Dr. Giovane Sousa is a Research Associate in the Section on Immunobiology at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School. The focus of his research is on investigating the role of autoimmunity in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in type 1 diabetes (T1D). Dr. Sousa obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil, where he investigated the immune mechanisms underlying Chagas cardiomyopathy, a chronic infection resulting from the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), which is the leading cause of non-ischemic heart failure in Latin America and can result in premature death.
During my PhD studies, he identified inflammatory pathways that were associated with morbidity and progression from asymptomatic T. cruzi infection to chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy. During this time, he received numerous awards and honors including the Brazilian Ministry of Education Visiting-Exchange Scholarship to study cell signaling and immunology at the University of Dundee, United Kingdom.
Dr. Sousa then joined Dr. Lipes' laboratory to apply his strong background and interest in inflammatory heart disease to the studies investigating the mechanisms of CVD complications in T1D. Since joining the team he was recipinet of the Senior Mary K. Iacocca Award, which is one of the most prestigious awards and designed to recognize senior fellows who have outstating potential for making high impact contributions in a T1D research career.
A major focus of Dr. Sousa’s future studies will be to determine whether cardiac autoimmunity plays an important role in the development of long-term CVD outcomes in patients with T1D, independent of known CVD risk factors, and test the hypothesis that cardiac autoimmunity is a "missing" mediator of the long-term effects of hyperglycemia on increased CVD risk (i.e., “metabolic memory”).