Maria Fernanda Laranjeira-Silva
Dr. Maria Fernanda Laranjeira-Silva is a Young Researcher in the Department of Physiology at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She received her undergraduate degree in Molecular Sciences and a Ph.D. from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Throughout her research career, Dr. Laranjeira-Silva developed a keen focus on host-parasite interactions and the Leishmania´s mechanisms of subverting host defense responses. During her postdoctoral training and a subsequent Research Associate position at the University of Maryland-College Park, U.S.A. with Prof. Norma Andrews and Prof. Iqbal Hamza, she began to investigate iron and heme metabolism pathways in both the parasite and mammalian host. She identified and characterized the first iron exporter (LIR1) in a trypanosomatid parasite answering an important question about how Leishmania prevents accumulation of free iron to avoid cytotoxicity.
Moving back to Brazil, Dr. Laranjeira-Silva was given a highly prestigious award from The State of Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and began her independent career as an Early-Stage Investigator at the University of Sao Paulo. Her ultimate research goal is to further understand Leishmania pathogenesis to define better therapeutic targets for leishmaniasis treatment.