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When Brazil's president Luiz Inácio 'Lula' da Silva was inaugurated in October 2002, he promised to enhance the country’s science capacity. Now top Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis is taking up the challenge himself.

In this article, Marcia L. Triunfol and Jeffrey Mervis chronicle how Nicolelis – an internationally famous neurologist – plans to create a scientific centre of excellence in Rio Grande del Norte, one of Brazil’s poorer states. The International Institute for Neuroscience of Natal, to include a mental health clinic, museum and elite school, aims to benefit local communities as well as national science.

Land, and some funding, are in place. But the institute could face an uphill struggle, given Brazil’s poor record on funding, stringent import regulations and, perhaps most significantly, its low global profile in science.

Link to full article in Science

Reference: Science 303, 1131 (2004)

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