Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Brazil Initiative

Faculty

Geri Augusto

Geri Augusto

Visiting Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs and Africana Studies

Watson Institute Faculty Fellow

Visiting Faculty Fellow, Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES)

Geri Augusto teaches science and society in the global south, public policy, and black transnationalism. She is currently researching Brazilian quilombola fishing communities’ use of digital means and ideas on territory, environment and justice. She collaborates in Brazil with the Steve Biko Institute and with UNEB in the Abdias Nascimento Humanities Program.

Research areas: Environmental Change; Race, Ethnicity and Slavery

Andrew Blackadar

Andrew Blackadar

Director of Curriculum Development, Choices Program

Andy Blackadar is the director of curriculum development for the Choices Program, a national education initiative at Brown that produces content on international topics for high school social studies classrooms. He led the development of Brazil: From Colony to Democracy, a curriculum resource that focuses on Brazil's transition to democracy.

Susan Cu-Uvin

Susan Cu-Uvin

Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medicine, and Health Services, Policy and Practice

Director of the Global Health Initiative

Susan Cu-Uvin provides care for HIV-infected women at the Immunology Center of The Miriam Hospital. Her areas of research are HIV and women, HIV genital shedding, female genital tract immunology and sexually transmitted infections.

Research areas: Public Health and Medicine

de Graffenried

Christopher de Graffenried

Assistant Professor (Research) of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Chris de Graffenried is a cell biologist who studies kinetoplastid parasites, including Leishmania, a devastating pathogen endemic to Brazil. His research focuses on developing novel treatment strategies that interfere with the complex cell morphologies of these parasites, which are vital for their infectivity.

Linda A. Deegan

Linda A. Deegan

Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Brown-Marine Biology Laboratory)

Linda Deegan works on stream ecosystems in the Amazon River system. She is currently working in Mato Grosso on the effects of land-use change on biogeochemical cycling and biodiversity.

Anani Dzidzienyo

Anani Dzidzienyo

Professor of Africana Studies and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

Professor Dzidzienyo’s research focuses on Afro-Brazilians and Afro-Latin Americans in Latin America, and on contemporary relations of Africa and Latin America. His works include extensive studies and writing on the Black Experience in Brazilian Society.

Research areas: History, Politics and Governance; Race, Ethnicity and Slavery

Ferreira

Roquinaldo Ferreira

Associate Professor of History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

Roquinaldo Ferreira received his PhD in African History from UCLA in 2003. He specializes in African, colonial Brazilian, and Atlantic histories. He is the author of Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Atlantic World: Angola and Brazil during the Era of the Slave Trade (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Research areas: History, Politics and Governance; Race, Ethnicity and Slavery

Patricia Figueroa

Patricia Figueroa

Curator of the Iberian and Latin American Collections, Brown University Library

Patricia Figueroa oversees the development of the Brasiliana Collection at the John Hay Library and Rockefeller Library.

Rodrigo Fonseca

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Professor Fonseca works in the areas of networking and distributed, large-scale computer systems. He is a native of Brazil. He maintains close ties to UFMG, where he obtained his BSc and MSc in Computer Science before coming to the US.

Friedman

Jennifer Friedman

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Friedman's research addresses how parasitic diseases, particularly malaria and schistosomiasis, cause morbidity for pregnant women and children. She has worked in The Philippines, Kenya, and Brazil, addressing the relationship between these infections and adverse maternal and birth outcomes, as well as pediatric malnutrition, anemia, and cognitive impairment.

Beth Burgwyn Fuchs

Beth Burgwyn Fuchs

Assistant Professor of Medicine (Research)

Dr. Fuchs studies microbial pathogenesis in collaboration with Brazilian colleagues. Her research focuses on identifying antifungal and immunomodulatory compounds using high throughput automated screening. Most recently, her research endeavors have been focused on developing new technologies to aid in infectious diseases diagnostics.

James N. Green

James N. Green

Director of the Brazil Initiative

Professor of History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

James N. Green teaches Brazilian history. He is the author of Beyond Carnival: Male Homosexuality in Twentieth-century Brazil and We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States. He is currently completing a biography of Herbert Daniel (1946-92), a Brazilian revolutionary and AIDS activist.

Research areas: History, Politics and Governance

Matthew Gutmann

Matthew Gutmann

Professor of Anthropology

Faculty Fellow, Watson Institute for International Studies

Matthew Gutmann is the author of three books about Mexico and the editor of Changing Men and Masculinities in Latin America. He has collaborated with Brazilian colleagues from UNICAMP, UnB, and UFRGS, sits on the editorial board of Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology, and publishes regularly in Brazilian social science journals.

Johnny Guzmán

Johnny Guzmán

Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics

Johnny Guzmán is a numerical analyst  and has collaborated with Marcus Sarkis, who held a position at the Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA) in Brazil. He plans to collaborate with faculty from Brazil’s Laboratório Nacional de Computação Científica.

Patrick Heller

Patrick Heller

Professor of Sociology and International Affairs

Patrick Heller does comparative research on democracy and development, and has a particular interest in urban transformation in India, Brazil and South Africa. His most recent book, Bootstrapping Democracy (Stanford 2011), with Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Marcelo Silva, explores politics and institutional reform in Brazilian municipalities.

Research areas: Economic Development and Social Inclusion

Fred Jackson

Fred Jackson

Director and Teaching Associate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Professor Jackson has been running the research greenhouses at Brown for over 20 years. He is interested in the medicinal plants that indigenous people use in South America and teaches an ethnobotany course, "Botanical Roots of Modern Medicine," as well as a lab course on extracting and analyzing secondary compounds from medicinal plants. 

Amanda Jamieson

Amanda Jamieson

Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Amanda M. Jamieson studies the early immune response to multiple infectious diseases. Together with Dario Zamboni (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Chris de Graffenried (Brown University), she is studying the immune response to the Leishmania parasite, in order to develop improved treatments options for this devastating tropical disease.

Rami Kantor

Rami Kantor

Associate Professor of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine)

Rami Kantor studies global drug resistance development to HIV medications in patients infected with diverse HIV variants. He collaborates with Professor Amilcar Tanuri from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, with whom he shares similar research interests. This research is particularly important for Brazil, where multiple HIV variants circulate.

Research areas: Public Health and Medicine

James R. Kellner

James Kellner

Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Fellow, Environmental Change Initiative

 James R. Kellner works on problems related to the role of tropical forests in the global carbon cycle. His work combines satellite and airborne remote sensing with field studies and statistical modeling to address questions in basic and applied science.

Robert Kohn

Robert Kohn

Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

Robert Kohn, MD’s research focuses on international mental health.  He has conducted research in Brazil examining suicide, the treatment gap of mental health, family functioning, and integrating treatment of depression into primary care.  He is the author of “Epidemiology of Mental Health in Brazil”.

Jung-Eun Lee

Assistant Professor, Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences

Professor Lee's research explores the past, current, and the future of the Amazonian climate and ecosystem. She studies how Amazonian forests are influenced by climate forcings from outside (increasing greenhouse gases for example) and how forests modulate the climate in the Amazon basin, and is also interested in the origin and maintenance of the Atlantic forests.

Research areas: Environmental Change

Michael Lepore

Michael Lepore

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy, and Practice

Dr. Lepore is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Brown's Department of Health Services, Policy, & Practice, and Senior Health Policy & Health Services Researcher with the Aging, Disability, & Long-Term Care team at RTI International. He collaborates on research with colleagues at Brown's Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research, and has been an invited speaker at the Brazilian Congress on Quality in Health Care and the Brazilian and Latin American Congresses of Hospital Hospitality.

Barry M. Lester

Barry M. Lester

Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Human Behavior, The Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Founding Director, Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk

Brown University and Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island

Dr. Lester is involved in ongoing research collaboration with Gabrielle Bocchese da Cunha, MD, PhD, in Porto Alegr, on studies of infants at risk for poor behavioral and developmental outcome (e.g. preterm infants, infants with prenatal drug exposure), the role of the caregiving environment in mediating long-term outcome, and the development of intervention programs.

Simin Liu

Simin Liu

Professor of Epidemiology

Brown University School of Public Health, Department of Medicine (Endocrinology), Rhode Island Hospital

Dr. Liu's research focuses on chronic disease epidemiology and prevention. He has served as a scientific advisor for the World Health Organization and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's Global Health Initiative to combat chronic diseases in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Brazil and China.

Research areas: Public Health and Medicine

Richard Locke

Richard Locke

Howard Swearer Director of the Watson Institute for International Studies

Professor of Political Science

Richard Locke is the Howard R. Swearer Director of the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies and professor of political science at Brown University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on the political economy of labor and development, as well as on global entrepreneurship.

John R. Logan

John R. Logan

Professor of Sociology

Director of Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences

John Logan is an urban sociologist. He is collaborating with several Brazilian scholars to create mapped data for small neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, establishing constant boundaries for 2000 and 2010. These data will be used to analyze trends in neighborhood change and patterns of spatial inequality.

Research areas: Economic Development and Social Inclusion

Maria Mancebo

Maria Mancebo

Assistant Professor (Research), BioMed, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

Maria Mancebo is a clinical psychologist at Butler Hospital. Her current research is focused on improving mental health treatments for low-income populations. She is fluent in Portuguese, has experience working with Brazilian immigrants, and is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder research clinics at Butler Hospital and the University of São Paulo medical school.

Nicole McLaughlin

Clinical Neuropsychologist, Butler Hospital

Assistant Professor (Research), Alpert Medical School

Nicole McLaughlin is a clinical neuropsychologist at Butler Hospital.  Her research focuses on examining changes in neural connectivity after psychiatric neurosurgery for intractable obsessive-compulsive disorder.  She is a collaborator with colleagues at the University of Sao Paolo who are also active researchers in the area of neurosurgical interventions for severe OCD. 

Govind Menon

Govind Menon

Professor of Applied Mathematics

Govind Menon is a mathematician with interests in mathematical physics and nonlinear science. He collaborates with mathematicians at IMPA and PUC-Rio on problems in dynamical systems.

Jack Mustard

Jack Mustard

Professor of Geological Sciences

Jack Mustard studies how the Earth's surface is changing in response to natural and human forces and has an active research program investigating the agricultural frontier in Brazil using satellite imaging, field work and, in collaboration with colleagues, socio-economic analyses.

Research areas: Environmental Change

Nagavarapu

Sriniketh Nagavarapu

Assistant Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies

Professor Nagavarapu works on environmental and labor economics in developing countries. His research on Brazil, Mexico, and India has focused on understanding how local institutions manage natural resources and public service delivery, and how management effectiveness is shaped by market incentives and the nature of the institutions. 

Research areas: Economic Development and Social Inclusion

Christopher Neill

Christopher Neill

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Director, Brown-MBL Partnership

Director, The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory

Christopher Neill is an ecologist who conducts research on the effects of forest clearing and the intensification of crop agriculture on the atmosphere, soils and surface waters in the Brazilian Amazon.

Research areas: Environmental Change

Nicola Neretti

Nicola Neretti

Assistant Professor of Biology, Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry

Nicola Neretti studies genomics, epigenomics and the biology of aging. He is currently working on a collaborative project with the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, in Belo Horizonte, Brasil, to study how diet and age affect the human microbiome.

Amy Nunn

Amy Nunn

Assistant Professor of Public Health

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Nunn is the author of The Politics and History of AIDS Treatment in Brazil and has published numerous other articles about HIV/AIDS in Brazil. She is executive director of the Rhode Island Public Health Institute and runs a program to train Brown University students in community-engaged research.

Research areas: Public Health and Medicine

Keisha-Khan Y. Perry

Keisha-Khan Y. Perry

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies

Keisha-Khan Y. Perry teaches racial and gender politics in Brazil. Her book, Black Women against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil (2013), focuses on urban social movements against forced land evictions. She is currently working on an historical ethnography of Brazil, Jamaica and the US.

Research areas: Race, Ethnicity and Slavery

Wolfgang Peti

Wolfgang Peti

Associate Professor of Medical Science and Chemistry

Director, Structural Biology Core Facility

ADA Pathway Fellow

Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology

Department of Chemistry

Wolfgang Peti is a leader in the field of structural biology of protein phosphatases and their role in diabetes, cancer and neurological diseases. He has strong educational ties with Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, where he is involved in training graduate students and postdocs as well as mentoring of faculty.

Stephen Porder

Stephen Porder

Associate Professor of Biology

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies

Stephen Porder is a biogeochemist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He studies the nature and properties of tropical forests, and the consequences of converting those forests to intensive agriculture. His current work focuses on soybean agriculture in the state of Mato Grosso and the potential for restoration in the Mata Atlantica.

Research areas: Environmental Change

J. Timmons Roberts

J. Timmons Roberts

Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology

Timmons Roberts teaches about social elements of globalization and climate change, particularly their impacts on developing countries. He has researched Brazilian development and environment issues since 1988. He is author of Trouble in Paradise: Globalization and Environmental Crises in Latin America (2003), A Climate of Injustice (2007), and is currently completing a book for MIT Press on Latin America and climate change.

Research areas: Environmental Change

Felipe Rojas

Felipe Rojas

Assistant Professor of Archaeology

Joukowsky Institute

Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies

Felipe Rojas is a Mediterranean archaeologist. He is currently working on a book about how people in the past imagined their own past, and is interested in the impact, relevance, and uses of the classics and the ancient world in Brazil and Latin America.

Neil Safier

Neil Safier

Director of the John Carter Brown Library

Associate Professor of History

Neil Safier is director of the John Carter Brown Library. He is the author of Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America (2008). His current research relates to the environmental and ethnographic history of the Amazon River basin, and the circulation of ideas in the Atlantic world during the age of revolutions.

Research areas: History, Politics and Governance

Bjorn Sandstede

Bjorn Sandstede

Professor and Chair, Division of Applied Mathematics

Bjorn Sandstede is a coordinator of a partnership program between Brown University and the Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA), a leading mathematics research institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to promote exchanges, conferences, and research collaborations in the mathematical sciences.

John Sedivy

John Sedivy

Professor of Medical Science, Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry

John M. Sedivy teaches biology, specializing in genetics and genomics. His laboratory at the Alpert Medical School conducts basic research on the molecular processes of aging and cellular senescence. He is collaborating with Professor Nicola Neretti on the Brazil Initiative Research Grant entitled "Metagenomics of Aging and Age-Related Diseases".

Stephen J. Sheinkopf

Stephen J. Sheinkopf

Assistant Professor (Research) of Psychiatry and Human Behavior

Stephen Sheinkopf is a clinical and developmental psychologist whose research is focused on autism and developmental disabilities. His current work emphasizes neurobehavioral signs of risk for autism in early infancy. Dr. Sheinkopf is co-director of the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment.

Richard Snyder

Richard Snyder

Professor of Political Science

Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Richard Snyder is professor of Political Science and director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Brown. His research and teaching focus on Latin American and comparative politics.

Sobral

Patricia Sobral

Senior Lecturer in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

Patricia Sobral teaches Portuguese and Brazilian Studies. She is co-author of Ponto de Encontro, Viajando através do alfabeto and Mapeando a Língua Portuguesa através das Artes.  She offers courses on arts integration and language acquisition and on the representation of immigrants, exiles, and the displaced in contemporary literature.

Research areas: Literature, Language, and Culture

Derek Stein

Derek Stein

Associate Professor of Physics

Derek Stein's research interests are in soft condensed matter physics, particularly the study of nanofluidics and its applications to biomedical diagnostics. He collaborates with scholars from the University of Paraíba Valley, Brazil, to study the unique fluidic properties of the inorganic nanotubes they synthesize.

Shouheng Sun

Shouheng Sun

Professor of Chemistry

The Sun group focuses on chemical synthesis, surface modification, and assembly of functional nanoparticles for catalytic, energy, and biomedical applications.

Jim Tang

Jim Tang

Assistant Professor (MBL), Department of Geology

Assistant Scientist at Marine Biological Laboratory

Jim Tang is interested in global carbon and nitrogen cycling and the climate change impact on ecosystems including Amazon forests in Brazil.

David Targan

David Targan

Associate Dean for Science Programs

Adjunct Associate Professor of Physics

Director, Science Center

Director, Ladd Observatory

Campus Representative, Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (Ciência sem Fronteiras – CsF)

David Targan's scientific research area is astrophysics, though his primary areas of interest include science communication, STEAM (Science, Technology, Art and Mathematics), science education, and program assessment. He is interested in international science programs, and helping to connect students and faculty to research and other scholarly activities across political boundaries.

Gabriel Taubin

Associate Professor of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Engineering

Gabriel Taubin develops efficient, simple, and mathematically sound algorithms to capture and operate on 3D shapes, with applications in medicine, archaeology, surveillance and security, forensics, user-computer interaction, and reverse engineering. His research falls at the intersection of Applied Computational Geometry, Computer Graphics, Geometric Modeling, 3D Photography, and Computer Vision. 

Joshua Tucker

Joshua Tucker

Assistant Professor of Music

Joshua Tucker is an ethnomusicologist whose research focuses on popular music of South America. He is currently developing research projects about choro music in Belle Epoque Rio de Janeiro, and about the culture of instrument making in contemporary Brazil.

Research areas: Literature, Language, and Culture

Luiz F. Valente

Luiz F. Valente

Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and Comparative Literature

Luiz F. Valente specializes in Brazilian and Comparative Literature, and in Brazilian intellectual history. He is the author of Mundivivências: leituras comparativas de Guimarães Rosa and Ficção e história: convergências e contrastes, Among his current projects is a book on Euclides da Cunha tentatively entitled Ser/tão brasileiro: ensaios euclidianos.

Research areas: Literature, Language, and Culture

Peter van Dommelen

Peter van Dommelen

Joukowsky Family Professor of Archaeology

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

Peter van Dommelen is a Mediterranean archaeologist. He has published extensively on rural landscapes and the material dimensions of cultural contact, and is interested in the impact, relevance, and uses of the classics and the ancient world in Brazil and larger Latin America.

VanWey

Leah VanWey

Associate Professor of Sociology

Associate Director of the Population Studies and Training Center

Faculty Affiliate at the Environmental Change Initiative

Leah VanWey has over a decade of experience working in rural Brazil, starting with studies of small farmers, household demographics, and land use change. Her current research examines the impacts of the Belo Monte dam construction on environment and socioeconomic development in Pará and the sustainable development of large-scale agriculture at the cerrado-amazon transition zone.

Research areas: Environmental Change

Vieira

Nelson Vieira

University Professor and Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and Judaic Studies

Chair, Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

Professor Vieira’s research interests include literature, culture and ethnicity in late XIX - XXI Brazilian fiction. His current research focuses upon Brazil in world literature, contemporary Brazilian fiction, and literary translation.  

Research areas: Literature, Language, and Culture

Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro

Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro

Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of Political Science

Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro has a forthcoming book on clientelism and social policy in Argentina, and she has ongoing research projects that examine corruption and accountability in Brazil.

Research areas: History, Politics and Governance

Gary Wessel

Gary Wessel

Professor of Biology, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biochemistry

Gary M. Wessel is a Professor of Biology in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Brown University. He studies formation of stem cells responsible for making eggs and sperm and collaborates with Professor Isabel Ramos Ph.D. at the Instituto de Bioquímica Médica, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

Edward J. Wing

Edward J. Wing

Professor of Medicine, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Edward J. Wing, MD, is the former chair of the Department of Medicine and former dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences at Alpert Medical School. He is an infectious diseases specialist who helped establish Brown's international programs in Kenya, Ghana, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, as well as the Brown Global Health Initiative. He helped establish HIV research relations at the University of São Paulo's Medical School and consulted on the medical school curriculum.

Research areas: Public Health and Medicine

See-Chen Ying

See-Chen Ying

Professor of Physics

See-Chen Ying has collaborations with physicists in Brazil dating back to the 1970s. He has also trained a number of post-doctoral students who are now teaching and doing research in Brazil. Currently, he has a collaboration project with physicists in I.N.P.E on nanotribology and the transport of biomolecules.