In 1987, Dr. Luz Blanco received her bachelor degree in biochemistry with a major in immunology at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. In 1997, Dr. Blanco completed her Ph.D. in microbiology at University of Chile. In 1993 she secured a faculty position at Facultad de Ciencias Quimicas y Farmaceuticas Universidad de Chile being promoted to Assistant Professor of Immunology in 1997. From 2001 until 2013 she worked at University of Michigan after being awarded with a Latin American fellowship from the American Society of Microbiology with positions such as a sabbatical visiting scientist, postdoctoral fellow, senior postdoctoral fellow, and research investigator. In 2013, she was recruited as a staff scientist for the Systemic Autoimmunity branch at the NIAMS where she currently is doing research in the innate immune system role in autoimmunity and inflammation.

Research Statement

Dr. Blanco is interested in how innate immune cells participate in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, with a particular interest in neutrophils and the mechanisms involved in the regulation of their functionality. She is exploring possible therapeutic agents and mechanisms involved in the mitochondrial disfunction formerly reported in lupus disease by her and others. In addition, Dr. Blanco is studying how neutrophil extracellular traps affect the endothelial cell biology.

Scientific Publications

Tofacitinib Ameliorates Murine Lupus and Its Associated Vascular Dysfunction.

Furumoto Y, Smith CK, Blanco L, Zhao W, Brooks SR, Thacker SG, Abdalrahman Z, Sciumè G, Tsai WL, Trier AM, Nunez L, Mast L, Hoffmann V, Remaley AT, O'Shea JJ, Kaplan MJ, Gadina M
Arthritis Rheumatol.
2017 Jan;
doi: 10.1002/art.39818
PMID: 27429362

Neutrophil extracellular traps enriched in oxidized mitochondrial DNA are interferogenic and contribute to lupus-like disease.

Lood C, Blanco LP, Purmalek MM, Carmona-Rivera C, De Ravin SS, Smith CK, Malech HL, Ledbetter JA, Elkon KB, Kaplan MJ
Nat Med.
2016 Feb;
doi: 10.1038/nm.4027
PMID: 26779811

Interferon-α and angiogenic dysregulation in pregnant lupus patients who develop preeclampsia.

Andrade D, Kim M, Blanco LP, Karumanchi SA, Koo GC, Redecha P, Kirou K, Alvarez AM, Mulla MJ, Crow MK, Abrahams VM, Kaplan MJ, Salmon JE
Arthritis Rheumatol.
2015 Apr;
doi: 10.1002/art.39029
PMID: 25603823

Gender-biased regulation of human IL-17-producing cells in vitro by peptides corresponding to distinct HLA-DRB1 allele-coded sequences.

Blanco LP, Plegue M, Fung-Leung WP, Holoshitz J
J Immune Based Ther Vaccines Antimicrob.
2013 Jul;
doi: 10.4236/jibtva.2013.23004
PMID: 28748127

Diversity, biogenesis and function of microbial amyloids.

Blanco LP, Evans ML, Smith DR, Badtke MP, Chapman MR
Trends Microbiol.
2012 Feb;
doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2011.11.005
PMID: 22197327
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