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Alessandra De Paula Alves Sousa, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS, Bethesda, MD). She received her BS in biological science from University Federal of Ceará (Brazil) and her PhD in immunogenetic and stem cell transplantation from Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine, University of São Paulo (Brazil). Dr. De Paula Alves Sousa began her postdoctoral training at Imperial College London (UK) and is now continuing her work at NINDS. She has received a post-doctoral research fellowship grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for being work with deep sequencing of T-cell repertoire in patients with neurological immune-mediated diseases including multiple sclerosis and the chronic progressive inflammatory neurological disorder associated to human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) infection, HAM/TSP.
Alessandra De Paula Alves Sousa has used the new technique “high-throughput sequencing” in order to characterize the T-cell receptor profile of patients with MS at different phases of the disease and compare it to healthy individuals and also to patients with virus-associated neurological disease that resembles MS. Using samples from large patients cohort, she is looking at T cell clonotypes in blood and spinal fluid and testing the hypothesis that peripheral blood and intrathecal compartments present T-cell clonal expansion, which might be associated with the evolution of enhancement lesions and/or clinical neurological disability in different group of individuals.
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