The René Rachou Research Center engages in the formation of Master’s and Doctoral students for a long time. In the 1970’s, the initiative was spearheaded by Professor Zigman Brener, through an agreement signed with UFMG. Since then, and even though the Center did not have its own Program until the early 2000’s, CPqRR has always hosted students from Graduate programs of partner Institutions, being the majority from UFMG, PUC and FIOCRUZ’s units in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2001, CPqRR presented to CAPES a proposal for the creation of its own ((Graduate Program in Health Sciences (GPHS). The program would be evaluated by the Multidisciplinary committee at CAPES, due to the diversity of areas and competencies of the Centers’ researchers, represented in the three concentration areas originally proposed for the Program:
? Public Health (PH)
? Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB)
? Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (IPD)
CAPES approved the Program’s creation, and in 2003 the first Master’s and Doctoral classes were admitted.

During the Program’s first year, it was observed that there was a predominant concentration of biomedical projects, and that interdisciplinary studies represented only 15% of all projects being developed, what led to the decision to transfer the Program to the Medicine II evaluation committee at CAPES. In this committee there is a higher affinity of proposals, fields of interest and research lines, thus their evaluation would be more adequate. Therefore, once the transfer was concluded, on its first triennial evaluation by CAPES, the Program demonstrated all its potential and reached the ((score of 5.

In 2011, eight years after its creation, the Program was reformed. The old concentration area on Public Health was transformed in the new Graduate Program on Public Health. The division was the result of two demands that could not be met neither by the Graduate Program on Health Sciences nor by any other Graduate program on the State of Minas Gerais:

((1. The increase in the number of candidates for the concentration area of Public Health.
((2. The need for training qualified personnel for the Health System of Minas Gerais and in particular to the School of Public Health of Minas Gerais (ESP-MG). This demand was formally expressed by means of a technical cooperation agreement between FIOCRUZ and the Secretary of Health of the State of Minas Gerais through its School of Public Health, signed at the end of 2010 (Technical Cooperation Agreement FIOCRUZ / ESP-MG 001/2010).

The Graduate Program on Health Sciences is going through a moment of transition to adjust to its new format. Thus, for those students enrolled until 2015, the Program offers two concentration areas:
? Cellular and Molecular Biology;
? Infectious and Parasitic Diseases.

For those students enrolling from 2016 onwards, the Program will offer three concentration areas:
? Cellular and molecular biology, genetics and bioinformatics (CMB-GB)
? Infectious and parasitic diseases & chronicle non-transmissible diseases (IPD-CNTD)
? Pathogen transmitters (PT)
The need for reformatting reflects the Program’s evolution and its protagonism at both regional and national levels. This recognition was confirmed by CAPES’ last evaluation in which it was considered a ((level 6 Program, a score reserved for programs that offer an international excellence standard.

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