Luis Bruno Barreiro , Ing. , Ph.D.
    Luis Bruno Barreiro
    Research Axis
    Immune Diseases and Cancer Axis
    Research Theme
    Immune diseases: mechanisms, new therapeutic approaches and disease outcomes

    514 345-4931 #2544



    • PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Montreal


    • 2008–2011: Postdoctoral training in Functional Genomics, Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, Chicago, USA.
    • 2003- 2008: PhD in Human Population Genetics, Université Paris VII, Paris, France.
    • 1997-2002: Degree in Biotechnological Engineering, Lusófona University, Lisbon, Portugal

    Career Summary

    Luis Barreiro received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Biotechnology at Lusófona University, Lisbon, Portugal. In 2008, he obtained his PhD in Human Population Genetics from the University of Paris VII. Luis Barreiro’s research focuses on a better understanding how natural selection has contributed to the evolution of our species and the extent to which past selection events impact present-day susceptibility to disease. Specifically, Barreiro’s lab studies the evolution of immune responses both at the inter-species level as well as among different individuals and human populations.

    1) Identification of Genetic Factors of Susceptibility to Infectious Diseases

    Infectious diseases have always been a major public health problem throughout the world. Despite the recent development of vaccines and antibiotics, there are still nearly 15 million deaths every year attributable to the effects of infectious diseases. Although a significant proportion of inter-individual variation in susceptibility to particular microbes can be attributed to environmental factors such as malnutrition or poor hygienic conditions, a substantial portion is due to host genetic factors. Yet, to date, very little is known about the underlying genetic factors that contribute to differences in susceptibility to infectious diseases at the population level. Using a multidisciplinary approach that combines cutting edge genomic techniques with immunological and evolutionary genetic tools, Dr. Barreiro’s lab aims to identify individual genes, as well as entire pathways, whose transcriptional response to distinct bacterial infections varies among individuals and populations and can be mapped to specific genetic loci (QTLs). Successful mapping of such QTLs will result in the identification of highly-promising genetic candidates of susceptibility to infectious diseases.

    2) Evolution of Immune Responses in Primates

    Humans and our close evolutionary relatives respond differently to a large number of infections. While AIDS, malaria, and cancer kill millions of humans around the world every year, several non-human primates appear to be naturally protected against these diseases. Such differences between humans and other primates are thought to be the result, at least in part, of inter-species differences in immune response to infection. However, due to the lack of comparative functional data across species, the ways in which the immune systems of humans and other primates differ remain unclear. In the laboratory, we are studying the phenotypic evolution of immune responses in primates by combining in-vitro immunological assays with cutting-edge genomic techniques. Our projects promise to identify inter-species differences in early response to infection that may explain differences in susceptibility to diseases among primates.

    As part of the Portraits of researchers series from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, discover the portrait of Dr. Luis Barreiro (French only).

    Awards and Distinctions

    • Salary Grant Junior 1, Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), 2011-2014.
    • Postdoctoral fellowship, Human Frontiers Science Foundation, 05/2009 – 02/2011.
    • Postdoctoral fellowship, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), 03/2009 – 05/2009.
    • Postdoctoral fellowship, Fondation pour La Recherche Médicale (FRM), 03/2008 -02/2009.
    • Doctoral fellowship, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portuguese government), 2004-2008.

    Dr. Luis Barreiro has received the «Career Development Award 2012» from the Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) for his study : Deciphering the genetic architecture of immune responses to infection. (March 2012)


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