Spotlight on Young Researchers: Carole Lara Veiga de Sousa

 

Why can our bodies defend itself against some diseases but not others? This is something Carole Lara Veiga de Sousa has always been eager to understand. In the framework of her PhD at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), the Portuguese national took at closer look at the microglial cells – immune cells in the central nervous system – and what impact they have on the brain’s ability to fend of infections.

‘The beauty of research is that you never know where it is going to lead’, Carole Sousa cites Sir Richard Roberts, 1993 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine.

“In research I find my ‘freedom’ – the freedom to search for the unknown. Every piece of the puzzle that we researchers are able to reveal and, importantly, to share with the world, increases our knowledge and thus our freedom,” Carole remarks.

Carole came to Luxembourg in the framework of her AFR PhD at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH). It was during her Bachelor degree that she became fascinated with immunology, especially the inflammatory process.

For me science is a way of life”, she explains: “I’ve always been fascinated by the unknown and the search for knowledge. I’ve always been fascinated to understand how our body is able to defend itself against some diseases and why it fails with others. And why taking a “pill” or an injection would protect me and defend me from illness.”

Dr Carole Lara Veiga de Sousa

RELATED PROGRAMMES

“I published my work (article) in the prestigious scientific journal EMBO Reports. Additionally, the high impact and interest for our findings by the EMBO Reports panel members led the editor of the journal to invite us to feature our work on the cover of the journal – issue of November 2018.” – Carole

In her project, Carole was able to show that microglia responses are unique to acute inflammatory insults. The responses were also clearly distinct from the responses described in neurodegenerative diseases.

“These findings highlight the importance of understanding the mechanisms by which the brain is able to respond to this type of insults, therefore placing microglia as prime targets in the treatment and management of neurodegenerative disorders,” Carole explains.

“This stands as an example of the research of excellence that is being developed in the country using the most recent and state of the art technology”

Carole completed her PhD in March 2018 and is now a Postdoc at the LIH. She cites some of the highlights of her research career as being understanding the process of inflammation during disease, along with understanding the cells, especially immune cells, that are involved in this process and how the axis immune cells-inflammation works – especially in the cases where the inflammatory process becomes damaging to the body, as the one observed in neurodegenerative diseases.

Pointing out that her PhD thesis and work was 100% developed in Luxembourg, Carole remarks: “This stands as an example of the research of excellence that is being developed in the country using the most recent and state of the art technology.

Luxembourg is undoubtedly attractive for researchers and it will continue that way, as it is taking good care of science and research (and I truly hope it continues that direction). Despite being a long-term investment, research is vital to show how advanced and refined a country is and stands for.

One aspect I have to mention is that, contrary to most countries in Luxembourg all the PhD students have a work contract!”

About Spotlight on Young Researchers

Spotlight on Young Researchers is an FNR initiative to highlight early career researchers across the world who have a connection to Luxembourg. The campaign is now in its 4th year, with 45+ researchers already featured. Discover more young researcher stories below.

More in the series SPOTLIGHT ON YOUNG RESEARCHERS

  • All
  • Environmental & Earth Sciences
  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Information & Communication Technologies
  • Law, Economics & Finance
  • Life Sciences, Biology & Medicine
  • Materials, Physics & Engineering

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Lisa Hefele

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Pit Ullmann

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Eric Finn Schaanning

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Max Hilaire Wolter

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Anna Monzel

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Dimitra Anastasiou

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Nanotechnology – a future big player in health

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Laurie Maldonado

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Dominique Santana

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Maria Pires Pacheco

Spotlight on Young Researchers: German Castignani

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Guillaume Nataf

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Zhe Liu

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Understanding brain mechanisms behind eating disorders

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Bella Tsachidou

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Xianqing Mao

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Paul Johanns

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Eva Lagunas

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Isabel Z. Martínez

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Amy Parrish

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Jose-Luis Sanchez-Lopez

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Léon-Charles Tranchevent

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Thomas Schaubroeck

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Michel Thill

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Cyrille Thinnes

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Adham Ayman Al-Sayyad

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Nature does it best

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Ramona Pelich

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Nina Hentzen

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Kacy Greenhalgh

Spotlight On Young Researchers: Henderika de Vries

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Noémie Catherine Engel

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Damien Brevers

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Anjali Sharma

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Anna Scaini

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Paul Hauseux

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Miguel Angel Olivares Mendez

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Paulo Carvalho

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Alex Gansen

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Remko Nijzink

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Pier Mario Lupinu

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Hussein Rappel

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Antonio Ancora

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Antoun Al Absi

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Thomas Elliot

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Svenja Bourone

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Taking language barriers out of the equation

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Foni Raphaël Lebrun-Ricalens

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Maxime Brami

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Maciej Piotr Chrzanowski

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Michel Summer

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Silvia Girardi

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Understanding our immune system

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Charles de Bourcy

Spotlight on Young Researchers: László Sándor

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Claudio Petucco

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Ernesto Gargiulo

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Anna Schleimer

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Gil Georges

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Konstantinos Papadopoulos

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Multiple nationalities, one goal

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Gilles Tossing

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Chetan Arora

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Pit Losch

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Nathasia Mudiwa Muwanigwa

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Jo Hoeser

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Katharina Baum

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies for analytics purposes. Find out more in our Privacy Statement