Graduate programs linked to institutions of teaching and basic and applied research favor the formation of centers of scientific discussions, that can be multipliers of knowledge and actions, as well as transformers of the social context in which they are inserted, like the Federal University of Pará (UFPA), that represents the largest Higher Education Institution in the Amazon, graduating a wide range of professionals in the fields of Biological and Medical Sciences. The Institute of Biological Sciences (ICB – UFPA) is of the main responsible institutes for the development of competencies in these strategic fields of knowledge.
The historical development of Biology in UFPA led to the creation, in 1985, of a Graduate Program in Biological Sciences. Within this extensive and antencessor Program, and with the group of reseach professors who were part of the Concentration Area in Biology of infectious and parasitical agents, ICB/UFPA focused actions on the development of the Biology of Infectious and Parasitical Agents Graduate Program (PPG BAIP – Portuguese acronym), started in 2004, with the Master’s degree. At the end of the same year, the Biological Sciences III area Committee of CAPES, acknowledging the importance of PPG BAIP to the region, approved the Doctorate Course with level 4. At the end of the first three years (2004/2006), PPG BAIP received level 5 grade, both for the Master’s and the Doctorate, confirming the quality and the importance of the Program.
All these events (History and the recent evaluations) were essential for the acknowledgement of the quality of PPG BAIP, resulting in level 6 grade in the last quadrennial evaluation (2013-2016) of CAPES. This is a remarkable fact for UFPA and for the Northern Region of Brazil, as it “redirects the sights” of the national science beyond the horizons of the Southern Region.
Thus, PPG BAIP, regarding the Master’s and the Doctorate, demonstrates relevant impact in the training of human resources in the Biological Sciences III Area, training qualified professionals to deal with health-related issues, basic and applied research, in a competent and specialized manner, using the Amazon in the context of scientific researches.
PPG BAIP currently covers the areas of immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology in all their contexts and comprises a single concentration area (BIOLOGY AND EPIDEMIOLOGY OF INFECTIONS AND PARASITICAL AGENTS and EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS AND PARASITICAL AGENTS), as a result of the merger of the two areas of concentration that once comprised the Program (namely: BIOLOGY OF INFECTIOUS AND PARASITICAL AGENTS and EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS AND PARASITIC AGENTS), a more robust one, with a unique focus on the training of human resources.
The training of a young researcher who intends to discuss subjects related to the Amazon needs fundamentally to transcend the walls of a laboratory, so that there is a contact with the communities related to the subject of the research in development, since the knowledge acquired directly in the field reinforces effectively the acquired knowledge in the protocol books and sensitize this professional, regarding the complex issues in which the Amazon populations are inserted. In this way, PPGBAIP is determinant to assist in solving social problems and in political decisions for local development.
The Amazon scenario is interesting for the development of research because it covers cross curricular themes that may be important for the country's strategic issues, since, as a global, regional and, above all, national issue, the promotion of its development must be of interest to the State.
PPG BAIP, through its Masters and Doctoral courses, has as general objective to graduate and train Masters and Doctors from professionals in Biological, Biomedical, Medical and related sciences, with a focus on Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology and its dismemberment, using the reality of human populations, animals and plants in the Amazon context for their research.
Thus, the professional qualification made possible by PPG BAIP aims at specific objectives:
- To graduate Masters and Doctors specialists in the area of Biology of Infectious and Parasitic Agents, taking into consideration the Biological and Epidemiological aspects, directing the professional qualification in different areas of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, which include: Medical Microbiology, Bacteriology, Virology, Mythology, Biology, Morphology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Taxonomy, Molecular Systematics, training in and validation of diagnostic methods, Public Health, Health Services and Management.
- To disseminate knowledge in Infectious and Parasitic Agents, mainly in the Northern Region and the Brazilian Amazon, promoting the training of professionals with capacity for insertion in different sectors of society, from teaching in Higher Education, to the research and provision of public health surveillance services.
- Encourage the development of basic and applied research in Infectious and Parasitic Agents in the Amazonian context, correlating with other Brazilian Regions and other countries, mainly in Latin America.
- Encourage cooperation between Program Professors and international institutions, strengthening scientific ties that favor the training of Brazilian and foreign professionals in the area of Infectious and Parasitic Agents.