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Leonardo M.R. Ferreira, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar
Molecular Immunologist and Human Genome Engineer
Tang and Bluestone Labs

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Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ph.D., Biochemistry, 2016

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, A.M., Biology, 2013

University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal, B.Sc., Biochemistry, 2011

  • Tang Lab, Department of Surgery. 2016 -
  • Bluestone Lab, UCSF Diabetes Center, 2016 -
  • Immune tolerance

Leonardo M.R. Ferreira, Ph.D. is a molecular immunologist and human genome engineer in the laboratories of Dr. Qizhi Tang (Department of Surgery) and Dr. Jeffrey Bluestone (Diabetes Center) at UCSF.  

Dr. Ferreira has a B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University in 2016. During his doctoral studies, under the supervision of Dr. Jack Strominger and Dr. Chad Cowan at Harvard's Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, he focused on studying immune tolerance using pregnancy as a model, as well as on developing new tools to edit the genome of primary human T cells.

Currently, Dr. Ferreira is working to develop the next generation of chimeric antigen receptors for regulatory T cell therapy, aiming to establish tolerance in the contexts of autoimmune disease and transplant rejection.

  Award  
  Confired By    
  Date    
  • Emerging Leader in Type 1 Diabetes
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
  • 2021 - 2022
  • AAI-Thermo Fisher Trainee Achievement Award
  • American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
  • 2020
  • Jeffrey G. Klein Family Diabetes Fellowship
  • University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
  • 2019 - 2020
  • Future of Science Fund Scholarship
  • Keystone Symposia
  • 2018
  • AAI Trainee Poster Award
  • American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
  • 2018
  • Best Poster Award
  • Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) Center of Excellence
  • 2017
  • Travel Award
  • Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) Center of Excellence
  • 2017
  • Finalist
  • University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Postdoc Slam 2017
  • 2017
  • Travel Award
  • American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
  • 2015
  • The adaptive immune system has evolved to specifically recognize and destroy a virtually infinite variety of pathogens, while remaining unresponsive towards self-tissues, a state known as immune tolerance. T cell-based antigen-specific immune tolerance was first postulated in 1970. Yet, it was not until the 1990s that the identity of the cell type responsible for this phenomenon was firmly established: regulatory T cells (Tregs).

    Manipulating human Tregs offers the unprecedented opportunity to induce tolerance in a clinical setting, potentially providing cures for autoimmune disease and transplant rejection. However, vanishingly low numbers of antigen-specific Tregs and Treg instability upon prolonged expansion have hampered the implementation of Treg-based therapies.

    Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technology has greatly expedited the generation of tumor antigen-specific effector T (Teff) cells. CARs are synthetic receptors comprising an extracellular antigen-binding domain and an intracellular signaling domain that allow for potent T cell activation directly downstream of antigen recognition.

    Adoption of the CAR platform for Treg engineering represents a promising strategy to generate custom-made antigen-specific Tregs for therapy. Yet, there are marked differences in signaling and function between Tregs and Teff cells. My goal is to design the next generation of CARs for Treg therapy, aiming to establish tolerance in the contexts of autoimmune disease and transplant rejection.

    MOST RECENT PUBLICATIONS FROM A TOTAL OF 31
    Data provided by UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI
    1. Gershteyn IM, Burov AA, Miao BY, Morais VH, Ferreira LMR. Immunodietica: interrogating the role of diet in autoimmune disease. Int Immunol. 2020 11 23; 32(12):771-783. View in PubMed
    2. Ferreira LMR, Mostajo-Radji MA. Plasma-based COVID-19 treatments in low- and middle-income nations pose a high risk of an HIV epidemic. NPJ Vaccines. 2020; 5:58. View in PubMed
    3. Ferreira LMR, Mostajo-Radji MA. Plasma-based COVID-19 treatments in low- and middle-income nations pose a high risk of an HIV epidemic. NPJ Vaccines. 2020 Jul 06; 5(1):58. View in PubMed
    4. Ferreira LMR, Li AM, Serafim TL, Sobral MC, Alpoim MC, Urbano AM. Intermediary metabolism: An intricate network at the crossroads of cell fate and function. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2020 10 01; 1866(10):165887. View in PubMed
    5. Yu H, Rimbert A, Palmer AE, Toyohara T, Xia Y, Xia F, Ferreira LMR, Chen Z, Chen T, Loaiza N, Horwitz NB, Kacergis MC, Zhao L, Soukas AA, Kuivenhoven JA, Kathiresan S, Cowan CA. GPR146 Deficiency Protects against Hypercholesterolemia and Atherosclerosis. Cell. 2019 11 27; 179(6):1276-1288.e14. View in PubMed
    6. View All Publications
    1. Ferreira LMR, Bluestone JA, Tang Q. Designing the next generation of chimeric antigen receptors for regulatory T cell therapy. Oral presentation, Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS), Chicago, Illinois, 2017, (Best Poster Award; FOCIS Travel Award)
    2. Ferreira LMR, Meissner TB, Mikkelsen T, O'Donnell C, Sherwood R, Mallard W, Rinn J, Cowan, CA, Strominger JL. Long-range chromatin interactions control trophoblast-restricted HLA-G expression during pregnancy. Oral presentation, American Association of Immunologists (AAI), New Orleans, Louisiana, 2015 (AAI Travel Award)
    Data provided by UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI
    1. Conferencia: Pandemia COVID-19 UCBSCZ
    2. HOW TO SOLVE THE AGING PROBLEM with Leonardo Ferreira, Harvard PhD & UCSF Stem Cells Researcher
    3. VACUNAS VACUNAS Y VACUNAS ... ¿QUÉ HACEMOS? = ¿Nos vacunamos o no?
    4. Todo sobre el Dióxido de Cloro, acompañamos.
    5. How the NIH Funds American Science
    6. PhD Defense: Transcriptional Control of Immune Tolerance at the Maternal-Fetal Interface
    7. Clubes de Ciencia Bolivia 2017
    8. How to cure type 1 diabetes using immunology
    9. Postdoc Slam 2017 Finalist: LEONARDO FERREIRA
    10. Leonardo Ferreira te invita a participar en Clubes de Ciencia Bolivia
    11. Reescrevendo o nosso DNA com CRISPR/Cas9
    12. Clubes de Ciencia Bolivia 2018
    13. The future is today: designer cell therapies for complex diseases
    14. Leonardo Ferreira at the AAI StoryBooth 2018
    15. Cognitum Episode 3 // CRISPR+HIV
    16. Cognitum Episode 4 // TREGS+T1D
    17. Approaching biology and aging research through engineering: LEONARDO FERREIRA
    18. Immunodietica
    19. Leonardo Ferreira 2019 National Youth Science Camp
    20. Guest Leonardo Ferreira at Jornal 2 (RTP2)
    21. Immunodietica Introduction
    22. Cognitum S2 Episode 1 // Immunodietica
    23. Bioquimicos pelo Mundo - Leonardo Ferreira
    24. Dr. Leonardo Ferreira - Inmunodietica
    25. COVID-19/Coronavirus: Dr. Leonardo Ferreira
    26. Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic: Dr. Leonardo Ferreira
    27. El nuevo coronavirus (COVID-19): Dr. Leonardo Ferreira
    28. COVID-19 live QnA session with Dr. Leonardo Ferreira - AILD
    29. COVID-19 vacunas: Clubes de Ciencia Bolivia
    30. La Vacuna para exterminar el Covid-19– EL DEBER
    31. CON SALUD - HOY HABLAMOS DE VACUNA COVID 19 - DR. LEONARDO FERREIRA - DOCTORADO EN BIOLOGIA MOLECULAR Y CELULAR - INMUNOLOGO

     

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