Publicação: 7 de April de 2021


Today, Brazilian and international Tropical Medicine has awakened an orphan, one of its greatest icons and one of the most renowned researchers in Chagas disease and tropical diseases, Professor Emeritus Dr. José Rodrigues Coura. An invaluable loss for the Brazilian scientific community and for tropicalists in Brazil and in the Americas.

Born in Paraiba State, in the city of Taperoá, in the hinterland of Paraíba, on June 15 1927, Dr. Coura dedicated his life to science and lecture. He was an emeritus professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and researcher emeritus at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, member of the National Academy of Science, member of the National Academy of Medicine, member of the Royal Society of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He served two terms as director of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (1979-1985, 1997-2001), was vice president of research at Fiocruz and served two terms as chief editor of the Memories of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute, head of the IOC Parasitic Disease Laboratory. One of the founding partners of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (SBMT), he was our president from 1973 to 1975, chaired the annual SBMT congress in Rio de Janeiro in 1983 and the International congress of Tropical Medicine in 2012, also in Rio de Janeiro. He was editor of the SBMT Journal for twelve years.

The SBMT registers the certainty that his example of life and fight for the common good, made a difference wherever he went, sowing solidarity and cultivating empathy and leaving a huge legacy for future generations. His immeasurable contribution to Tropical Medicine, through the training of researchers, attention to patients and research that generated important contributions to the field of tropical diseases and to the programs for controlling these diseases in public health, are an immeasurable part of the legacy that he leaves us.

As coordinator of the Postgraduate Program in Tropical Medicine at IOC, he contributed to the formation of human resources that lead groups and institutions in the country, in many countries around the world and in the staff of  the WHO and the PAHO.

he SBMT expresses its condolences to family members and to everyone who had the privilege of living with him.