What is this Program about?

The PPGAADS started its activities in 1976 with the Master’s program and in 1982, the PhD program in order to educate Professors of Comparative Functional Anatomy. Along with the PhD Program, initiated in 1982, emerged ideas related to the researcher`s expertise as professional who is capable of utilize the knowledge and anatomical techniques for macro, micro, mesoscopic and ultrastructural animal body parts and to correlate the morphology with its functions. The study regarding the complex “Form-function”, well established by Ruffini (1925) on its magnificent work “Physiogeny”, defines: “The form is the plastic image of function”1. Therefore, after almost 40 years of existence, the PPG goals adjusted the relations of Basic and Applied Sciences, considering the fact that Comparative Functional Anatomy can explore the functional properties of body structures, and evaluate the efficiency of its formation. Based on its important results, the Program sustained inter-, multi- and transdisciplinary as ways to approach the different aspects of science and innovation in the formation of masters and doctors. Those elements are essential on education and research of modern universities.

The goals are lined up to proposals and projects associated to innovation and main challenges of Veterinary Science, focusing especially to the modalities of the complex form/function applied to Biotechnology, Laboratory Animals, Translational Veterinary Medicine, Biodiversity and, more recently, to Tissue Engineering. It ensures the formation of Masters and Doctors prepared to reflect about solutions of current problems, and to face with confidence the proposals in Research and Innovation Network. Students are trained in interdisciplinary projects of cooperation between PPG, like Casadinhos Projects, Procads and projects of cooperation and of double title Brazil/Argentina; Brazil/Chile; and Brazil/Mozambique. Scientific challenge and the extension of activities inserted in these projects mix with the goals toward Basic Education, Science popularization, disclosure/divulgation, and consequently transferring knowledge acquired inside the University to the Society.

 

[1] The evolution of anatomical research can be divided, according to Locchi (1946), in analytical phase and synthetic phase, the last one concerned about functional order. Special methods of study allowed to surpass the physical limit to the –physic-structural and physic-chemical ones, visualizing the structural compound’s organization amplified to the cellular level. If before, the order of the matter that composed a determined organ allowed inquiring about its function, making Anatomy a subsidiary science of Physiology, the new orientation initiated by Germans brought the meaning of functional form in order of macro, mesoscopic and microscopic greatness. Anatomy tends, then, to a more dynamic aspect of functional evaluation of form and to the morphofunctional integration of parts within the whole. Thus, a work of synthesis is evident, and passes to admit the organism or part of it, constructing by functional systems that result of functional adaptations.

 

It is important to consider, however, that the experience acquired over 40 years of work valorizes the quality and merit of the proposal, invests on knowledge production impact and on formation of Qualified Human Resources, and solutions for national problems, challenges that since its creation, underpinned the base of this investment, so that now the Program hit the international acknowledgement.

 

Under the influence of the modern academic environment, the PPG follows the advances of veterinary medicine, and its main challenges, and find support on insertion, on international recognition, and on technological and innovative production. Underpinned in different forms of support to Basic and Superior Education, the current proposal seeks the quality, the interdisciplinary, mobility of teachers and students, professional insertion of graduates, and the improvement of its evolutionary process emphasizing the teamwork. Prioritize the social insertion, through its diverse projects and modalities, reporting to therapeutic innovations applied to health, biotechnology applied to animal reproduction and production, to the development of adequate animal models used in preclinical trials, to biodiversity and tissue engineering, taking into account the different ideas related to reduction and rational use of animal species in research. The need of comprehension of structural forms and its implications on the diverse organic functions are part of the understanding of this PPG, valid and reliable instruments to obtaining of relevant results and for promoting collaboration science.

 

The main tool of Comparative Anatomy is the investigation of form (from architecture to structure), going through the process of animals’ body development under macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic aspects. Therefore, the evolution of the curricular structure of the Program predicts, for an example, courses aimed on ability acquiring (Applied techniques to Anatomical Investigation; Cellular biology and tissues; Imagiology; Developmental Biology; Methods of Electron Microscopy; Stem-cells and Cellular Therapy; Macroscopical techniques; Topics in Cell Culture; Molecular Biology), which have proportionated training for Master’s and PhD’s students in specific techniques related to biotechnology and other innovative fields.  Besides that, the recent support (2015) of the Research Pro-Rectory (www.usp.br/prp) in the organization of the so-called “core facilities”, associated  to the supervisors and researchers in charge of PPG laboratories, has facilitated the national and international support, the development of projects that require more than good ideas, appropriate techniques and multiuser devices.

Knowing the most advanced tools, which allow them a hierarchical way of studying the Form-Function complex and its applications, postgraduate students acquire the needed freedom to rethink their projects, and complement the maturity of their critical thinking. Emerge then, courses aimed to improve scientific and technological thinking (Conceptual Anatomy, Morphological bases of locomotion, Evaluation of Circulatory systems/processes, Anatomical bases of digestion, Endocrinology, Human Resources Training in Neuroscience,  Biotechnology Applied To The Development of Innovative Therapies in Veterinary Medicine and Topics in Cell Culture with emphasis on Stem Cells Primary Culture) given in a way that facilitates the improvement of students scientific mind.

The General Regiment of USP’s Post graduation also supports the postgraduate student’s enrollment in courses inside and out of the University. The called “complementary credits” are granted to Published papers, Articles in Annals, Books or chapters in Technological Manuals, Participation in Scientific Meetings, Patents, and Programs of Improving Education. Thus, encourage the development of other research activities, isolated or in groups, to stimulate students to experience “collaborative science” as well as in Thematic Research Networks. It is believed that the lived experience of reading, interpretation and writing of texts are relevant to the students' training, as well as the structuring of new research groups. To complete the curricular course, the course "Entrepreneurship" was created in order to teach graduate students to plan their career, to develop a business plan, become familiar with the labor market, with businesses and to manage their own company. The other offered courses by the Program have professors and researchers as collaborative guest staff from Research and Innovation Institutes/Centers of Brazil and international partners. From 2015, 7 courses are given in English language – “Requirements for scientific work in an international context", “Topics in Cell Culture with emphasis on stem cells primary culture”; “Molecular Biology Applied to Animal Embryology”, “Human Resources Training in Neurosciences”, “Biotechnology Applied to the Development of Innovative Therapies in Veterinary Medicine, “Scientific work in an international context” and “Advanced topics on developmental biology and biotechnology”. The mentor staff has been adjusted accordingly to the evolution of this proposal, in a manner that attends its goals.

General and Specific Goals related to the form/function complex and its applications:

 

“The form-function complex and its multiple implications”. The Postgraduate Program in Anatomy of Domestic and Wild Animals is based on the “form-function  complex” and its multiple implications to achieve the  purpose of training Master’s and PhD students that are capable to propose original ideas, and able to use new technologies in order to contribute on problem solving inherent to the great challenges of contemporary science. The goals include the generation, storage, and transformation of knowledge, as well as the guarantee of its spreading. Naturally it is necessary to consider improving the critical sense of students, which are prepared to act with competence on the many fields of work here in Brazil and abroad. The purpose of the Program aims, especially, in innovation and internationalization. The innovation englobes original ideas aimed to the main national problems, including the connection between PG and the “Basic Education” (development of study materials and innovative technologies for teaching), the number of patents, differing the deposited patents from granted and licensed ones, the companies created that are administered by their graduates, and today are partners of their projects and research groups; the consulting and Public Politics developed to improve man and animal’s quality of life besides the insertion of social formation in order to form and produce knowledge.

The internationalization of the Program ensues by its diverse modalities featuring the seven courses ministered in English, the foreign students enrolled in the Program; the visitor researchers that collaborate with the performed activities; the international and national awards; the international scholarships of students and mentors; the performance of research internships and scientific visiting, the projects and publishing in international collaborative partnerships, and the involvement of international researchers on examination boards.

Special concern is given to the interdisciplinary, to other field’s collaborators, students from other graduate courses, and to publishing in high impact journals. The graduate profile of this Program can be characterized as focused on educating high-level researchers and technicians. It is up to those directed to academics, to achieve the ability of producing study materials, direction and courses coordination positions, projects of social inclusion and continuing education. On the other hand, it is up to the technicians and researchers the scientific production, besides production of technical norms and patents, projects linked to companies and sharing technology. Regarding the technological projects, their results not only are evaluated based on publishing papers, but, mainly by the application of results, licensed patents, to the current and relevant issues occurring especially in Brazil, and the proceedings and obtained products. Therefore, the competence formation has been levered new opportunities including the innovative research projects and development, the trials and services offered to society.

The Program aims to improve the choice of projects’ themes taking into consideration the potential market in order to define its technical goals, the work plan and methodology. The professional training and renovation of the team is another great concern of the Coordination Committee of the Program and, therefore, the national and international collaboration has been encouraged. Besides that, the investments on infrastructure and on technical support staff are considered.  The success or failure of a scientific research and technologic project require the evaluation of its social, economic, environmental, and technological impacts, guided by the definition of its goals, which are different from its objectives.  Putting it into practice, the biannual seminars of the Program look for the creation of a discussion environment among the postgraduate students, mentors, and guest scientists, in order to promote the better understanding of the research requirements and results users. These activities are relevant to translate the population needs for the language of research workers, and in this context, the goals of PPG are defined. This method, however, is not the only meeting opportunity neither is the only way of defining PPG goals.

Different research groups that act side by side with the Program promote many scientific meetings over the year, and besides researchers, master’s and PhD students, other members are part of the meetings as Parent’s association of Children that are carriers of Muscle Dystrophies, Autism, and tutors of dogs with chronic medullary lesions and Hip dysplasia, and also companies looking for new technologies applied to Veterinary Sciences.  Zika Virus Network of Sao Paulo State counts with PPGAADS support and has professors associated with PPG as its main investigators. Besides that, Projects like the “Encomenda” Project (on demand) of the Health Minister that has the objective of study the “Reprograming of Induced-Pluripotent Cells” also counts with the support from both this Program and professors. These actions establish the general perspective of the new research and innovation projects, identifying collaboration possibilities, discussing points of view with their future beneficiaries, possible results, as well as verifying performance indicators. Naturally, the potential risks that might occur during the development of the projects are also approached in these discussions. Therefore, this PPG also bet in risks considering the complication factors when it predicts, for example, financial costs of the project. In these cases, the goals aid in the dialogue between financial agencies, companies, and coordinators of projects.

The profile of the alumni of this program sustains one of the main impressions of PPG’s action, once it has been generating many changes and transformations that have been beneficiated society. The quality of master’s and doctor’s title is reflected on destiny and professional performance of these postgraduate students, which have been followed by the Program over its 40 years of existence. Thus, the PPG has followed its students in International Organisms, in Federal, State and Municipal Public Organs, and in Public or Private Universities. It looks for data management in order to insert its students in Companies, Entities, Social Organizations, and in coordination of professional positions. It also values their insertion on educational system, on the system of Science, technology and Innovation, in the productive and service sectors as well as their international insertion.