Meet this month’s Member Spotlight, Alexander Sougiannis, PhD, a 4th-year medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Dr. Sougiannis is an active member of the ASIP, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Greek Scientists Society. He currently serves on the ASIP Education Committee, presented during the 2023 ASIP Young Investigator Seminar Series, and Co-chaired a session at the PISA: Young Investigators Virtual Meeting in 2021.
Dr. Sougiannis completed his BS at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and both his MS and PhD at the University of South Carolina where he was the recipient of an NIH F31 Ruth Kirschstein Predoctoral Fellowship. He is currently applying to general surgery residencies with the purpose of training in surgical oncology.
Dr. Sougiannis’ research training involves sport sciences and molecular biology and immunology. He specializes in immune cell biology and has multiple publications describing interactions in the gut-drug-immune axis of colorectal and breast cancers. In the Ferreira lab, he is investigating how to modulate the immune environment in solid tumors. He has received a number of awards and honors including the ASIP Experimental Pathologist-in-Graduate-Training (EPIGT) Merit Award, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Barnhart Award, and the University of South Carolina Donna and Andrew Sorensen Graduate Student Fellowship for Cancer Research.
What is your favorite part about being a member of the ASIP?
The community of like-minded physicians and researchers that come together to focus on improving the society, but also help trainees reach their goals. Everyone is here to help. Also, we throw the best parties!
Future goals and aspirations for your career?
I hope to match into a general surgery residency and then pursue a fellowship in surgical oncology. As an MD/PhD in the surgical field, my goal is to have a career as a surgeon-scientist and run a lab and practice focusing on bench-to-bedside innovations in medicine and science.
Where is the next place on your travel bucket list?
In the spring of 2024, I plan on doing a global surgery trip to Uzbekistan.
Who is someone who's made a big impact on your life?
My father, Theodore. His humble beginnings and struggles of leaving Greece to come to the United States to build his life and accomplish his dreams has always been my motivation to work hard and accomplish my own dreams. He has been there to support me through all my highs and lows and always continues to motivate me.