Professor Vicente Amato Neto graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of USP1 in 1951 and was the first Resident Physician of Infectology in Brazil, having completed his training at the Infectious and Parasitic Disease Clinic of the Clinical Hospital of FMUSP. He dedicated his long and active professional life to infectious and parasitic diseases and tropical medicine, engaging in research and teaching at all levels of medical-scientific and university extension training.
He created various Services of Infectology such as the Clinical Hospital of UNICAMP, where he was Professor, and the Hospital do Servidor do Estado de São Paulo, which continues to train infectologists in Brazil. He also ran the Infectious and Parasitic Disease Clinic of the Clinical Hospital of São Paulo from 1976 to 1997, having trained several medical specialists who are, today, leaders in medical and academic facilities in several regions of the country.
His fruitful intellectual contributions in the area include the characterization of the acute form and transfusion transmission of Chagas disease, the clinical characterization of acquired toxoplasmosis, and the diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of enteroparasitoses and immunizations. He led the Institute for Tropical Medicine of São Paulo as Director from 1985 to 1988.
He was also responsible for the management of public policies for infectious diseases as Superintendent of the Clinical Hospital of the Faculty of Medicine of USP (1987-1992) and Secretary of State for Health of São Paulo (1992-1993). He was a founding partner and President of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine and the Brazilian Immunization Society and was President of both.
Professor Amato left behind his wife Mrs. Miriam Sabbaga Amato, sons Vicente and Valdir, the latter an Associate Professor of the Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases of FMUSP, daughter-in-law Patrícia, and grandson Vicentinho.
Leaving aside formalities, Amato had a few passions in life including playing football, having, from his time as a student, assembled the “Amato team” that continues to this day to play every Saturday in the football field of Atlética, which has its name and a statue in his honor; he was the owner of the team and distributed the ball and t-shirts before the games to those he chose as players, scheduled the games, and confronted his opponents as if they were enemies. He was a fanatical Palmeirense to the point of not watching the games to avoid stress and participated actively in the life of the Club. He was also a well-respected “tipster” of the board. He also loved to write and give interviews, which he did very well, given his knowledge and his ease with communicating in general. He wrote for most of the newspapers and said that it was his dream to be a journalist. He also published scientific and lay books with curious medical stories.
He was a protagonist at the beginning of the HIV infection pandemic when he publicly defended prevention and criticized existing prejudice, critical moments in Brazilian life and on the occasion of the illness of then-President Tancredo Neves when he was responsible for the clinical area.
Amato’s main skill was as a miner of talents. He knew how to encourage and propose a course of action for everyone who worked with him and opened doors for them to achieve their goals. Dear friend, rest in peace with the certainty that your legacy is fruitful and your ideals will be carried out by all of us.