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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.

Liliana Sanmarco

Liliana Sanmarco, Ph.D.

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

Atsushi Kadowaki, M.D., Ph.D.

Atsushi obtained his M.D. 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 Ph.D. 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.


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.

Michael Wheeler

Michael Wheeler, Ph.D.

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.

Federico Giovannoni

Federico Giovannoni

Federico is a Ph.D. 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.

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 came to the US to pursue a Master’s Degree in Immunology at Harvard Medical School and completing thesis research at the Quintana Lab. As a PhD student, he will be investigating immunological roles of Glioblastoma-associated astrocytes by use of single-cell technologies. In his free time, he enjoys cooking international dishes, traveling, photography, concerts and sports.

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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 - Head Shot Crop

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.

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Claudia M. Rejano Gordillo

Claudia graduated in Biology from the University of Extremadura (Spain) (2013-2017). She completed the master’s degree in Cancer Biology and Clinic at the Cancer Research Center (CIC) (2018). In addition, she began her research training in various laboratories, including those of Dr. Abelardo López Rivas at the Andalusian Center for Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine (CABIMER, 2016), Dr. Pedro María Fernández Salguero at Uex (2017) and Dr. Felipe X . Pimentel Muiños at the CIC (2018). After this training period she received a competitive fellowship from the Spanish government, with the help of which she is currently developing her PhD project: “Functional interaction of AhR with the routes PI3K / AKT, ERK, mTOR and Wnt / b- Cat in the control of cell reprogramming and the progression of hepatocarcinoma” under the direction of Dr. Pedro María Fernández Salguero. She is currently in a research stay in the laboratory of Dr. Francisco J. Quintana to study the role of AhR in different inflammatory contexts. In her free time, she loves to cook, read, enjoy the company of her friends with something delicious to eat, and play sports in nature.

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.

Laboratory Technician

Agustin Plasencia

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.

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.

2020-2021      Agustin Plasencia

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