Dr. Luisa Villa Elected to the Brazilian Academy of Sciences
Dr. Luisa Villa (Director, LICR São Paulo Branch) stands in front of the feature wall in the new LICR laboratories.
It is our great pleasure to congratulate São Paulo Branch Director, Dr. Luisa Villa, on her recent election to the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC).
Founded in 1916 in Rio de Janeiro, the Academy aims to promote the advancement of science and technology, education, and the social well-being of the country. The membership is an important mark of academic distinction in Brazil, and has been awarded to few women; of more than 600 current ABC members, only 10% are women. Dr. Villa joins the Academy as one of three new members elected this year to the Section for Biomedical Sciences.
A world expert in the field of virology, Dr. Villa is dedicated to the study of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and its connection with cervical cancer, one of the leading causes of women death worldwide. Together with Dr. Eduardo Franco of McGill University (Montreal), she initiated the ‘Ludwig/McGill Cohort,’ one of the largest studies of HPV infection ever undertaken. Knowledge obtained from this study has led to the development of new vaccines against HPV and changed the way cervical cancer is diagnosed. Dr. Villa also led the first clinical study of Merck’s HPV vaccine, Gardasil™, which was approved in the USA in 2006 and is now used for vaccination of young women in many countries.
Other LICR investigators previously elected to the ABC include Dr. Andrew Simpson (Scientific Director), Dr. Ricardo Brentani (former São Paulo Branch Director) and Dr. José Daniel Lopes (former Senior Investigator, São Paulo Branch).