I'm originally from Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Endocrinology at the University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil. I'm currently a Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) Postdoctoral Fellow spending one of my three-year postdoc at the Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. Working with Dr. Vishal Vaidya, my research has been focused on two main approaches (1) The use of urine from type 1 diabetes patients to study pre-screened miRNAs as potential biomarkers for the progression of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) in a combination of cross-sectional and prospective analysis; and (2) The development of a quantitative approach using machine learning tools to screen for new nephrotoxicants in vitro prior to in vivo testing. This project, conducted in close collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, uses primary human proximal tubular epithelial cells and multi-omics platforms to identify predictors of kidney toxicity that could support drug discovery and chemical risk assessment.
In graduate school I was part of a multidisciplinary group addressing all the microvascular complications associated with type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Our group collected blood, urine, and clinical data from patients attending the Diabetes Outpatient Clinic at Hospital das Clinicas, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We also performed eye examination and peripheral and autonomic neuropathy testing in the same patients. The Diabetes clinic attends 501 patients with type 1 DM with all stages of diabetic complications, representing a very good opportunity to work on basic, clinical, and translational science. My research especially focused on early markers of the progression of DKD using peripheral blood mononuclear cells and urine from more than 200 patients. Since the beginning of my scientific career, I have attended more than 20 conferences and presented 22 research abstracts. I have also published 9 peer-reviewed original articles, one peer-reviewed review, and one book chapter. I have also won two awards at the 2015 Brazilian Federation of Experimental Biology annual meeting. As an undergraduate researcher, I was awarded with an international scholarship and had the opportunity to spend one semester at the Diabetes Lab of Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (Dayton, OH). There, I studied the balance of angiotensin converting enzymes (ACE and ACE2) using hypertensive db/db diabetic mice.
The experience of working in a highly translational environment, with patients suffering from a disease that has no ultimate treatment, and with basic science, looking for new targets for kidney disease, gave me a unique understanding of the interdisciplinary efforts that are required to help patients.