2021 Lemann Brazil Research Fund awardees announced

Mass Hall.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard file photo

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The Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs are pleased to announce the results of the 2021 competition for awards from the Lemann Brazil Research Fund.

“We were tremendously impressed by the caliber of applications received,” said Rick McCullough, vice provost for research and professor of materials science and engineering. “We’re excited to see these projects develop. Many of them focus on finding solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to persist in Brazil, and we are so grateful to the Lemann Foundation for making these important projects possible.” Vice Provost for International Affairs Mark Elliott emphasized the importance of the Lemann funds, noting that, “It has never been more evident that international collaboration and discovery is a crucial part of creating a healthy, prosperous future for all around the globe.”

Established in 2016 by a generous gift from the Lemann Foundation, the Lemann Brazil Research Fund supports Brazil-related research in all areas related to education, as well as research in any other disciplinary area undertaken with a Brazilian colleague.

This year’s awarded projects are:

“High incidence of SARS-COV-2 in Ilhéus, Bahia: biological or epidemiological risk factors?”

By Galit Alter, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS); George Daley, dean of HMS and Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine; and David Golan, dean for Research Operations and Global Programs, George R. Minot Professor of Medicine, and professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at HMS, with collaborators Luciana Debortoli de Carvalho, Maysa M. Sodré, Carla Cristina Romano, Rachel Passos Rezende, Aline O. da Conceição (Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz); Julio Lenín Díaz Guzmán (Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz and Hospital de Ilhéus); Camila P. S. da Mata (Hospital Risoleta Tolentino Neves); Caio T. Fagundes (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais); and Ana Tereza Vasconcelos (Laboratório Nacional de Computação Cientifica)

“Examining the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on literacy practices in a child’s home: a global survey study”

By Nadine Gaab, associate professor of education at the Graduate School of Education, (HGSE) with collaborators Júlia Beatriz Lopes-Silva (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG) and Cíntia Alves Salgado Azoni (Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN)

“Eosinophils: key innate immune cells in SARS-CoV-2 infection”

By Wendy Garrett, Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunity and Infectious Disease and of Molecular Metabolism at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, with co-investigator Rossana Melo (Federal University of Juiz de Fora) and collaborator Peter F. Weller (Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital)

“Polluted river breezes in vulnerable northern Brazil”

By Scot Martin, Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Chemistry at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), with collaborator Rodrigo Souza (Amazonas State University)

“A tale of two species: understanding how genetic hybridization can amplify the invasiveness of major agricultural pests in Brazil”

By Naomi Pierce, Hessel Professor of Biology in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and curator of lepidoptera in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, with co-investigator Rodrigo Cogni (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil) and collaborator Wendy A. Valencia Montoya (Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

“Using big data to understand the effects of COVID-19 on anxiety, depression symptoms, and suicidal behaviors in underserved communities of Brazil: a view of the pandemic from the other hemisphere”

By David Williams, Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Chan School and professor of African and African American studies and sociology in FAS, with co-investigators Zila M. Sanchez (Medical School, Federal University of Sao Paulo) and Todd G. Reid (Chan School) and collaborator Alex (Sandy) Pentland (MIT Media Lab)

“Effects of COVID-19 and violence on the work process and mental health of community health agents in Brazil”

By Aisha Yousafzai, associate professor of global health at the Chan School, with co-investigator Anya Vieira-Meyet (Centro Universitário Christus) and collaborators Ana Patrícia Pereira Morais (UECE Fiocruz/CE); José Maria Ximenes Guimarães (RENASF/CE); Sidney Feitoza Farias Fiocruz/PE); Franklin Delano S. Forte (UFPB/PB); Claudete Ferreira de Souza Monteiro (UFPI RENASF/PI); Maria de Fátima S. Antero (RENASF); Maria Rosilene C. Moreira, Milena Silva Costa (UFCA); and Maristela Inês Osawa Vasconcelos (UVA)