasteur Network for member countries, in both strengthening scientific research and coping with pandemics. Dr. Rebecca Grais, newly appointed executive Director of the Pasteur Network also shared final considerations on regional and global opportunities for partnerships for the SPPU. 

“With the transformation of the SPPU into an Institut Pasteur in São Paulo, our presence in the Pasteur Network will be strengthened. This means that we will interact with the 32 other centers on five continents, promoting the mobility of researchers and increasing the complementarity of research expertise,” Minoprio said. “We are building something that will continue on into the coming generations will help us produce stronger support for the health of Brazilians and for training future researchers,” Ferreira added.