UNICAMP graduate receives prestigious American fellowship

Antonio Henrique Berno Zanutto has been named a McDonnell International Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis. Zanutto earned two degrees from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), which is one of 27 premier universities from around the world partnered with Washington University in the McDonnell International Scholars Academy.

The McDonnell Academy provides an opportunity for talented international graduate and professional students to join the Washington University community.

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“It is wonderful to have Antonio Zanutto as one of the first McDonnell Academy Scholars from our partner, the State University of Campinas,” says McDonnell International Scholars Academy Director James V. Wertsch, PhD, associate vice chancellor for international affairs and the Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.

“Brazil is one of the most impressive and dynamic societies in the world today, and having Antonio in the Academy promises to add a great deal to the global discussions we are having.”

Zanutto, who earned a bachelor of science in applied and computational mathematics and a PEng in computer engineering from UNICAMP, is pursuing a doctorate in biomedical engineering at Washington University.

While at UNICAMP, he co-founded in 2008 Curso Exato, a community project that focuses on providing support in mathematics, physics and chemistry to students with low grades.

Seeing that students with low income didn’t have the same opportunities to get into college, Zanutto’s program supported classes to help them pass a college or university entrance examination.

He served as a volunteer teacher in Curso Exato. Today, the project is funded through Community Affairs at UNICAMP, with a staff of more than 30 and hundreds of student volunteers.

He was a teaching assistant in the calculus course at UNICAMP’s Mathematics Institute for two years, helping and assisting both students and professors.

In 2002, he was elected a junior alderman of the city of Santo Anastácio, working with other students elected junior aldermen and the city’s aldermen while learning about the legislative process.

“I have an interest in excelling as a professional in my area and I believe that Washington University, due to its proven academic excellence, can help me achieve this goal,” Zanutto says.

“Besides that, I intend to learn and work with people from several different areas and thus learn different points of view, allowing me to work cooperatively to solve common or complex problems, generating as a consequence positive returns to society.”

The McDonnell International Scholars Academy is a program for future global leaders to obtain PhD or master’s degrees. Employing an unusual approach, it brings together top scholars from Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America to pursue world-class education and research while forging a strong network with one another.

Key to this are partnerships Washington University has established with top universities and corporations around the world with an eye to increasing opportunities for joint research and global education.

The McDonnell Academy Scholars are expected to be future global leaders. As such, they are provided not only with a rigorous graduate education, but also with cultural and social activities designed to prepare them as leaders knowledgeable about the United States, other countries and critical international issues.

Academy Ambassador

Once selected for this highly competitive program, each Academy Scholar is matched with a distinguished member of the Washington University faculty who serves as a mentor and also as an Academy “Ambassador” to the university partner from which the Scholar has graduated.

The Academy Ambassador assists the McDonnell Scholar in academic and professional life and travels annually with the Scholar to the partner university to build relationships between the two institutions.

Matthew J. Ellis, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is Zanutto’s faculty mentor-ambassador.

Ellis has received American Board of Internal Medicine certification in medical oncology. His primary research interests include the identification of genes that affect responses and resistance to endocrine therapy in patients with breast cancer.

He is also a member of several National Cancer Institute review panels, journal editorial committees and advisory boards, and has published more than 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as authoring more than 20 book chapters and review articles in oncology.

After obtaining his medical degree at Cambridge University and doctorate at the University of London, he completed his professional training at hospitals in the United Kingdom and the United States. Ellis visits Brazil frequently and has already been active in building the presence of Washington University at UNICAMP.

The McDonnell Academy

The McDonnell Academy Scholars receive funding for full tuition and living expenses for the time it takes to get a degree at Washington University. The Academy also provides support for an annual trip back to the Scholar’s alma mater. Many of the Scholars reside in two fully equipped and furnished apartment buildings near campus.

Funding is provided through a sustaining endowment gift from John F. McDonnell, vice chair of WUSTL’s Board of Trustees and retired chairman of the board of McDonnell Douglas Corp.

Additional support comes from 22 multinational corporations, foundations and individual sponsors. Sponsoring corporations also offer internships and on-site educational opportunities for the Academy’s Corporate Fellows.