09/07/2019 - 08h23

Graduate student in the Medicine and Health Sciences program began research internship in Belgium

Carlos Moreira de Almeida will stay six months at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Photo: Personal archive

Doctoral student of the Graduate Program in Medicine and Health Sciences  (PPGMCS), Carlos Moreira de Almeida, began his research internship at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Belgium. He is on a PUCRS-PrInt grant (Call 05/2019 – Doctoral Research Internship Abroad) under the project Biopsychosocial Aspects Associated with an Individual’s Health in Adult Life, coordinated by Prof. Dr Tatiana Irigaray, in the area of Health in Human Development.

In Almeida’s view, he chose the institution because he wanted to work in the laboratory of Belgian professor Jan Tytgat. Tytgat is a renowned researcher in toxins and Forensic Medicine. “The university has several state of the art labs with a large multidisciplinary team. They know a lot about the techniques that we know too little here in Brazil”, he says. Tytgat has taught a short course in the PPGMCS.

In his doctoral program, Almeida is looking at the effect of canatoxin, a powerful vegetable neurotoxin, on frog oocytes. “We know that this toxin causes seizures and death. Frog oocytes are known for their electrical properties that are very similar to those of our neurons. Findings from this project may provide insights about seizures associated with neonatal meningitis that may bring about significant sequelae”, he explains.

Some of Almeida’s goals in his stay overseas include learning new techniques and different ways to think. “The way I see it, there is much more to a scientist than the knowledge they acquire. It is also about the curiosity and the creativity to ask questions. The answers for these questions can produce interesting benefits for people’s health and wellness”, he concludes.


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