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Pere Santamaria, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases

Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases (MIID)       Pere Santamaria
Chair,  Immunology Research Group
Chair, Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre
Address: Health Research Innovation Centre
Phone: (403) 220-8735
Fax: (403) 210-8862

Curriculum Vitae:
MD, University of Barcelona, 1983
PhD, University of Barcelona, 1987

Potential Graduate Supervisor

The focus of most of Dr. Santamaria's scientific career has been to try to understand the immunogenetics and immunopathogenesis of autoimmune disorders, with a particular focus on type 1 diabetes, to try to find targets for therapeutic intervention. Early efforts focused on the relationship between genetic susceptibility and resistance to autoimmunity and T-cell tolerance. This work culminated in the discovery of a new therapeutic platform for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders based on nanomedicine. This therapeutic approach triggers the formation of extensive antigen- and disease-specific networks of regulatory T and B-cells that efficiently suppress the progression of several different autoimmune disorders without compromising systemic immunity. Current efforts focus on dissecting the mechanisms that sustain and regulate these regulatory cellular networks, the developmental origin(s) of their cellular components and the molecules that control cell-to-cell communication within the networks. Mice humanized with peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients are used to select candidate nanomedicines for clinical development. Ultimately, Dr. Santamaria's goal is to bring this new technology to the clinic.