Oral history interview with Carlos T. Moraes

Oral history interview with Carlos T. Moraes

  • 2001-Mar-13 – 2001-Mar-15

Carlos T. Moraes grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, one of three children. His father was in the military at first, but then became a mechanical engineer and a professor. His mother completed a degree in physical education. He discusses some of his childhood activities, which he says were much like those of American children's, and some of his memories of his private-school education. After assessing the value of his education at a private school he discusses his reasons for attending Escola Paulista de Medicina and describes some of his college experiences. Moraes then pursued a master's degree; he explored several career options after his internship, including a course at the Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquimicas Fundacion Campomar, where he worked under Armando J. Parodi. He eventually enrolled in a doctoral program at Columbia University, where he worked in the Eric A. Schon lab. Moraes's decision to come to Miami was abetted by his love of windsurfing. He professes no religion, but in his youth was involved in Pró-Vida; he feels that one can define God to be compatible with science. Moraes continues with his first impressions of the United States; his admiration for Alex Tzagoloff; obtaining dual citizenship; the shortage of American students in American science; and his funding history. He talks about the grant-writing process, explaining why he believes that he writes better than he speaks. Lab management for him includes the difficulties of article writing in a lab with many native languages. Moraes's administrative duties are substantial, but he has few teaching responsibilities. He compares American and Brazilian graduate students in medicine; discusses the ethnic makeup of graduate students at the University of Miami; describes a typical workday; again talks about his love of windsurfing; and gives us his thoughts on the underrepresentation of women on science faculties. A major reason for Moraes attending Columbia University was his fascination with mitochondrial abnormalities. He accepted a position at University of Miami to study mitochondrial diseases; he also has devised some related projects and possible applications of his DNA mutation studies. He discusses the advantages and disadvantages of being a principal investigator and of competition and collaboration in science. Moraes explains his thoughts about ethical issues in science; his concerns about overpopulation; and his thoughts about the use of animals in scientific research. Moraes concludes the interview with an assessment of his professional and personal achievement and an intimation of his future plans.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 90 pages
  • 4 h 47 m 41 s
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Physical location

Oral history number 0532

Interviewee biographical information

  • July 17, 1962
  • São Paulo, Brazil


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1983 Escola Paulista de Medicina BA Biomedical Sciences
1987 Escola Paulista de Medicina MSc Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1991 Columbia University MA Genetics and Development
1993 Columbia University PhD Genetics and Development

Professional Experience

University of Miami. School of Medicine

  • 1993 to 1995 Research Assistant Professor
  • 1995 to 1997 Assistant Professor
  • 1997 to 2002 Associate Professor


Year(s) Award
1993 The Samuel W. Rover and Lewis Rover Award for Research in Genetics and Development
1995 to 1999 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

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PDF — 867 KB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

9 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads