Who I am?

Camila Maciel

MD, Ph.D

CEO

I think this is a difficult question not only for me. 

I am Camila Maciel de Oliveira, Carol and Karen’s eldest sister. We were raised in a small town, Baependi, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, where we studied in a great school. My parents worked hard to make sure we went to good universities, and we made it. I am a physician, Carol is a psychologist, and Karen is a veterinary doctor. At school, Carol was the smartest, Karen was fine, and I tried to survive in a traditional school system. For me, it was a huge challenge to get good scores. I am a creative person, so I like to learn by building projects and thinking solutions, but the school system did not allow me to explore my potential to the fullest.

 

When I was 14, I realized that understanding how hormones influence different kinds of cells was my passion: it all sounded like magic! At that time, I decided I would be an Endocrinologist. Of course, I changed my mind a lot of times during Medical School. Actually, I spent six years in Medical School, four years in residency (two years in Internal Medicine and two years in Endocrinology), and two years developing my Ph.D. thesis in Cardiology

I did not give up on one dream (never!): being a researcher. ​Having discovered my true passion, I made up my mind that, no matter what happened, I would fight to impact the lives of many people as a group by using wise strategies, and that it was not in me to take care of patients one by one in my office (despite I love it!). ​​

 

In 1998, I implemented my first project in my hometown while an undergrad student. I worked with people from local communities. In particular, I visited schools and talked to children about preventing infection with worms and about diagnosing and treating conditions related to worms.

 

The most important project (2005) in my career also took place in my hometown. We started a cohort to study cardiovascular risk factors over time. It was my Ph.D. thesis and I am still one of the coordinators of the Baependi Heart Study. If you want to know our papers, you can click here. This project was inspired by the Framingham Heart Study. 

In 2008, I became a Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF). After that, I had the pleasure of working as a Professor in other Medical Schools (for example, UNIPAC, SUPREMA, and UFPR), where I taught different classes, including Health Promotion.

I was a Professor and I had my office crowded with patients. However, one piece of the puzzle was still missing, and I thought, ‘We are doing research in my hometown, but we are not doing prevention there.’ 

Then in 2014, I was talking with a friend (Professor Carlos Alberto Mourão Júnior) at the university, and we came up with the same idea, ‘Let´s start a prevention project in Baependi!’ We knew what we wanted, but we did not know how to do it until I had written my first poem about the human body, which happened in 2015. Then, my poems became puppet plays for children and patients. What is more, lots of students joined us! In a few months, we had some groups working in different cities! Then the "Little Hearts Changing Lives Program" was born.

Two years later (2017), I moved to Boston for a post-doc (Framingham Heart Study, Boston University). In the same year, I implemented the Little Hearts among the Brazilian immigrant population through new partnerships (the Brazilian Consulate in Boston/ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of Massachusetts). 

From 2018 to 2019, I was a visiting researcher at Harvard Medical School (Framingham Heart Study). Today, I am a visiting scholar at the Global Co-creation, MIT at IMES. My research line is about the development of strategies to improve health through education, "Evaluation and Prevention of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Specific Populations".

 

Nowadays, my goal is to keep developing strategies related to childhood obesity based on the Creative Learning theory. I hope that children can teach their parents about a healthier lifestyle through our work.

I believe that children deserve to learn in a fun way. I think this is one of the most important solutions to combat epidemic diseases like obesity. Perhaps, this is the missing piece in the puzzle.

" " Life is a puzzle.
IF WE PUT all the pieces together, WE CAN build a dream AND MAKE IT COME TRUE."
"A vida é uma colcha de retalhos que juntos constroem um ideal."
This is Pedro, my nephew.

This is Pedro, my nephew.

This is Pedro, my nephew. So small and so smart. He is curious and pays attention in minimal detais. He changes everyday and changes our lives as well. Love you, Pedro!

This is my family!

This is my family!

This is my family!

This is the Framinghan Heart Study

This is the Framinghan Heart Study

This is the Framinghan Heart Study, I used to be a researcher there from 2017-2019. It was a dream that I got!

This was a date to celebrate!

This was a date to celebrate!

This was a date to celebrate! It was when I finished my first years as fellow, in 2017.

My name at Framingham Heart wall

My name at Framingham Heart wall

My name at Framingham Heart Study wall. I was very proud of this. It was a dream coming true!

Daniel, Beatriz, Me and Ramachandran

Daniel, Beatriz, Me and Ramachandran

Daniel, Beatriz, Camila and Ramachandran in the Framingham Heart Study. Vasan was the mentor that kindly accept me for a post doc. Beatriz was a fellow 2017. In the same day I´ve moved from Brazil, she from German to Boston (February 15, 2017).

Boston University

Boston University

This was the my first day as a post doc at Boston University (2017).

This is Bernard Lown

This is Bernard Lown

This is Bernard Lown. His peace activities have been recognized with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. I had the pleasure to see his award in a Sunday morning in his house during a terrific conversation. He remembered me how important is consider stress as a cardiovascular risk factor.

This a one of my undergrad students.

This a one of my undergrad students.

This Pamela Donadoni, one of my undergrad students of the Nutrition School in the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil. She was very in important the begining of our history.

Federal University of Paraná

Federal University of Paraná

These are my colegues, Professors in the Medical School, Department of "Medicina Integrada", Federal University of Paran, Brazil (UFPR), Brazil.

Brazilian research group

Brazilian research group

I gave a talk about the history of our project, in October 2017 in the Brazilian research gropu (PUB Boston)

This is my friend Henrique

This is my friend Henrique

This is my friend Henrique. He teachs me a lot about Creative Learning and how fun is to build our own toys.

Award as top 10 in a Brazilian Conf

Award as top 10 in a Brazilian Conf

Award as top 10 in a Brazilian Conference of Cardiology. This was a very special date. I gave a talk about the history and results of Baependi Heart Study. My colegue Rafael is my partner in this cohort since 2008.

The Brazilian Consulate in Boston

The Brazilian Consulate in Boston

This is the best partner ever! She works in the Brazilian Consulate in Boston. Flavia Feijó have been collaborationg with the "Little Hearts Program" since 2017 to improve and spread health educatoin strategies among imigrant population in the USA.

TV program in Brazil

TV program in Brazil

My colegue Paulo Nassif and I during a TV program in Curitiba, Paraná State, Brazil. I had my office as an endocrinologist there in 2017-2018, while I was a Professor in the Federal University of Parana (UFPR).

When I became a physician (2001)

When I became a physician (2001)

When I became a physician (2001).

A medical student

A medical student

This is Luiza, my friend since she was 9. Nowadays she is in the Medical School. She teaches me that to dream is effortless!

Learning from a smart child

Learning from a smart child

This is my friend Thomas. I´ve been learning a lot from him about Creative Learning. He loves to play lego!

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Saint Anotony Church

Saint Anotony Church

This is a friend from Saint Anotony Church. I leanr the meaning of "dignity" with her. This photo was taken in a Brazilian party (Festa Junina), in June 2018.

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How do I study?

How do I study?

How do I study? This is the way that I like to study. Goals and hit the books!

First weeks in Boston (2017)

First weeks in Boston (2017)

Family!

Family!

The sisters: Camila, Carol e Karen. And Juju our cousin. We were making "pão de queijo", a traditional cheese bread from my state (Minas Gerais). We learned it from my mom (and she from my grandmother).

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My first puppets!

My first puppets!

My first puppets!

Juju, my cousin

Juju, my cousin

This is Juju, my cousin. She inspires me and teaches me that we do not need a lot to be happy. Little gifts make her so happy! She is my sunshine! We are good friends!

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Baependi Heart Study

Baependi Heart Study

I am one of the coordinators of the Baependi Heart Study. This project have been running since my Ph.D. I´ve started this project in December 2005.

Framingham Heart Study, love it!

Framingham Heart Study, love it!

Framingham Heart Study, love it! It was a pleasure to work there because I could talk to patients (love it!) and go to Brazilian restaurants (love it as well!).

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This is Natália

This is Natália

She was 10 years old when I started my PhD project (Projeto Corações de Baependi). At that time she was dreaming to be a Medical student. Today she is!

Pupets show for teachers in Curitiba

Pupets show for teachers in Curitiba

Here you can see UFPR Professors and PhD fellows making a pupets show for teachers in Curitiba, PR, Brasil.

TV program (MGTV)

TV program (MGTV)

Few minutes before I was a live talking about the Little Hearts program

Heart Institute research group

Heart Institute research group

This is the research group that I have been working together since 1999. This photo was taken when I got my Ph.D., December 2007. Gloria, Alexandre, me, and Krieger.

Poetry classes

Poetry classes

These are my classmate. We studied poetry together for more than a year! I am so grateful to them, mainly to the teacher Otto Leopoldo Winck.

Nero Cafe

Nero Cafe

Nero Cafe is one of my favorite palces to write in Boston.

and

Health

Fun

Nero Cafe

Nero Cafe is one of my favorite palces to write in Boston.