Arruda is a full professor, Department of Genetics, Institute of Biology, State University of Campinas (Unicamp). He received his PhD in genetics from Unicamp and has pioneered the field of plant molecular biology and plant genomics in Brazil. His research interests are on the understanding the regulation of gene expression in plants and its impact on amino acid metabolism and plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He has received honours including the National Order of Scientific Merit, Brazil; Scientific and Technological Merit Award, State of São Paulo; and 2001 RedBio Medal, Red Latino-Americana de Biotecnologia (FAO) for his contribution to the development of plant biotechnology in Latin America and Caribe. He was co-founder and scientific director of the plant biotechnology company Alellyx Applied Genomics.