Int. J. Dev. Biol. In Press
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.200141fz
© UPV/EHU Press

Building the embryo of developmental biology in Uruguay

Flavio R. Zolessi1,2, Nibia Berois1, M. Mónica Brauer3, Estela Castillo4

1Sección Biología Celular, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Uruguay, 2Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, Uruguay, 3Laboratorio de Biología Celular, Departamento de Neurofarmacología Experimental, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Uruguay and 4Sección Bioquímica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

ABSTRACT In Uruguay, a country with a small population, and hence a small scientific community, there were no classical embryologists as such in the past. From the decade of 1950, however, a cumulus of favorable conditions gave rise to highly active and modern research groups in the fields of cytology and physiology, that eventually contributed to developmental biology. The advent of a long dictatorship between de 1970’s and 1980’s caused two things: a strong lag in local research and the migration of young investigators who learned abroad new disciplines and technologies. The coming back to democracy allowed for the return of some, now as solid researchers, and together with those who stayed, built a previously inexistent postgraduate training program and a globally-integrated academy that fostered diversity of research disciplines, including developmental biology. In the present work we highlight the key contribution of pioneer researchers and the significant role played by academic and funding national institutions in the growth and consolidation of developmental biology in our country.

Keywords:

history of science, cytology, development, scientific collaboration

*Corresponding author e-mail: fzolessi@fcien.edu.uy