Executive team

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

Hugo Aguilaniu - Executive Director

Hugo Aguilaniu is a geneticist by training. After obtaining his PhD from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, he became a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA. His scientific contributions mainly concern the study of the genetic bases of aging. He then joined the Conseil National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Council for Scientific Research, CNRS) of France, where he became a research director. Following this appointment, he led a research team at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon from 2006 to 2016, where his research was awarded by the CNRS and the ERC (European Research Council). In 2017, he became Executive Director of the Serrapilheira Institute in Rio de Janeiro. He is also a member of the High Council of the Rio de Janeiro Research Agency (FAPERJ).

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.

Natasha Felizi – Science Outreach 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 – Science Outreach 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 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 produces content for the website, social networks and institutional material and also does PR services.

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 – Science Training 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 Science 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.

Scientific advisory board

The board supports the work of the executive team and the Board of Trustees. Chaired by Marcelo Viana.

(Sun-Yung) Alice Chang – Mathematics

Professor – Princeton University (USA)

Antonio Coutinho – Life Sciences

Board of Trustees – Fundação Champalimaud (Portugal)

Deborah Blum - Science Outreach

Director of the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (EUA)

Faith Osier – Life Sciences

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

Luiz Davidovich – Physics

President – Brazilian Academy of Sciences / Professor – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ (Brazil)

Marcela Carena – Physics

Chair – Department of Theoretical Physics, Fermilab / Professor – University of Chicago (USA)

Marcelo Viana – Mathematics

Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and Director-general of Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics – IMPA (Brazil)

Simon Levin – Life Sciences

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

Thomas Lovejoy – Life Sciences

Professor – Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University (USA)

Vanderlan Bolzani - Chemistry

Professor – Chemistry Institute, São Paulo State University – Araraquara / member of São Paulo Research Foundation’s (FAPESP) Superior Council (Brazil)

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

Marcelo Viana
Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board
Director-general of Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics

Edgar Dutra Zanotto
Universidade Federal de São Carlos

Fernando Reinach
Pitanga Invest

Francilene Procópio Garcia
Universidade Federal de Campina Grande

João Moreira Salles
Serrapilheira Institute

Luiz Orenstein