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Principal Investigator

Francisco J. Quintana, PhD

Francisco J. Quintana, PhD is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the Center for Neurologic Diseases, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Member at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

Dr. Quintana, a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires (1999, Argentina), obtained his PhD in immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science (2004, Israel).  He received postdoctoral training at the Weizmann Institute of Science and at Harvard Medical School.  In 2009, Dr. Quintana joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Quintana’s research investigates signaling pathways that control the immune response and neurodegeneration, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers for immune-mediated disorders.  Dr. Quintana has published over 140 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. In addition, Dr. Quintana’s research has resulted in multiple patents which have been the foundation of three companies: ImmunArray Ltd, Alma Bio Therapeutics and AnTolRx Inc. Dr. Quintana is the Director of the course Autoimmunity at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Quintana is the recipient of the Lady Anne Chain Prize for Academic Excellence and Scientific Achievements, the Junior Investigator Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Pathway to Independence Award of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Award for Outstanding Research Achievement form Nature Biotechnology and the Tecan Award for Innovation, the Harry Weaver Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Young Mentor Award from Harvard Medical School and the Milestones in MS research from the National MS Society and the AAI-BD Bioscience Investigator Award.


Liliana Sanmarco, PhD

Liliana received her Bachelor of Biochemistry and then her Ph.D. from National University of Córdoba, Argentina. During her Ph.D. she studied how innate immune cells trigger heart damage under diverse metabolic pathways control in the context of infection and metabolic syndrome. She joined the Quintana Lab in 2018 where her focus is on regulatory mechanisms carried out by astrocytes and dendritic cells in neuro-inflammatory diseases.



Atsushi Kadowaki, MD, PhD

Atsushi obtained his MD from Osaka University, Japan in 2005 and was certified as board of Internal medicine and Neurology after clinical trainings. Thereafter, he was interested in neuro-immunological diseases and conducted the research about gut environment-induced T cells on multiple sclerosis, using mouse and human samples (Takashi Yamamura lab) in the National Center of Neurology and Neuroscience (Tokyo). He obtained his PhD of Medicine in 2017 (Osaka University). He joined Quintana lab as a research fellow in the end of 2017 and currently studying about environmental and genetic effects on astrocytes during CNS inflammation.



Shravan Thaploo

Shravan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience from The Ohio State University.  He joined the lab in 2019 and is working with Dr. Iain Clark to develop new methods to isolate and sort rare cell populations via microfluidics and single cell resolution transcriptomics. Shravan plans on entering an M.D.-Ph.D. program in the future.



Chun Cheih Chao, PhD

Chun-Cheih received his Ph.D. from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. He join Dr. Quintana’s group on 2015 as a research fellow, studying in two projects, one is to study the role of sphingolipid metabolism in control of reactive astrocyte driven chronic neuroinflammation and the other is to identify novel environmental risk factors in inflammatory bowel diseases onset by in silica and in vivo assays.



Michael Wheeler, PhD

Michael Wheeler received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins, where he worked in the lab of Hongjun Song studying adult neural stem cells in the hippocampus. He graduated in 2011 with honors in Neuroscience and a minor in Philosophy. He maintained his academic focus and began his Ph.D. work in Neuroscience at the University of Virginia under the mentorship of Chris Deppmann and Ali Güler. His thesis focused on neural circuit development and engineering novel electromagnetic tools to study the nervous system. Michael was awarded his Ph.D. in 2016 and joined the Quintana Lab later that year, where he shifted his academic focus toward Neuroimmunology. His current research focuses on the transcriptional regulation of macrophages and astrocytes in multiple sclerosis and glioblastoma. For fun, Michael likes trying new restaurants, going to museums, and watching movies at the Coolidge Corner Theater.



Cristina Gutierrez-Vazquez, PhD

Cristina obtained her PhD by Autónoma University of Madrid in 2016 where she also got her Bacheror in Biochemstry and Masters in Molecular Biomedicine. Her PhD research focused on the intercellular communication between T cell and antigen presenting cells mediated by the transfer of microRNAs and extracellular vesicles at the immune synapse as well as the posttranscriptional regulation of microRNAs during T cell activation. She joined Dr Quintana’s lab in 2017 where she keeps studying intercellular communication in the context of CNS inflammation. She is very interested in understanding how microglia can modulate astrocytes’ pathogenic activities. Cristina is also currently studying probiotics control of multiple sclerosis via AhR.



Iain Clark, PhD

Iain Clark graduated from Cornell University in 2003 with a B.S. in Biological Engineering. Afterward he joined the Peace Corps, working on sustainable agriculture in the Paraguayan countryside. In 2009 he completed a masters in Biosystems Engineering at UC Davis, where he studied waste-to-energy systems and anaerobic microbiology. He completed his PhD in Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley in 2014, working under John Coates on the molecular genetics of bacterial chloroxyanion respiration. He is currently a postdoc in the Abate Lab at UC San Francisco and a visiting scholar in the Quintana Lab, where he is developing new methods to isolate and study rare cells based on their nucleic acid content. He is interested in droplet microfluidics, high throughput single cell analysis, molecular genetics, and more broadly, in leveraging engineering in biology.



Andreia Barroso, MS, PhD

Andreia graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences in 2011 from Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil.  Three years later she received her Master’s Degree in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, and in 2018 she completed her Ph.D. in Immunology also at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.  Her research focus was the role of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in the murine model of Chagas Disease under the mentorship of Dr. Fabiana Machado.  In 2017, while she was a PhD student, Andreia awarded two Brazilian scholarships to study one year in an institution abroad.  At that time, she joined Dr. Quintana`s group as a visitor scientist.  In 2018, she became a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Quintana’s lab and her studies are focused on the mechanisms by which AhR, and other transcriptional factors, can regulate inflammation in brain disorders such as multiple sclerosis and glioblastoma. As one of her passions is dance, to balance the work and the social life, Andreia likes practicing different styles of dance around Boston area, as well as enjoy music concerts.


Lydia Guo, BS

Lydia is a current undergraduate senior at Wellesley College. She joined the Quintana lab in 2018 as part of the Buegeleisen Family Multiple Sclerosis Undergraduate Research Fellowship. She works under the supervision of Dr. Cristina Gutierrez-Vazquez to complete an undergraduate thesis. 


Mathias Linnerbauer, MS

Mathias graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2017 and is currently a Master Student at the Graduate School of Systemic Neuroscience in Munich. He joined the Quintana Lab in 2019 to work on his Master Thesis focusing on glial interaction and communication in health and disease.

Bioinformatics Specialist

Zhaorong Li

Zhaorong works in the Quintana Lab as a bioinformatician and received his M.S. in Bioinformatics from Boston University and his B.S. in Biology and Applied Mathematics from Stony Brook University.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Federico Giovannoni

Federico is a PhD student at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. His research is focused on understanding how hemorrhagic fever-causing viruses evade cell intrinsic immunity. The recent outbreak of Zika virus, which has been shown to infect cells in the CNS, has sparked our interest into finding common pathways of disease for Zika virus and other neurologic conditions.

Laboratory Technician

Gabriel Lipof

Gabriel studied Biomedical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA and received his B.S. in 2017 and his M.S. in 2019. His master’s research was in algorithm development for EEG source localization. He currently assists the research group in both logistical and benchtop tasks. He hopes to continue applying computational methods to neurology problems in his future work.

Senior Administrative Assistant
Janelle Weathers

Janelle Weathers, M.M.

Financial Manager

Matt Varley, CRA


2006-2009       Mauricio F. Farez, MD / Resident in Neurology, FLENI, Argentina

2009                Andrezza Santiago, PhD / Assistant Professor, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

2009-2011       Silvio M. Viera, PhD / Post-doctoral Fellow, Yale University

2009-2011       Roya Rahbari, PhD / Advanced Economic Analyst, Citizens Bank

2007-2010       Roopali Gandhi, PhD / Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

2010-2016       Lior Mayo, PhD / Assistant Professor, Tel Aviv University

2011-2012       Ruxandra Covacu, PhD / Assistant Professor, Karolinska Institute

2011-2016       Ada Yeste, MSc  / Post-doctoral Fellow, Barcelona

2012                Miri Gordin, MSc / Graduate Student at Bar-Ilan University

2012-2013       Chun Cheih Chao, MSc / Post-doctoral Fellow Harvard Medical School

2012-2015       Ivan Mascanfroni, PhD  / Group Leader, Abbie

2012                Nadya Ali, MSc / MD student at Michigan State University College

2013                Leslie Cuellar, MSc / Visiting Scientist

2013                Georges Guillaume, MSc / Visiting Scientist

2013                Megan Rodgers, MSc / Visiting Scientist

2013-2014       Lukas Bunse, MD / Post-doctoral Fellow, Heidelberg University

2013-2014       Swasti Barthi, MSc / Visiting Scientist

2014-2015       Mauricio F. Farez, MD / Assistant Professor, FLENI, Argentina

2014-2016       Merja Jaronen, PhD / Assistant Professor, University of Kuoppia

2016-2017       Kalil Alves da Lima, MSc / Visiting Scientist

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