Leonardo Ramos Ferreira, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar
(co-advised by Qizhi Tang)

Cell-based gene therapies offer unprecedented promise for medicine. One day, it may be possible to cure degenerative diseases that consist of the loss of one or several specialized cell functions, as well as to decelerate the deterioration our bodies experience during aging. However, several hurdles must be surpassed in order to establish cell transplantation therapies, a major one being rejection by the recipient's immune system. This challenge is particularly prominent for autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, where the immune system mediates the destruction of self-tissues. My Ph.D. thesis work, carried out in the laboratories of Jack Strominger and Chad Cowan (Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology) at Harvard University, focused on understanding immune tolerance using pregnancy as a model, as well as developing new tools to interrogate our immune system at the genetic level. Currently, I am a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratories of Jeff Bluestone (Diabetes Center) and Qizhi Tang (Department of Surgery) at the University of California San Francisco. I envision that we will be able to use our capacity to engineer the human genome with high precision and efficiency to manipulate our immune system, enabling us to treat several devastating illnesses now labeled as incurable. I am highly committed to make that vision become a reality.


Immunodietica: interrogating the role of diet in autoimmune disease.

International immunology

Gershteyn IM, Burov AA, Miao BY, Morais VH, Ferreira LMR

Intermediary metabolism: An intricate network at the crossroads of cell fate and function.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular basis of disease

Ferreira LMR, Li AM, Serafim TL, Sobral MC, Alpoim MC, Urbano AM

GPR146 Deficiency Protects against Hypercholesterolemia and Atherosclerosis.


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

Heat Shock Protein 90 in Human Diseases and Disorders

HSP90: A Key Player in Metal-Induced Carcinogenesis?

Abreu, P.L.;
Ferreira, L.M.R.;
Cunha-Oliveira, T.;
Alpoim M.C.
A. M. Urbano

Scientists as non-state actors of public diplomacy.

Nature human behaviour

Carosso GA, Ferreira LMR, Mostajo-Radji MA

Impact of Carcinogenic Chromium on the Cellular Response to Proteotoxic Stress.

International journal of molecular sciences

Ferreira LMR, Cunha-Oliveira T, Sobral MC, Abreu PL, Alpoim MC, Urbano AM

Next-generation regulatory T cell therapy.

Nature reviews. Drug discovery

Ferreira LMR, Muller YD, Bluestone JA, Tang Q

Developing brains, developing nations: Can scientists be effective non-state diplomats?

Frontiers in Education

Carosso G.A., Ferreira L.M.R., Mostajo-Radji M.A.

Effective participatory science education in a diverse Latin American population

Palgrave Communications

Ferreira, L.M.R., Carosso, G.A., Duran, N.M., Bohorquez-Massud, S.V., Vaca-Diez, G., Rivera-Betancourt, L.I., Rodriguez, Y., Ordonez, D.G., Alatriste-Gonzalez, D.K., Vacaflores, A., Auza, L.G., Schuetz, C., Alvarado-Arnez, L.E., Alexander-Savino, C.V., Gandarilla, O., Mostajo-Radji, M.A.

Generation of hypoimmunogenic human pluripotent stem cells.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Han X, Wang M, Duan S, Franco PJ, Kenty JH, Hedrick P, Xia Y, Allen A, Ferreira LMR, Strominger JL, Melton DA, Meissner TB, Cowan CA

Hexavalent chromium, a lung carcinogen, confers resistance to thermal stress and interferes with heat shock protein expression in human bronchial epithelial cells.

Biometals : an international journal on the role of metal ions in biology, biochemistry, and medicine

Abreu PL, Cunha-Oliveira T, Ferreira LMR, Urbano AM

NLRP2 is a suppressor of NF-?B signaling and HLA-C expression in human trophoblasts†,‡.

Biology of reproduction

Tilburgs T, Meissner TB, Ferreira LMR, Mulder A, Musunuru K, Ye J, Strominger JL

HLA-G: At the Interface of Maternal-Fetal Tolerance.

Trends in immunology

Ferreira LMR, Meissner TB, Tilburgs T, Strominger JL

Generating Antigen-Specific Regulatory T Cells in the Fast Lane.

American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons

Ferreira LM, Tang Q

A distant trophoblast-specific enhancer controls HLA-G expression at the maternal-fetal interface.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Ferreira LM, Meissner TB, Mikkelsen TS, Mallard W, O'Donnell CW, Tilburgs T, Gomes HA, Camahort R, Sherwood RI, Gifford DK, Rinn JL, Cowan CA, Strominger JL

Efficient ablation of genes in human hematopoietic stem and effector cells using CRISPR/Cas9.

Cell stem cell

Mandal PK, Ferreira LM, Collins R, Meissner TB, Boutwell CL, Friesen M, Vrbanac V, Garrison BS, Stortchevoi A, Bryder D, Musunuru K, Brand H, Tager AM, Allen TM, Talkowski ME, Rossi DJ, Cowan CA

Impact of hexavalent chromium on mammalian cell bioenergetics: phenotypic changes, molecular basis and potential relevance to chromate-induced lung cancer.

Biometals : an international journal on the role of metal ions in biology, biochemistry, and medicine

Abreu PL, Ferreira LM, Alpoim MC, Urbano AM

Genome editing for human gene therapy.

Methods in enzymology

Meissner TB, Mandal PK, Ferreira LM, Rossi DJ, Cowan CA

Gammadelta T cells: innately adaptive immune cells?

International reviews of immunology

Ferreira LM

Changing cell identity to create true personalized medicine

Gac Med Bol

Mostajo-Radji MA, Ferreira LM

Neural regeneration: lessons from regenerating and non-regenerating systems.

Molecular neurobiology

Ferreira LM, Floriddia EM, Quadrato G, Di Giovanni S

Metabolic reprogramming of the tumor.


Ferreira LM, Hebrant A, Dumont JE

DNA Repair and Human Health (ed. Sonya Vengrova)

DNA Damage, Repair and Misrepair in Cancer and in Cancer Therapy

Urbano AM, Ferreira LM, Cerveira JF, Rodrigues CF, Alpoim MC

Cancer metabolism: the Warburg effect today.

Experimental and molecular pathology

Ferreira LM