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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.

Jessica Pereira

Jessica Pereira

Jessica received her Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy from University of Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil in 2013. In 2017, she received her Master’s Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology program from the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/FIOCRUZ-RJ), where she studied leptin effects in the modulation of leukocytes response. Jessica is a PhD student in the Department of Immunology at the University of Sao Paulo (ICB-USP), and developing her research project focusing on understanding how the alterations in cellular metabolism can affect the immune response of macrophages in the Laboratory of Immunometabolism at the University of Campinas (IB/Unicamp). Currently, Jessica is visiting the Quintana Lab. For fun, Jessica likes hiking and being connected with nature.

Joao Vitor Mahler Ferreira Oliveira

Joao Vitor Mahler Ferreira Oliveira

Joao is currently an undergraduate, enrolled in an MD program at the University of Sao Paulo. He joined the lab in 2020 and is working under the supervision of Atsushi Kadowaki, MD, PhD, to further comprehend the neuroimmune interactions between the environment and the host that may lead to the development of Multiple Sclerosis and 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.

Cristina Gutierrez-Vazquez

Cristina Gutierrez-Vazquez, Ph.D.

Cristina obtained her Ph.D. by Autónoma University of Madrid in 2016 where she also got her Bachelors 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

Iain Clark, Ph.D.

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 Ph.D. 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

Andreia Barroso, M.S., Ph.D.

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 Ph.D. student, Andreia awarded two Brazilian scholarships to study one year in an institution abroad.  At that time, she joined Dr. Quintana’s Lab as a visiting 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 social life, Andreia likes practicing different styles of dance around Boston area, as well as enjoying music concerts.

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.

Carolina Manganeli Polonio

Carolina is a Ph.D. student at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Her research focus is understanding the role of miRNAs on the immunopathogenesis of microcephaly caused by Zika virus in experimental models. She joined the Quintana Lab in 2019 and works under the supervision of Dr. Liliana Sanmarco to study mechanisms involved by dendritic cells and astrocytes in neuro-inflammatory diseases.

Pedro Henrique Fonseca de Castro

Pedro Henrique is currently a medical student at the University of São Paulo in Brazil. He was selected for one year internship at the Quintana Lab through a program between his home university and Harvard, in which they provide the opportunity for medical students to have a scientific experience at one of the world’s largest and most renowned research centers. He works under the supervision of Dr. Andreia Barroso assisting in her studies focused on the mechanisms by which AhR, and other transcriptional factors, can regulate inflammation in brain disorders such as multiple sclerosis and glioblastoma.

He was enrolled in different research projects in his home university in different fields, especially oncology and neurology. In this internship, he aims to learn more about the topics he is most interested in (neurosciences and immunology) and to acquire important knowledge and skills for his future as a researcher and doctor, such as commitment, team work, critical, analytical and investigative thinking.

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. As part of his thesis research, he will be investigating Glioblastoma-associated astrocytes by use of single-cell technologies under the supervision of Michael Wheeler, also collaborating with Federico Giovannoni and Brian Andersen. In his free time, he enjoys cooking international dishes, traveling, photography, concerts and sports.

Bioinformatics Specialist
Zhaorong Li

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.

Laboratory Technician
Gabriel Lipof

Gabriel Lipof, M.S.

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 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.Sc.  / Post-doctoral Fellow, Barcelona, Spain

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

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

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

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

2013                 Leslie Cuellar, M.Sc. / Visiting Scientist

2013                 Georges Guillaume, M.Sc. / 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.Sc. / Visiting Scientist

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