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Pavan was born to a family of second-generation immigrants from Italy in 1919, in the city of Campinas, São Paulo state, Brazil. His great-grandfather was an expert in textile paints and a fanatical anarchist, who was frequently persecuted and imprisoned in Italy as well in Brazil for his political activism. As a boy, he wished first to follow a career in engineering, by influence of his father's porcelain manufacturing plant at Mogi das Cruzes, but changed radically when he had the opportunity, in high school, to attend a lecture by noted French physician and professor André Dreyfus and the projection of the movie "The Story of Louis Pasteur", with Oscar Awards-winning actor Paul Muni in the main role.
Following Dreyfus' advice, he enrolled in 1938 in the course of natural history at the University of São Paulo, continuing to work in biological research under his mentor. His doctoral thesis was also completed in the same institution, on the subject of the blind cave fish Typhlobagrus kronci. He also accepted in 1942 a position as assistant professor at the University of São Paulo, becoming shortly thereafter a full professor, a position he held until his retirement in 1978.
In 1942, Pavan became involved in a pioneering research project on the genetics, taxonomy and ecology of Drosophila fruit flies, financed by the Rockefeller Foundation under the direction of the noted Russian-American biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky. Both subjects became Pavan's lifelong research interest and the source of his international recognition. In particular, Dr. Pavan introduced into biology the cytogenetical study of Rhynchosciara angelae, a fly which is noted for its giant chromosomes, thus facilitating the determination of the loci of genes. He and his collaborators were among the first to prove that the structure of genes and chromosomes was not fixed and could be changed by infections.
In 1966, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee, U.S., invited Dr. Pavan to establish a laboratory for further investigations on cellular genetics, and Dr. Pavan moved to the States, where he remained until 1975. In 1968 he accepted an invitation to become a tenured full professor at the University of Texas at Austin, in Austin, Texas. He returned to Brazil in 1975, and, after officially retiring from his post at the University of São Paulo, he accepted a position of full professor at the recently founded State University of Campinas, in Campinas, working as departmental chairman and dean of the Instituto de Biologia da Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Institute of Biology) until a second retirement. He is an emeritus professor at both universities.
As a scientific leader, Dr. Pavan has been very influential and became involved in the main developments of science and technology in Brazil in the second half of the 20th century. He was a president of the National Research Council (CNPq) from 1986 to 1990, a president of the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science from 1980 to 1986 (a critical period for the redemocratization of the country, when the Society played a very important role in the civil resistance to the military government).
Dr. Pavan has been internationally recognized by many memberships to learned societies, decorations, medals and awards from several countries. He is one of the few Brazilians who is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Internationally he is also a member of the Third World Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences of Lisbon, Physiographic Academy of Lund, and Academy of Sciences of Chile. In Brazil, he is a member of Brazilian Academy of Sciences, one of the founders of the Academy of Sciences of São Paulo, the Academy of Medicine of São Paulo, Academy of Letters of São Paulo and Academy of Education of São Paulo.
He was one of the founders of the Brazilian Society of Genetics and one of its presidents.
Currently Dr. Pavan lives in São Paulo City and is involved in several activities related to the public understanding of science. He is one of the founders and director of the Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica, and scientifically is still active in research on the biological control of agricultural plagues.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Crodowaldo_Pavan". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|