Esper Abrao Cavalheiro

Esper Abrao Cavalheiro

MD, is Full Professor of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery of Escola Paulista de Medicina/Federal University of Sao Paulo. He is full member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the International League Against Epilepsy, International Bureau of Epilepsy and Vice-President of the São Paulo Academy of Sciences. He acted as President of the National Research Council of Brazil (CNPq) and Secretary for Policies and Programmes in Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and Technology. He has also acted as Dean for Graduate Studies and Coordinator of the Program in Neurology and Neuroscience at the Federal University of Sao Paulo. His research interests is focused in Neuroscience with special attention to the underlying mechanisms related to the main neurological disorders, area in which he has published more than 350 papers in specialized journals. He published 19 book chapters and edited 4 books. He trained 35 Master and 40 PhD students in Medicine and Physiology. He has earned 8 awards including the highest civilian badge of honor of Brazil, the Ordem do Barão do Rio Branco,and the Great Cross of the National Order of Scientific Merit. From 2005 to 2012 he was Advisor to the President of the Center for Strategic Planning and Studies (CGEE) where he coordinated prospective studies in several fields of science, technology and innovation. Since 2010 he is Chair of the Scientific Council of The Associationof Parents and Friends of People with Intellectual Disabilities from São Paulo (APAE). In the beginning of 2013 he hold the position of Dean of Institutional Planning of the Federal University of Sao Paulo.


Research interests

Pathophysiology of major neurological diseases
Our group has been dedicated for over 20 years in understanding the basic mechanisms underlying the major neurological disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. Thus, it was important the development of new experimental models that allow the establishment of a true multidisciplinary approach by the observation of genetic, structural, biochemical, electrophysiological and pharmacological changes in the neuronal environment that could, individually or jointly, be the cause of the clinical picture. More recently, and with the inclusion of a service medical and surgical treatment for people with epilepsy refractory to pharmacological treatment, it has been possible to establish a true translational analysis of issues related to this important human problem. In particular, these pathologies are studied in aspects related to the development and plasticity of the nervous system.


Selected papers

  1. Exercise paradigms to study brain injury recovery in rodents. Arida RM, Scorza FA, Gomes da Silva S, Cysneiros RM, Cavalheiro EA. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2011; 90:452-65.
  2. Morphological and electrophysiological properties of pyramidal-like neurons in the stratum oriens of Cornu ammonis 1 and Cornu ammonis 2 area of Proechimys. Scorza CA, Araujo BH, Leite LA, Torres LB, Otalora LF, Oliveira MS, Garrido-Sanabria ER, Cavalheiro EA. Neuroscience. 2011; 177:252-68.
  3. Stimulus and potassium-induced epileptiform activity in the human dentate gyrus from patients with and without hippocampal sclerosis. Gabriel S, Njunting M, Pomper JK, Merschhemke M, Sanabria ER, Eilers A, Kivi A, Zeller M, Meencke HJ, Cavalheiro EA, Heinemann U, Lehmann TN. J Neurosci. 2004; 24:10416-30.
  4. Long-term effects of pilocarpine in rats: structural damage of the brain triggers kindling and spontaneous recurrent seizures. Cavalheiro EA, Leite JP, Bortolotto ZA, Turski WA, Ikonomidou C, Turski L. Epilepsia. 1991;32:778-82.
  5. Long-term effects of intrahippocampal kainic acid injection in rats: a method for inducing spontaneous recurrent seizures. Cavalheiro EA, Riche DA, Le Gal La Salle G. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1982; 53:581-9.