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Renato M. E. Sabbatini

  Renato Marcos Endrizzi Sabbatini (born 20 February 1947) is a Brazilian biomedical and computer scientist, educator, publisher, science writer, entrepreneur and administrator, born in Campinas, Brazil. He holds a doctoral degree in physiology from the University of São Paulo.

His main contributions as a researcher and publisher concern the following areas[1]: neuroethology; medical informatics; health sciences; internet and web applications in medicine, biology and health; artificial intelligence; artificial neural networks; distance education and e-learning; telemedicine; biological and health impacts of non-ionizing radiation and .

He is currently the president of the Edumed Institute, a non-profit R&D institution and director of Edulogica Educação & Tecnologia, a consultant and commercial enterprise specializing in distance education.


Research and education

Dr. Sabbatini began his scientific career in neurophysiology in 1966, while he was a medical student at the Medical School of the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto [2]. He began to work in basic biomedical research under the supervision of Prof. Miguel Rolando Covian, an Argentine neurophysiologist, who encouraged him to found, after he graduated in 1968, the first research laboratory of neuroethology in Latin America[3], at the Department of Physiology. Also there, he started in 1970 one of the first Brazilian and Latin American groups of research, development and education on the computer applications in biomedicine. Sabbatini got a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience in 1977 and immediately thereafter went to spend two and a half years doing postdoctoral work in the same field at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology's Primate Behavior Department (in Munich, Germany), under Dr. Manfred Maurus.

After returning to Brazil, Dr. Sabbatini accepted an invitation by Dean Prof. José Aristodemo Pinotti, to move to the State University of Campinas in 1983, Sabbatini founded the Center for Biomedical Informatics, one of the first interdisciplinary group of its kind in Brazil [4], and a collaborating professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and in the Department of Physiology of the Institute of Biology. In 1997, he created and was appointed chairman of the newly created area of medical informatics and biostatistics in the Medical School[5]. In these capacities, until his retirement from active duty with the University after 35 years of dedication to teaching and research, Sabbatini advised many students in their research projects and dissertations. He also wrote a large number of papers and books in many fields, and created a series of new graduate courses and disciplines in biomedical computing, artificial intelligence, distance education, electronic publishing, Internet applications and telemedicine.

Starting in 1993, with the advent of the WWW in Brazil, Sabbatini became a leader in the research of new technologies and in the development of a large number of on-line courses in health sciences, using videoconferencing, satellite-based teleconferencing and the internet[6]. He has worked intensively in building teaching capacity in this field in Brazil and was a member of the first Distance Education Working Group of the State University of Campinas[7]. He also founded the Edumed Institute for Education in Medicine and Health, working until this day as CEO and Chairman of the Board, and director of its International Center for Information Technologies in Health. The Edumed Institute has organized a national consortium comprising dozens of universities and medical associations with the aim of developing a national network of distance education.

Dr. Sabbatini's initiatives in technological innovation in Brazil has been recognized several times, including, in August 2007, by Info Exame Magazine's shortlist on the "50 Champions of Innovation" of 2007[8]

Organizational work

Sabbatini was one of the specialists in Brasil to promote the birth of medical informatics as a new science, being involved in the creation of the Brazilian Society for Health Informatics (where he served as first vice-president, 1986-1987 and second president, 1987-1988 [9]), the Brazilian Journal of Health Informatics, and the First Brazilian Congress on Health Informatics, and the series of International Conferences on Telemedicine and Distance Education (TELMED). Among other things, he created and edited three other periodicals in medical informatics, Informedica, Intermedic and Informatica Médica magazines, served as Medical Informatics Director to the Brazilian Medical Association and as a national and international consultant to the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization[10], Inter-American Development Bank[11], São Paulo State Research Foundation, National Research Council and others.

Entrepreneurial work

Together with family members, Sabbatini founded a number of high-tech companies in Germany and Brazil, working as a part-time consultant for them while he was an university-based researcher, and as CEO and chairman of the board for two of them after his retirement. These companies were Vortex GMBH (one of the first European software producer for the TRS-80 microcomputer), Dataquest Ltd. (publishing and education in IT), Webpraxis International Ltd. (consultancy and development projects for the Web) and EduLogica Technology and Education Ltd. (distance education and educational technology). He also helped to conceive, plan and establish other companies, such as ProfSat.

Popularization of science

Dr. Sabbatini has a long history of writing about science to laypersons, having started with articles and columns in major Brazilian magazines and newspapers, such as Folha de São Paulo and O Estado de São Paulo. From 1991 to 2001, he wrote a series of weekly science and informatics columns in the main newspaper of Campinas, Correio Popular. For this effort, he won the prestigious 1992 award of the Brazilian National Research Council, as the Best Science Popularizer (Prêmio José Reis de Divulgação Científica) [12]. He has taught and lectured extensively on science journalism (graduate program at UNICAMP [13]) and is active in this professional field.

Electronic publishing

Starting 1996, Sabbatini created with his colleagues in the State University of Campinas a number of websites devoted to promote the awareness of general public to health-related information, such as, among others: the Brazilian Virtual Hospital (the third of its kind in the world), the Virtual Sports Center [14], the Brazilian Virtual Veterinary Hospital, the Virtual Odontology Center, the Visible Human Image Database in South America [15], the Health & Life On-line Magazine, the Brain & Mind On-Line Magazine, the NutriWeb On-Line Magazine, several bulletins and newsletter distributed by email lists. He created and acted as technical director to the first Brazilian project of scientific electronic publishing, the e*pub Group, where several pioneering, exclusively on-line publications were created under his technical direction, such as the On-Line Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the On-Line Journal of Dentistry and Oral Medicine. Dr. Sabbatini is a member of the editorial board of Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering[16]

History of neuroscience

Another field where Dr. Sabbatini has been active is the history of neuroscience. He organized for the first time in Brazil a systematic course on the subject [17] and is associate editor of the section on the history of neuroscience in the Brain & Mind magazine[18], having published nine articles on different aspects of international history[19]. A book, the first in Brazil, is being published in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Skeptics movement

One of the founders of the organized skepticism/rationalism movement in Brazil, Dr. Sabbatini founded in 2001 the Brazilian Society of Skeptics and Rationalists, which has currently more than 300 members [20]. The Society discusses actively and promotes ethical responsibility in the mass media. It has a website, which features on-line articles on pseudoscience, antiscience and skepticism by Dr. Sabbatini and others, and has a web-based discussion group.

Affiliations to learned societies

  • Brazilian Society of Physiology, member and Secretary General (1982-1985) [21]
  • Brazilian Society for Health Informatics, founding member, vice-president (1986-1988), president (1988-1990) and secretary (1993-1995)
  • Brazilian Medical Association, director of informatics
  • Brazilian Association of Distance Education, member and director of Campinas Chapter
  • Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science
  • Brazilian Society of Biological Psychiatry, director of informatics
  • Americal Medical Informatics Association
  • American Telemedicine Association

Selected publications

Health informatics

  • Sabbatini, R.M.E.: A multilayered neural network for processing 2D tomographic images in neurosurgery. Proceed. Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, IEEE, 1992
  • Ortiz J., Ghefter C.G., Silva C.E., Sabbatini R.M.E.: One-year mortality prognosis in heart failure: a neural network approach based on echocardiographic data. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1995 Dec;26(7):1586-93. PMID 7594090
  • Sabbatini, R.M.E.; Cardoso, S.H.: The Virtual Hospital, Electronic Publications and the Visible Human: New Paradigms for Health Education. Proceed. Regional Conference on Health Information Systems, p. 128-137, São Paulo, BIREME, 1996. (In Portuguese)
  • Sabbatini, R.M.E.: Using neural networks for processing biologic signals. MD Comput. 1996 Mar-Apr;13(2):165-72. PMID 8684280
  • Da Costa, C.G.A. & Sabbatini, R.M.E.: A Survey of Software Engineering Practices in the Development of Electronic Patient Record Systems. Proceed. AMIA Annu. Meet. (In PDF)
  • Cardoso, S.H.; Sabbatini, R.M.E.: "Brain & Mind" Magazine: An On-Line Multimedia Resource for Dissemination and Evaluation of Knowledge in Neuroscience. Proceed. AMIA Annu. Meet. (In PDF)
  • Carvalho, P.M.; Sabbatini, R.M.E. Integrating the Teaching of Informatics to Medical Students in a Problem-Based Learning Undergraduate Course. Proceed. AMIA Annu. Meet. (In PDF)
  • Botelho, M.L.; Araújo, L.; Sabbatini, R.M.E.: A Neural-Network Based System on the World Wide Web for Prognosis and Indication of Surgery in Head and Brain Trauma. Proceed. AMIA Annu. Meet., 1997 (In PDF)
  • Quaresma, R.P.; Sabbatini, R.M.E.; Cardoso, S.H.; Ortale, J.R.: Adding Java and CGI Functionality to an On-Line Atlas of Anatomy for Medical Education. Proceed. AMIA Annu. Meet., 1997 (In PDF)
  • Palombo, C.R. Maccari-Filho, M.; Sabbatini, R.M.E. and Halstead, C.L.: The Virtual Dental Center: Resource for Research and Education on the WWW. Proceed. AMIA Annu. Meet., 1997 (In PDF)
  • Sabbatini, R.M.E.; Cardoso, S.H.: Interdisciplinarity and the Neurosciences. Interdisciplinary Science Review, 27(4) Dec 2002, pp. 303-311.
  • Sabbatini, R.M.E.; Cardoso, S.H.: Internet-2 Based Tele/Videoconferencing for Distance Medical Education: The EduMed. Net Project. AMIA Annual Meeting (in PDF).
  • Cardoso, S.H.; Sabbatini, R.M.E.: On-line Resources for a WWW-based Continued Education Curriculum on Behavioral Neurobiology. AMIA Annual Meeting (in PDF).
  • Sabbatini, R.M.E.: The Brazilian Virtual Hospital. A Case in e-Health. In: Knight, P. et al.: e-Democracy in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro: Pearson Educational, 2003. (In Portuguese).
  • Sabbatini, R.M.E. & Cardoso, S.H.: A Distance Interactive Course on the History of Neuroscience. Abstr. Annu. Meet. Soc. Neurosci. (SFN 2003), New Orleans, LA, USA, Nov. 2003.
  • Lopes da Silva, J.V.; Santa Bárbara, A.; Cardoso, S.H.; Sabbatini, R.M.E. and Coimbra, N.C.: Construction of 3D Anatomical Models in Polymer Using Selective Laser Sintering - A New Method for Teaching Human Anatomy, Proc. VIII International Conference on Nursing Informatics. Rio de Janeiro, June 2003.
  • Sabbatini, R.M.E. Internet Health Applications in Brazil. In: Sosa-Iudicissa, M. et al. (Eds). Internet, Telematics and Health. IOP Press, 1997. Excerpt at Google Books
  • Sabbatini, R.M.E. - Applications of connectionist systems in Biomedicine. In: Lun, K.C.; Degoulet, P. & Piemme, T. (Eds.) - Proceed. 7th World Congress on Medical Informatics (MEDINFO 92). p. 418-425, 1992.


  • Sabbatini RM. A head-mounted stereotaxic platform with movable electrodes for intracerebral exploration. Braz J Med Biol Res. 1982 Apr;15(1):65-71. PMID 6758889
  • The PET Scan: A New Window Into the Brain. Brain & Mind Magazine, March/May 1997.
  • Phrenology: The History of Brain Localization. Brain & Mind Magazine, March/May 1997.
  • The History of Psychosurgery. Brain & Mind Magazine, June/August 1997.
  • Radiosurgery. Brain & Mind Magazine', June/August 1997.
  • Mapping the Brain. Brain & Mind Magazine, September/November 1997.
  • The History of Shock Therapy in Psychiatry. Brain & Mind Magazine, December 1997/February 1998.
  • The Discovery of Bioelectricity. Brain & Mind Magazine, June/August 1998.
  • The Psychopath's Brain. Brain & Mind Magazine, September/November 1998.
  • Imitation of Life: The History of the First Robots. Brain & Mind Magazine, June/August 1999.
  • Placebo Effect: The Power of the Sugar Pill. Brain & Mind Magazine, June/August 1999.
  • Learning Who is Your Mother. The Behavior of Imprinting. Brain & Mind Magazine, 14: Nov.2001-March 2002
  • The Evolution of Human Intelligence. Brain & Mind Magazine, 12 (February-May 2001) and 13 (August-November 2001)
  • The Animal that Weeps. Cerebrum Magazine, 2003
  • Neurons and Synapses. The History of its Discovery. Brain & Mind Magazine, 17: March 2003

See also

  • Instituto Edumed para Educação em Medicina e Saúde
  • Center for Biomedical Informatics
  • Brazilian Society for Health Informatics
  • Brazilian Journal of Health Informatics
  • Brazilian Society of Skeptics and Rationalists
  • Edulogica Educação & Tecnologia


  1. ^ Certified curriculum vitae, National Council of Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil
  2. ^ History of the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto
  3. ^ Site of the Neuroethology Lab, Dept. Physiology, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto
  4. ^ Biomedical Informatics Center, Central UNICAMP Archives
  5. ^ Timeline of 40 Years of UNICAMP, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas
  6. ^ Report on Distance Education COnference at UNICAMP
  7. ^ Report of the Distance Education Working Group, State University of Campinas
  8. ^ "50 Champions of Innovation" of 2007
  9. ^ History of the Brazilian Society of Health Informatics
  10. ^ Telemedicine and Telehealth Will Be Part of the WHO Strategy for Health for All 2000. Medical Informatics Magazine News, 1(3), May 1998
  11. ^ BID Places Health on the Super Information Highways. Medical Informatics Magazine News, 1(1), Jan 1998
  12. ^ Official List of Awardees, José Reis Award, CNPq
  13. ^ LABJOR/UNICAMP: Docents of the 1999 Class in Scientific Journalism
  14. ^ List of collaborators, Virtual Sports Center
  15. ^ NIB Participates in the Visible Human Database Project. Medical Informatics Magazine News, 2(3), March 1999
  16. ^ Editorial Board of Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering
  17. ^ On-Line Course on the History of Neuroscience
  18. ^ Brain & Mind Magazine Staff
  19. ^ Section of History of Neuroscience, Brain & Mind Magazine
  20. ^ History of the Brazilian Society of Skeptics and Rationalists
  21. ^ List of former directors, Brazilian Society of Physiology

Also: Search Pubmed, Google Scholar or Search Google for references to Dr. Renato M.E. Sabbatini.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Renato_M._E._Sabbatini". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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