Wanderley de Souza is a parasitologists recognized for his microscopic studies on the organization of intracellular pathogenic protozoa that causes several diseases (Chagas disease, toxoplasmosis, among others) and how they invade and survive into host cells. He also analyzed the effect of new molecules that kill these parasites aiming to improve parasite chemotherapy. He was born in Iguai, Bahia state, Brazil. He graduated in medicine at the Rio de Janeiro Federal University. At the same university he obtained the MSc and PhD degrees. Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder (Keith Porter Lab), 1980 and University of Glasgow (Keith Vickerman lab). Joined the faculty of Rio de Janeiro Federal University in 1976 where he is full Professor. He is Honoris Causa Professor at North Fluminense State University, and Amazonas State University. He has been president of the Brazilian Society of Microscopy, Brazilian Society of Protozoologists, and Interamerican Committee of Electron Microscopy Societies, and is member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Brazilian Academy of Medicine, Buenos Aires Academy of Medicine, World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and is a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He was Dean of the North Fluminense State University, Director of the National Metrology Institute-INMETRO, Rio de Janeiro State Secretary for Science and Technology, and Brazilian Vice-Minister for Science and Technology.

Research Interests

Wanderley de Souza is interested in the study of several pathogenic protozoa, with emphasis on their structural organization, working on areas that include (a) analysis of the ultrastructure using modern microscopy techniques, including 3-D reconstruction.; (b) Isolation and characterization of protozoa structures; (c) identification and characterization of the steps of parasite-host cell interaction; (4) experimental chemotherapy in vitro and in vivo against pathogenic protozoa. Important achievements include the study of sub-pellicular microtubules, paraflagellar rod, acidocalcisomes, and the description of the highly polarized endocytosis that takes place in Trypanosoma cruzi, leading to the formation of an organelle designated as reservosome. De Souza also identified several endocytic processes (classical phagocytosis, clathrin-mediated, and macropinocytosis) used by the parasites to penetrate cells. He also identified new drug targets in parasitic protozoa, a project involving strong collaborations with colleagues from other countries. At present, he is involved in establishing a modern scientific infrastructure in the Amazon region to allow more in-depth studies related to the biodiversity of eukaryotic microorganisms and better understand the influence of deforestation on the fate of infectious diseases transmitted by insects. De Souza regularly writes articles published in the most important newspapers in Brazil addressing new relevant discoveries and science policy issues making criticisms and suggestions. He also dedicates part of his time to strengthening research centers in different states of the country and organizing new scientific institutions.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 61: Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 44: Microbial Biology