Obituary notice: Dr. Bodo Wanke

Professor Dr. Bodo Wanke, Head Researcher of the Institute, Emeritus Researcher at Fiocruz, Coordinator of the National Reference Laboratory for Systemic Mycoses (CGLAB/SVS/MS) and Director of INI from 1994 to 1997, died today in Rio de Janeiro victim of COVID-19.



Professor Bodo graduated in medicine at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where he specialized , became a physician and obtained the title of Doctor in Infectious and Parasitic Diseases. With a scholarship from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD, Germany, he specialized in Medical Mycology at the Universität Freiburg, UNI FREIBURG, Germany and in Tropical Medicine and Medical Parasitology in Berna at the Universität Hamburg, UH, Germany.

He joined the Oswaldo Cruz Institute/Fiocruz in 1980 and in 1986 he moved to the Evandro Chagas Hospital (HEC), now the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectology/Fiocruz, where he created the Medical Mycology Laboratory and developed his entire brilliant career of Researcher and Professor, where he achieved wide national and international recognition. Under his leadership, the INI/Fiocruz Mycology Laboratory became a National Reference Laboratory and plays a strategic role in the Unified Health System, in the diagnosis of deep mycoses, development of innovative diagnostic techniques and training of professionals throughout the world.

National Honorary Member of the National Academy of Medicine (ANM) and of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM), Professor Bodo Wanke had as main focus of his research the systemic mycoses (Paracoccidioidomycosis, Histoplasmosis) , Coccidioidomycosis and Cryptococcosis) and opportunistic (Candidiasis, Aspergillosis, Mucormycosis, Hyalohyphomycosis and Pheohyphomycosis) and their respective agents. In the study of these mycoses, he worked directed towards the Ecoepidemiology of mycoses and their respective agents; clinical and laboratory diagnosis, specific and non-specific treatment and surveillance.

The identification and description of the coccidioidomycosis microepidemic in the semiarid region of Piauí, including the isolation for the first time of the fungus Coccidioides immitis/C. posadasii was one of Professor Bodos most outstanding achievements. Among his contributions to the work in Piauí was the leadership of the Graduate Program created jointly by the Federal University of Piauí and Fiocruz. The professor had a special appreciation for the work in Piauí, developed with great satisfaction, dedication and love. As he did everywhere he worked, Bodo established a wide network of collaborators in Piauí and made many friends there and received the title of citizen of Piauí, a tribute he was very proud of.

Throughout his career, Professor Bodo Wanke has developed important knowledge in the area of mycology, developed important National and International collaborations and contributed to the training of hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students across the country, making an outstanding contribution to excellence the Stricto Sensu Postgraduate Program in Clinical Research in Infectious and Parasitic Diseases at INI/Fiocruz and the Stricto Sensu Postgraduate Program in Tropical Medicine at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute.

Professor Bodo Wake, affectionately called “Bodo” by his friends, co-workers, collaborators and students, will always be remembered not only for his excellence as a Researcher and Professor, but especially for his humility, generosity, integrity and affection for people. He has always inspired us and will continue to inspire us to be better people every day.

Professor Bodo Wanke was 80 years old. He leaves his wife Márcia Lazera, who is also a renowned researcher at INI, and two children, Bruna and Peter.

Valdiléa G. Veloso