Mauro Javier Cortez Veliz
University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Mauro Javier Cortez obtained his biomedical degree at University of Antofagasta, Chile, in 2000. He went to Sao Paulo, Brazil to pursue a doctorate, which he obtained in 2004. He worked as a postdoc at Federal University of Sao Paulo at the Microbiology and Immunology Department, until 2007. He arrived at the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis in Yale University and then moved to the Department of Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics at the University of Maryland, until 2011. In 2011, he returned to Brazil to work as assistant professor, at The University of Sao Paulo, working in the Leishmania model.
There are numerous gaps in our knowledge about the strategies used by Leishmania species to survive in the harsh environment of the phagolysosome of macrophages and modulate the host immune response. The aim of the proposed study is to investigate the molecules induced in bone marrow macrophages (BMM) in response to infection with Leishmania and its association with the inhibition of anti-parasitic response. In particular, our interest focus on factors that modulate the expression of CD200 and its receptor (CD200R), molecules induced after infection with amastigotes of Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis and inhibited the activation of iNOS pathway in macrophages. Our hypothesis is that the parasites stimulate the expression of CD200 through activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). We will investigate the signaling pathways involved in parasite recognition by specific TLRs and its association with expression of CD200 in infection with Leishmania in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we will investigate the potential role of CD200 in the biogenesis of the vacuole parasitophorous, which is essential for parasite resistance and growth in macrophages. The successful completion of the studies will promote important informations regarding the biology of the infection by Leishmania species and a potential new target for therapeutic applications.