Executive team

The core management at Serrapilheira, headed up by geneticist Hugo Aguilaniu.

Hugo Aguilaniu – Executive Director

Hugo Aguilaniu is native from Grenoble, France. He was trained as an agronomist in Bordeaux, France and pursued his studies in Sweden where he obtained his PhD in molecular genetics from Chalmers University in 2003. He then was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute (La Jolla, CA, USA) between 2003 and 2006 where he studied the aging process. In 2006, he joined the Centre Nationale pour la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France) where he became a science director in 2011. He led a laboratory that continued studying the molecular basis of the aging process at the Ecole normale supérieure de Lyon (ENS de Lyon) from 2007 to 2017.

Dr. Aguilaniu was a member of the CNRS national committee from 2016 to 2017. He was awarded an ERC grant and the CNRS bronze medal in 2015. During a few years, he maintained a strong collaboration with partner labs at the University of São Paulo (USP) and led some institutional initiatives between the ENS de Lyon and USP. In 2017, he was selected to assume the direction of the Serrapilheira Institute in Rio de Janeiro. He is also member of the Board of trustees of FAPERJ (the public funding agency of the state of Rio de Janeiro) since 2020.

Cristina Caldas – Science Director

Caldas is a biologist specializing in the study of the humanization of antibodies and autoimmunity in the context of transplants. She has a PhD in immunology from the University of São Paulo (USP), a master’s in molecular biology from the University of Brasília (UnB), and a specialization in scientific journalism from the University of Campinas (Unicamp), where she took part in studies of the public perception of science. She served as a visiting research fellow at the Center for International Studies (MIT). Caldas was president of the SciBr Foundation, a nonprofit located in Cambridge, Massachusetts which promotes interdisciplinary knowledge networks, connecting Brazilian researchers who work abroad. At Serrapilheira, she directs scientific research initiatives, ranging from calls for proposals to an active search for researchers and projects.

Michel Chagas – Science Manager

Chagas has an undergraduate degree in Administration from Faculdade DeVry Ruy Barbosa, specialization degree in Municipal Public Management (UFBA) and a master’s degree in International Development Policy (Duke University). He has worked in social organizations management, projects coordination, as a research assistant and in public administration. At Serrapilheira, he is part of the Scientific Research team, acting as administrator.

Kleber Neves – Science Manager

Neves has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and a PhD in Neurosciences from the same institution. He did research on the evolution of the nervous system and of cognition. He was part of the coordinating team of the Brazilian Reproducibility Initiative, working with metascience, biostatistics, reproducibility and scientometrics. He is part of the Board of Directors of ASAPBio, an organization that promotes transparency in scientific communication in the life sciences. At Serrapilheira, he works as manager in the Science Program, taking care of the program’s impact evaluation.

Natasha Felizi – Journalism & Media Director

Felizi has a master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Russian and Portuguese literature from the University of São Paulo (USP) and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She coedited the book Brasil em Movimento – Reflexões sobre os Protestos de Junho (Rocco) and has directed projects focused on art, technology, and activism for third-sector organizations (CulturaDigital.Br, ITS-Rio), television (MTV, Canal Curta), radio, print media, exhibitions, and digital platforms (Panfletos da Nova Era, Jorge Mautner’s web portal). At Serrapilheira, she directs science outreach initiatives.

Raika Moisés – Journalism & Media Manager

Journalist and PhD candidate in Communication and Culture at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. She has worked in civil society organizations for over ten years, with experience in Brazil and abroad. She has experience in the area of Communication, with an emphasis on culture, race, corporeality and human rights, in addition to writing, editing and publishing journalism content; digital communication; audiovisual production; socio-cultural projects and research. At Serrapilheira, she is responsible for the management and monitoring of Science Outreach projects.

Clarice Cudischevitch – Communication Senior Manager

Undergratuated in Journalism from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and in Law from Federal University of State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), she has worked in the Communication team of scientific institutions such as Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), National Institute of Translational Neuroscience (INNT) and Oncobiology Program at UFRJ. She is experienced in covering areas such as Physics, Mathematics and Life Sciences. She worked as a reporter at O Estado de São Paulo newspaper. At Serrapilheira, she coordinates and produces content for the website, digital media and institutional communication, and coordinates and edits the Ciência Fundamental blog at Folha de São Paulo.

Pedro Lira – Communication Analyst

Undergratuated in Journalism from Higher Education Institute of Brasília, he worked as a reporter in print newspappers, magazine and website vehicles. Since 2016 he has been directing his experience in journalism towards the production of informative content on social networks, creating different engagement strategies and adaptation for the various platforms. Covered for independent vehicles, national and international, human rights, new business and social impact issues. At Serrapilheira he is responsible for defining campaigns, producing content for the website and digital media and interacting with the audience.

Camila Teicher – Quantitative Ecology Training Program Senior Manager

Bachelor of Arts in Letters from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), with an MBA degree on knowledge management from the Center of Reference in Business Intelligence (COPPE/UFRJ), an MBA degree on project management from IAG School of Business at PUC-Rio and a master’s degree in translation from El Colegio de México. She has worked as a proofreader and translator in the publishing market, various media, academic institutions and international companies in Brazil and abroad. At Serrapilheira, she is responsible for the management and monitoring of the Quantitative Ecology Training Program.

Caroline Cavalcante – Operations Assistant

Bachelor in Cultural Production from Universidade Federal Fluminense, she received the Academic Laureate Excellence Award in recognition of UFF students’ merit. She worked as a producer on educational projects in museums and cultural spaces in Rio de Janeiro with a focus on the administrative area. She also contributed to social impact events in the third sector. At Serrapilheira, she is responsible for the administrative and operational management of the institution and support for executive and programmatic management in logistics and events.

Finance and administration team

The team, from the investment management company Brasil Warrant (BW), includes:

Luciana Varella
Director of Finance and Administration

Murilo Ricci
Manager of Finance and Administration

Claudia Gusmão
Administration analyst

Carlos Paixão
Finance analyst

André Cardoso
Finance analyst

Scientific advisory board

The board supports the work of the executive team and the Board of Trustees. Chaired by Francilene Procópio Garcia.

Francilene Procópio Garcia – Computer Science

Francilene Procópio Garcia works in the management of ST&I programs, with an emphasis on: managing the impact of IT on production systems, planning and management of innovative ventures, and planning and evaluating public policies in ST&I. She is a professor at the Federal University of Campina Grande. Was secretary of the SBPC in the last administration from 2021 to 2023 and elected to the current Board of Directors (2023-2025) for the position of vice-president.

Ana Maria Fonseca de Almeida – Diversity & Inclusion

Coordinator of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Program of the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).

Antonio Coutinho – Life Sciences

Board of Trustees – Fundação Champalimaud (Portugal).

Faith Osier – Life Sciences

Group leader – Centre for Infectious Diseases, Heidelberg University Medical Faculty / Biosciences Department KEMRI – Wellcome Trust (Germany/ Kenya).

Hanna Kokko – Ecology

Finnish ecologist and professor at the University of Zurich (Switzerland).

Line Gordon – Ecology

Director and professor at the Stockholm Resilience Center (Sweden).

María Teresa Ronderos – Journalism & Media

Colombian journalist, director and co-founder of the Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP).

Sameer Padania – Journalism & Media

Sameer Padania is a nonresident fellow with GMF Cities and runs the independent consultancy Macroscope, which works with diverse stakeholders.

Sarah de Rijcke – Open Science

Sarah de Rijcke is professor of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University (Netherlands) and dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Simon Levin – Life Sciences

Professor – Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University (USA).

Board of trustees

Sets out guidelines for Serrapilheira’s work and evaluates the work plans proposed by the executive team. Chaired by Branca Vianna.

Branca Vianna
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Serrapilheira Institute

Felipe Vargas
Universidade Federal da Bahia

Francilene Procópio Garcia
Universidade Federal de Campina Grande

Ima Célia Guimarães Vieira
Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi

João Moreira Salles
Serrapilheira Institute

Mercedes Bustamente
Universidade de Brasília