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Principal Investigator

Francisco J. Quintana, Ph.D.

Francisco J. Quintana, Ph.D. is a 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 Ph.D. 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.

Hong-Gyun Lee

Hong-Gyun Lee, Ph.D.

Hong-Gyun received his Bachelor’s Degree in Life Science in 2013 from Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea. Following his great interest in immunology, he worked in the lab of Dr. Je-Min Choi, identifying the role of antigen-independent CD4 T cells in Multiple Sclerosis. Hong-Gyun received his Ph.D. in 2019, and further joined the Quintana Lab in 2021, shifting focus toward neuroimmunology. He is now currently interested in understanding how microbial metabolites control astrocyte activation in CNS inflammation.

Camilo Faust

Camilo Faust Akl

Camilo is a half-German student from Venezuela with an interest for immunotherapeutic approaches to combat solid tumors. After completing his B.S. in Biotechnology at the Technical University of Berlin, he received a Master’s Degree in Immunology at Harvard Medical School and completed his thesis research at the Quintana Lab. As a PhD student, he is investigating immunological roles of glioblastoma-associated astrocytes by use of single-cell technologies. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, traveling, photography, concerts and sports.

Brian photo

Brian M. Andersen, M.D., Ph.D.

Brian Andersen is a neuro-oncology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a post-doctoral fellow in the Quintana lab. Brian earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in chemistry from Saint Olaf College before post-baccalaureate laboratory research work at the National Institutes of Health and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) as Fulbright Scholar. He then completed the Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D./Ph.D.) at the University of Minnesota, where he earned his Ph.D in neuroscience under the mentorship of Drs. John Ohlfest and Michael Olin. He then completed internship and neurology residency at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, NY. He joined the lab in August 2020, where he studies the biology of astrocytes and cellular interactions in the glioblastoma microenvironment. In his free time, he enjoys exploring Boston by bicycle, gardening, and listening to all kinds of music.

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Gavin Piester

Gavin received a BS in Biochemistry and a BA in Chemistry at the University of Rochester. While there he worked with Mark Noble studying the impact of genetic and infectious factors on lysosomal function within demyelinating disease. Following graduation, he worked on CRISPR/Cas9 and AAV gene therapy treatments for orphan diseases at Intellia Therapeutics and Pfizer Rare Disease respectively. He then returned to the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry to start an MD/PhD. Gavin joined the Quintana Lab in 2021 to complete the PhD portion of his degree where he will focus on modulating pathogenic activities of astrocytes and microglia in Parkinson’s Disease in collaboration with Ania Majewska from the University of Rochester. Outside of research, you can find him running along the Charles River, cooking, and playing trumpet in an orchestra.

Joseph Rone

Joseph Rone

Joseph received his B.S. from the University of Cincinnati where he studied both Neurobiology and Biomedical Studies. While there, he also conducted animal behavior research in the lab of Charles Vorhees where he focused on the effect of environmental toxins on transgenerational behavioral deficits. He gained an interest in Immunology while working as a technician in Roni Nowarski’s lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he focused on the role of the liver endothelium in shaping Kupffer cell responses in sepsis. He joined the Immunology PhD program at Harvard Medical School in 2020 and subsequently the Quintana Lab in 2021 where he focuses on the role of innate immune cytokines in EAE.


Tomer Illouz, Ph.D.

Tomer completed his B.Sc. (2013) and M.Sc. (2014) degrees in Neuroscience at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel. He then completed his Ph.D. (2021) in the lab of Prof. Eitan Okun, studying multiple aspects of the immune response in Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome. In his studied, Tomer assessed the efficacy of DNA-based immunotherapeutic approaches for targeting Amyloid-β in preclinical mouse models. Additionally, He developed several machine-learning based methods for unbiased quantification of spatial learning strategies in rodent cognitive testing. Tomer joined the Quintana lab in 2022 as a Postdoctoral Fellow to study cell-cell communication in Alzheimer’s disease. He is a recipient of the 2018 Clore Israel Foundation Scholarship, the 2022 Annette Karmiloff-Smith and Michael Harpold Trisomy-21 Thesis award, and the 2022 EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship.

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Joon-Hyuk Lee, Ph.D.

Joon-Hyuk received a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Science in 2016 from Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He then began working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2016. He was awarded his Ph.D. Degree in 2022 under the guidance of Dr. Won-Suk Chung, studying the phagocytosis of astrocytes in the adult brain. Joon-Hyuk joined Dr. Quintana’s Lab in 2022 as a postdoctoral fellow with a strong interest in astrocyte subsets that influence neurological symptoms. Joon-Hyuk has received numerous awards, including a Global Ph.D. Fellowship (NRF), SHIMADZU award (KSBMB), Da-Han award (KBRI), Commendation for Academic Excellence (Deputy Prime Minister of Korea) and is currently a HFSP (Human Frontier Science Program) postdoctoral fellow. In his free time, Joon-Hyuk enjoys watching Korean TV shows with his wife and playing soccer.


Carolina Manganeli Polonio, Ph.D.

Carolina Polonio received her Master’s degree (2017) from the University of Sao Paulo – Brazil investigating the immunoregulatory potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the EAE. She also received her Ph.D degree (2022) from the University of Sao Paulo – Brazil understating the dynamics of microRNAs in astrocytes and neuronal precursor cells during fetal neuropathology of ZIKV, which spent a year in Quintana Lab (2020). Following her interest in neuroimmunology, she joined the Quintana Lab in 2023 as Postdoctoral Fellow to study immunomodulatory mechanisms of dendritic cells and astrocytes during EAE and MS.


Michael Kilian, Ph.D.

Michael received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, in Molecular Biotechnology. He completed his Ph.D. in 2021 in the lab of Michael Platten at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, where he novel approaches of neoantigen-specific immunotherapy as well as mechanisms driving dysfunctional T cell responses in brain tumors. Michael is a Leopoldina Research Fellow and joined the Quintana lab in 2023. He now focuses on cell-cell interactions that regulate immune responses in both, MS and glioblastoma.

Bioinformatics Specialist
Zhaorong Li

Zhaorong Li, M.S.

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. He is currently working on his PhD at Boston University.

Laboratory Technician
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Lena Srun

Lena Srun received her B.A. from Wellesley College, where she studied Neuroscience and Economics. While she was there, she conducted research on glutamate transporters in C. elegans. She joined the lab in late 2021 as a technician. In her free time, she enjoys visiting museums, baking, learning new languages, and crocheting.

Senior Administrative Associate
Janelle Weathers

Janelle Weathers, M.M.

Financial Manager
Matt Varley

Matt Varley, CRA

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

2009               Andrezza Santiago, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

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

2009-2011      Roya Rahbari, Ph.D. / Advanced Economic Analyst, Citizens Bank

2007-2010      Roopali Gandhi, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

2010-2016      Lior Mayo, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor, Tel Aviv University, Israel

2011-2012      Ruxandra Covacu, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor, Karolinska Institute, Sweden

2011-2016      Ada Yeste, M.S.  / Post-doctoral Fellow, Barcelona, Spain

2012              Miri Gordin, M.S. / Graduate Student, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

2012-2013      Chun Cheih Chao, M.S. / Post-doctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School

2012-2015      Ivan Mascanfroni, Ph.D.  / Group Leader, Abbvie

2012              Nadya Ali, M.S. / M.D. Student, Michigan State University College

2013              Leslie Cuellar, M.S. / Visiting Scientist

2013              Georges Guillaume, M.S. / Visiting Scientist

2013              Megan Rodgers, M.Sc. / Visiting Scientist

2013-2014      Lukas Bunse, M.D. / Post-doctoral Fellow, Heidelberg University, Germany

2013-2014      Swasti Barthi, M.Sc. / Visiting Scientist

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

2014-2016      Merja Jaronen, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor, University of Kuopio, Finland

2016-2017      Kalil Alves da Lima, M.S. / Visiting Scientist

2018-2018      Lydia Guo / Undergraduate Student

2020              Carolina Manganeli Polonio, M.S. / Visiting Student

2020              Jessica Pereira, M.S. / Visiting Student

2020              Joao Vitor Mahler Ferreira Oliveira / Visiting Student

2020              Pedro Henrique Fonseca de Castro / Visiting Student

2017-2020      Andreia Barroso, Ph.D. / Post-doctoral Fellow

2017-2021      Iain Clark, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley

2017-2021      Cristina Gutierrez-Vazquez, Ph.D. / Scientist, Regeneron

2019-2020      Gabriel Lipof, M.S. / Lab Manager

2020-2021      Agustin Plasencia / Lab Manager

2021              Claudia M. Rejano Gordillo, M.S. / Visiting Scientist

2021-2022      Lucinda Li / Lab Manager

2021-2022      Kylynne Ferrara, M.D. / Visiting Student

2018-2022      Liliana Sanmarco, Ph.D. / Post-doctoral Fellow

2022              Dulce Aleman / Summer Student

2022              Pere Duart-Abadia / Visiting Student

2019 – 2022      Federico Giovannoni, Ph.D. / Post-doctoral Fellow

2017 – 2022    Atsushi Kadowaki, M.D., Ph.D. / Post-doctoral Fellow

2016 – 2022    Michael A. Wheeler, Ph.D. / Post-doctoral Fellow

2022 – 2023    Nikolas Stevens / Visiting Student

2022 – 2023    Lucas Evaristo Ferreira Flausino / Visiting Student

2023              Lillie Godinez / Visiting Student

2023              Arianna Ghia / Visiting Student

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