Cleverson De Souza

Cleverson De Souza,

Associate Professor – Clinical Pathology

Department: Department of Comparative, Diagnostic & Population Medicine
Business Phone: (352) 294-4153
Business Email:

About Cleverson De Souza

Dr. Souza earned his DVM in 1999 from Universidade Federal do Parana, Brazil. Following his DVM, Dr. Souza completed a two-year residency program in São Paulo, Brazil. He then pursued a Master of Science in Clinical Pathology from the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Dr. Souza then worked for a year as a veterinary clinical pathologist at the Universidade de Passo Fundo in Rio Grande do Sul. Afterward, he joined Dr. Douglas J. Weiss’s lab at the University of Minnesota, researching cell signaling pathways in Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. He then completed a fast-track residency in veterinary Clinical Pathology at the same university. Dr. Souza obtained board certification through the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). From 2009 to 2012, he taught general pathology to MD and DDS students at Brazilian universities, including Universidade de Fortaleza, UniChristus, and Universidade Federal do Ceara. Over the past 10 years (2013-2023), he has worked as a Clinical Pathologist at Washington State University, holding a tenured associate professor position. Dr. Souza is an Associate Professor at the University of Florida in the Department of Comparative, Diagnostic & Population Medicine, focusing on service, teaching, and research.

Teaching Profile

Teaching Philosophy
My teaching philosophy is grounded in the principles of evidence-based learning strategies that promote long-term retention and mastery. I believe in creating an engaging and dynamic learning environment that encourages students to participate actively, reflect on their learning experiences, and become self-directed learners. I strive to design learning experiences that encourage students to engage actively with the material, moving beyond passive absorption of information. Group discussions, problem-solving exercises, and collaborative projects foster deep learning, enabling students to construct their understanding and apply their knowledge in novel situations. Research has shown that learning is more effective when distributed over time and when different topics are interleaved rather than focusing on one subject at a time. In my teaching, I incorporate spaced practice and interleaving by revisiting previously covered material in various contexts, integrating related concepts, and encouraging students to connect with different topics. I believe in the power of retrieval practice as an essential tool for strengthening memory and enhancing understanding. I incorporate regular low-stakes quizzes, self-assessment exercises, and opportunities for students to explain their learning to others, reinforcing their knowledge and revealing areas where they may need further clarification or support. I foster a growth mindset in my students by emphasizing the value of effort, persistence, and learning from mistakes. I create a supportive and inclusive environment where students feel comfortable taking risks and embracing challenges, knowing that setbacks are opportunities for growth and improvement. I encourage students to develop metacognitive awareness by reflecting on their learning processes and identifying the best strategies. Through regular self-assessment and reflection, students become more effective and self-regulated learners, better equipped to adapt their approach to meet the demands of various learning situations. I recognize the importance of timely, specific, and constructive feedback in fostering student growth. By providing individualized feedback highlighting strengths and areas for improvement, I guide students in setting realistic goals and developing targeted strategies to enhance their learning. By incorporating these principles into my teaching philosophy, I aim to empower students to take ownership of their education, develop lifelong learning skills, and achieve enduring understanding and mastery of the subject matter.

Board Certifications

  • Clinical Pathology
    American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP)

Research Profile

Various focus areas are being explored to advance the field. Basic research is delving into the investigation of peptide-based vaccines against Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis (MAP) in bovine. In clinical research, studies are being conducted to assess the utility of employing nanomaterials and dendritic cells to enhance immune responses against malignant tumors in dogs and validate new monoclonal antibodies for detecting lymphoma in dog canine patients. Additionally, educational research is being carried out to examine the application of modern instructional methodologies in teaching veterinary clinical pathology.

Areas of Interest
  • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
  • Clinical pathology of mammals
  • Vaccine immunology
  • Veterinary Education


Preliminary Evaluation of an Autologous Dendritic Cell Vaccine Using Nanoparticle Technology for the Treatment of Canine Malignant Melanoma
American Journal of Biomedical and Life Sciences. 9(1):84-96 [DOI] doi: 10.11648/j.ajbls.20210901.21.
Salmon poisoning disease in dogs: clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment.
Brazilian journal of veterinary medicine. 44 [DOI] 10.29374/2527-2179.bjvm004822. [PMID] 36475066.
A peptide-based vaccine for Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis.
Vaccine. 37(21):2783-2790 [DOI] 10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.04.040. [PMID] 31003915.
A Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis relA deletion mutant and a 35 kDa major membrane protein elicit development of cytotoxic T lymphocytes with ability to kill intracellular bacteria.
Veterinary research. 49(1) [DOI] 10.1186/s13567-018-0549-3. [PMID] 29941017.
A nano particle vector comprised of poly lactic-co-glycolic acid and monophosphoryl lipid A and recombinant Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis peptides stimulate a pro-immune profile in bovine macrophages.
Journal of applied microbiology. 123(1):54-65 [DOI] 10.1111/jam.13491. [PMID] 28502107.
In Vitro Evaluation of the Biological Responses of Canine Macrophages Challenged with PLGA Nanoparticles Containing Monophosphoryl Lipid A.
PloS one. 11(11) [DOI] 10.1371/journal.pone.0165477. [PMID] 27835636.
Blocking the mitogen activated protein kinase-p38 pathway is associated with increase expression of nitric oxide synthase and higher production of nitric oxide by bovine macrophages infected with Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis.
Veterinary immunology and immunopathology. 164(1-2):1-9 [DOI] 10.1016/j.vetimm.2015.01.007. [PMID] 25700780.
Mycobacterium avium Subspecies paratuberculosis Recombinant Proteins Modulate Antimycobacterial Functions of Bovine Macrophages.
PloS one. 10(6) [DOI] 10.1371/journal.pone.0128966. [PMID] 26076028.
Mannosylated lipoarabinomannans from Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis alters the inflammatory response by bovine macrophages and suppresses killing of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium organisms.
PloS one. 8(9) [DOI] 10.1371/journal.pone.0075924. [PMID] 24098744.
Bovine monocyte TLR2 receptors differentially regulate the intracellular fate of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium.
Journal of leukocyte biology. 83(1):48-55 [PMID] 17913973.
Effects of nuclear factor-kappaB on regulation of cytokine expression and apoptosis in bovine monocytes exposed to Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis.
American journal of veterinary research. 69(6):804-10 [DOI] 10.2460/ajvr.69.6.804. [PMID] 18518662.
Review paper: modulation of mononuclear phagocyte function by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis.
Veterinary pathology. 45(6):829-41 [DOI] 10.1354/vp.45-6-829. [PMID] 18984786.
Role of cell membrane receptors in the suppression of monocyte anti-microbial activity against Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis.
Microbial pathogenesis. 44(3):215-23 [PMID] 18079089.
Cell membrane receptors on bovine mononuclear phagocytes involved in phagocytosis of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis.
American journal of veterinary research. 68(9):975-80 [PMID] 17764412.
Role of the MAPK(ERK) pathway in regulation of cytokine expression by Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis-exposed bovine monocytes.
American journal of veterinary research. 68(6):625-30 [PMID] 17542695.
Role of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in the differential response of bovine monocytes to Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium.
Microbes and infection. 9(14-15):1545-52 [PMID] 18035573.
Mitogen activated protein kinase p38 pathway is an important component of the anti-inflammatory response in Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis-infected bovine monocytes.
Microbial pathogenesis. 41(2-3):59-66 [PMID] 16716561.
Mucosal immune response in cattle with subclinical Johne’s disease.
Veterinary pathology. 43(2):127-35 [PMID] 16537930.
Regulation by Jun N-terminal kinase/stress activated protein kinase of cytokine expression in Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis-infected bovine monocytes.
American journal of veterinary research. 67(10):1760-5 [PMID] 17014329.
Expression of interleukin-10 and suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 associated with susceptibility of cattle to infection with Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis.
American journal of veterinary research. 66(7):1114-20 [PMID] 16111147.


Residency in Veterinary Clinical Pathology
2008-2009 · University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, St Paul, MN
2003-2008 · University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN
MS Immunology track
2001-2002 · Federal University of Santa Maria, RS, Brazil
Residency in Veterinary Clinical Pathology
2000-2001 · UNESP, Botucatu, SP, Brazil
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1994-1999 · Federal University of Parana, PR, Brazil

Contact Details

(352) 294-4153
Business Street:
2015 SW 16TH AVE