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Visiting PhD

Sharmila Sousa

Dr Maria Sharmila Alina de Sousa

Universidade Federal de São Paulo                                                                   Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM/Unifesp)
Laboratório de Endocrinologia Molecular e Translacional
Rua Pedro de Toledo, 669, 11º andar, Vila Clementino,                                     São Paulo, SP, Brasil.


We congratulate Dr Sousa on her recent success in her PhD Viva Voce!

Sharmila-Viva-3 Sharmila-Viva-1

Sharmila trained in Biomedical Sciences (2007), specialising in Human and Medical Genetics, Cancer Genetics, Thyroidology and Molecular Biology at EPM/Unifesp, receiving a scientific initiation scholarship from FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) to develop diagnostic tests for thyroid cancer types based on oncogene (biomarker) targeting (FAPESP 2006/58262-7). Also at EPM/Unifesp, she holds an MSc in Pharmaceutical Medicine (2009) and an MRes in Genetic Basis of Thyroid Cancer (2009), sponsored by FAPESP (2007/56928-0). She has also been the Students’ Representative/Member at the institutional Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) from EPM/Unifesp since 2005.

Sharmila also holds an MSc in Medicine Science & Society from King’s College London (2010/2011), when she came to London as CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel from Brazil Ministry of Education) sponsored (CAPES 3091-10.4) visiting PhD student to train in the Social Sciences’ qualitative research methods approach at the Centre for Biomedicine & Society (CBAS). Since then, she is fellow researcher at FAPESP grant (N.2010/51547-1) entitled “Inherited Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma: perceptions and attitudes of patients, relatives and health professionals on bioethical issues”.

Research Projects:

Currently, Sharmila is a FAPESP sponsored PhD student and visiting research fellow at the Department of Political Economy (February 2013 – March 2014), working with Professor Brian Salter on the structures of governance in biomedical innovation in Brazil within the Rising Powers II project, as well as with Dr. Stuart Hogarth and Dr. Barbara Prainsack, from the Department of Social Science Health & Medicine on public policy and social sciences/bioethics approaches to her thesis entitled “Perceptions and attitudes of patients, relatives, health professionals and regulators from Brazil and the UK: The Case Study of the Familial Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma” (Scholarships FAPESP N.2012/21942-1 and N.2010/51546-5). She has interviewed 41 people in Brazil, amongst government regulators, patients and respective family members, endocrinologists, head and neck surgeons, academic researchers and laboratory technicians, besides biotech laboratory representatives and personalised medicine genetic tests consumers, through mixed-methods design to capture views, beliefs and experiences of all parties involved in this case-study from both publicly-sponsored and privately-owned perspectives on bioethical issues involving genetic tests for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. Soft law and formal regulatory publications from both Brazil and the UK have also been collected for triangulation with ethnographic data for the purpose of public policy-oriented publications.
Sharmila’s main research interest falls under the fields of Biomedical Innovation, Medical Education, Medical Humanities, Bioethics, Health Sciences and Science & Technology Studies, as a way of translating the state-of-the-art scientific production within the realm of Cancer Research in Preventive Medicine from the bench to the bedside in the post-genomic era, mediated through critical societal, economical, political, cultural and ethical thinking from a humanistic point of view. 

Other Research Interests:

Sharmila has also focused on the Declaration of Helsinki and the use of Placebo in Randomised Controlled Trials, being invited to talk about the Brazilian regulatory perspectives on placebo use at the WMA satellite meeting during 11th World Congress of Bioethics: Thinking Ahead – The Future of the Declaration of Helsinki (June 2012, Rotterdam).

Selected Publications:

Sousa, MSA, Franco, MAG, Massud-Filho, J. The new Declaration of Helsinki and the Use of Placebo in Brazilian Clinical Trials: controversy remains. [From original in Portuguese: A nova Declaração de Helsinque e o Uso de Placebo em Estudos Clínicos no Brasil: a polêmica continua]. Revista de Medicina da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo (2013) [In press].

Sousa, MSA, Gallian, DMC, Maciel, RMB. Medical Humanities in the UK: a World Trend in Medical Education Today. [From original in Portuguese: Humanidades Médicas no Reino Unido: uma Tendência Mundial em Educação Médica Hoje]. Revista de Medicina da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo (2013) [In press].

Bittar, Y, Sousa, MSA, Gallian, DMC. The Aesthetic Experience of Literature as Means for Healthcare Humanisation in Brazil: The Laboratory of Humanities from Paulista School of Medicine/Federal University of São Paulo. International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society (2013) 3 (1): 25-42. [In press]. 

Bittar, Y; Sousa, MSA, Gallian, DMC. The Aesthetic Experience of Literature as Means for Humanisation in Health: The Laboratory of Humanities from EPM/UNIFESP. [From original in Portuguese: A Experiência Estética da Literatura como Meio de Humanização em Saúde: O Laboratório de Humanidades da EPM/UNIFESP]. Revista Interface (2013) 17 (44): 171-86.

Sousa, MSA, Latini, FRM, Monteiro, HP, Cerutti, J. Arginase 2 and nitric oxide synthase: Pathways associated with the pathogenesis of thyroid tumors. Free Radical Biology & Medicine (2010) 49: 997–1007.  

Internships & Networks

World Health Organization's ePORTUGUESe Network - solidarity-based south-south cooperation that works as a platform to promote capacity building for human resources in health and access to health information in Portuguese for all the Portuguese-speaking countries;

Ministry of Health in Brazil to validate and implement their toolkit for diffusion and dissemination of information for policy and decision-makers within the Brazilian government to not only implement the evidence-informed policy and decision making process in Brazil but also promote education and capacity building for it nationally.

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