Graduate in Medicine by the University of São Paulo (USP), with a postdoctoral training at Oxford University, UK. He was the President of the University of S. Paulo, President of the National Research Council (CNPq), and State Health Secretary. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). His main research interests are the hereditary anemias, human population genetics, molecular oncology and stem cells. In 2018 he became the President of the Research Foundation of the State of S. Paulo (FAPESP), which supports research in all areas of knowledge. The Foundation supports long term research in biodiversity, global climate changes, renewable energy and the Amazon.