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“In Memoriam” – Rosa Maria Rodrigues Pereira (1958 – 2022)

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Rosa Maria Rodrigues Pereira, Professor of Rheumatology at the University of São Paulo, died on October 3, 2022, aged 63. It is an irreparable loss for everyone who worked and lived with her young, restless and fraternal spirit. But it is also time to turn sadness into strength to celebrate her personal and scientific legacy.

Rosa graduated in Medicine in 1982 from the University of São Paulo Medical School, where she also held a Medical Residency in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology (1983–1986), Master´s (1990) and Doctorate (1996) in Rheumatology. She subsequently did postdoctoral studies at the Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center at the University of Connecticut (1998–2001) and became an Associate Professor in 2005. Finally, crowning her brilliant scientific career, she became Full Professor of Rheumatology at the University of São Paulo in 2014.

A deep advocate of multidisciplinary medical care and the joint work of different medical specialties, she was also Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at her institution between 2016 and 2020, after coordinating its Teaching Commission for several years. In this spirit of sharing knowledge, she coordinated and actively participated at the monthly meetings of the Department of Internal Medicine for over a decade until her death. In another important activity to train young rheumatologists, she was always seen weekly visiting the hospitalized rheumatologic patients along with the residents during the last three decades.

Her rheumatological areas of interest included pediatric rheumatology, vasculitis and mainly osteometabolic diseases. At a time when the study of bone metabolism was still beginning to arouse its interest, she created and directed the Laboratory of Osteometabolism at the University of São Paulo with great dedication. In her solid academic trajectory, she has published 370 scientific papers, 85 book chapters, 8 books and won more than 80 national and international awards, attesting to the excellence of her work. In addition to the important contributions to Brazilian Rheumatology, wining the Luiz Vertzman Award and the Edgar Atra Award twice each, Rosa has served on the board of several international scientific journals, currently being, among others, on the International Advisory Board of The Lancet Rheumatology and as Regional Editor of Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

The covid19 pandemic has drastically affected Brazil. In these difficult times, she acted firmly in maintaining the operation of the Hospital das Clínicas of the University of São Paulo, as well as in encouraging the virtual activities of our institution, reinforcing the spirit of the entire team. Even when her health began to deteriorate, she was always active in scientific pursuits, continuing to guide her numerous postgraduate students with her traditional rigor to the end.

Rosa was married to Ricardo, a companion for many years and a great supporter of her professional career. She had in her family a reference of life an immeasurable personal and professional acceptance. She always had a crowd of advisees, which included 49 master students, 91 doctoral students, 22 scientific initiation students and 7 postdoctoral students, who always constituted a noisy group of young people around her at all meetings.

In conclusion, she lived an intense scientific life, spreading the rheumatological knowledge and making countless friends during the last four decades. At the last congress she attended, the Brazilian Congress of Rheumatology 2022, three weeks before she passed away, many friends commented that, despite her fragile physical appearance, she was radiant with all she had achieved. This was Rosa, a friend and rheumatologist who will always be missed!

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Correspondence to Eloísa Bonfa.

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On behalf of all friends and colleagues of the Division of Rheumatology, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo (FMUSP), São Paulo, Brasil.

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Bonfa, E., Sampaio-Barros, P. “In Memoriam” – Rosa Maria Rodrigues Pereira (1958 – 2022). Adv Rheumatol 62, 36 (2022).

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