I got my Ph.D.in Physics in 1976 from the University of Rochester, USA, in the field of quantum optics. I became then research assistant at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, 1976-1977, and professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, from 1977 to 1994, when I became Full Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, being elected Emeritus Professor of the same institution in 2021. In the same year, I was hired as part-time Distinguished Professor at the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering of Texas A&M University. I was awarded the Brazilian Grand-Cross of the National Order of Scientific Merit in 2000, the Physics prize of The World Academy of Science (TWAS) in 2001, and the Brazilian National Science Prize Admiral Alvaro Alberto (2010). I was President of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (2016-2022), member of the board of the International Science Council (2011-2014), and of committees of the InterAcademy Panel. I am Secretary-General of TWAS for the period 2019-2022, Fellow of the American Physical Society and of Optica (former Optical Society of America), Foreign Member of the USA National Academy of Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.