Member Spotlight

Clarissa de Castro Carvalho Pedreira, MD

September 14, 2022

After graduating from medical school in Brazil, I completed residency training in Internal Medicine followed by a fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Then I went on to complete a clinical and research fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Australia, qualifying me as a double board certified Pediatric and Adult Endocrinologist. Currently, I am working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Pediatric Endocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital as an extension of my ongoing PhD program in Brazil. During my free time you can find me enjoying nature through activities like rowing, biking, or hiking. 

Which research areas are you focusing on in your postdoctoral program? 
My research focuses on the effects of gender affirming hormone therapy on brain connectivity in the transgender population. This is also the focus of my PhD dissertation. 

What is the most rewarding aspect of the program?
The most rewarding aspects of the program are having the opportunity to learn all the groundwork involved in setting up a clinical research study, interacting with the participants, and being able to see the results analyzed from the data collected. It is a privilege to be able to work with and learn from an amazing team of experienced investigators and clinicians, and it is inspiring to attend great lectures in such a renowned academic environment. 

What has been the most challenging aspect? What do you wish you knew before beginning the program?
I would have to say that arriving to Boston for my fellowship in the middle of a pandemic was not easy. The biggest challenge was building relationships with peers and colleagues in a new workspace that was mostly virtual meetings and limited in person contact. But once that had settled, recruitment and patient retention has turned into the most challenging aspect of my research, as we work with a limited time window in a very specific population before they start hormone therapy.

Do you have advice for others starting a postdoctoral fellowship?
I can’t stress enough how important having a good support system around you, be it friends or family, will be. Also, building a good relationship with your colleagues makes for a pleasant and rewarding work life and finding the time to attend networking sessions will be beneficial. 

How do you find work/life balance in your program?
Although the fellowship is an intense program, I have managed to allocate time to explore the beautiful parks and sites with my family in and around Massachusetts. 

What is something Endocrine Society can do to support postdoctoral fellows?
I think the Endocrine Society already provides support and great learning opportunities to the fellows. 

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