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Fernanda De Felice PhD in Biological Chemistry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
 Fernanda De Felice
Associate Professor
Contact Info

Fernanda De Felice is an Associate Professor at the Center for Neurosciences Studies & Departments of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences and Psychiatry at Queen’s University, Canada. De Felice obtained her B.Sc. Degree in Biology at UFRJ in 1994. She obtained her M.Sc. (1997) and her Ph.D. (2002) degrees in Biological Chemistry in the Institute of Medical Biochemistry at UFRJ. Dr. De Felice performed her postdoctoral training on Neurobiology of Alzheimer’s Disease under the supervision of Prof. William Klein at the Department of neurobiology & Physiology at Northwestern University, USA, from 2005 to 2008.

Research Interests

Dr. De Felice’s research sits at the interface between AD and metabolism and her group made pioneering contributions on the links between AD, diabetes and inflammation. Dr. De Felice led innovative studies on the actions of hormones in Alzheimer’s disease. She conducted seminal work on the mechanisms leading to defective insulin signaling in Alzheimer’s disease. Her recent study showing that irisin, an exercise-linked hormone, has protective actions in AD has received widespread interest from the scientific community and media all over the World. Her studies, along with clinical observations, have contribute to understand how neuronal dysfunction occurs in the brains of AD patients and are contributing to comprehend how lifestyle interventions, in particular physical exercise, have the potential to preserve brain health and prevent or delay AD.

Selected Publications

  • Batista AF, Rody T, Forny-Germano L, Cerdeiro S, Bellio M, Ferreira ST, Munoz, DP, De Felice FG. (2021) Blockade of IL-1R protects against amyloid-b oligomer-induced alterations in mitochondrial dynamic proteins and memory impairment. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 18(1) 54. doi: 10.1186/s12974-021-02099-x.
  • De Felice FG*, Tovar-Moll F, Moll J, Munoz DP & Ferreira ST. (2020) Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the Central Nervous System. Trends in Neuroscience, 43(6):355-357. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2020.04.004. 
  • Lourenco MV, Frozza RL, de Freitas GB, Zhang H, Kincheski GC, Clarke JR, Ribeiro FC, Beckman D, Staniszevski A, Berman HL, Guerra LA, Forny-Germano L, Meier S, Abisambra JF, Wilcock DM, Prado VF, Prado MAM, de Souza JM, Alves-Leon SV, Tovar-Moll F, Mattos P, Arancio O, Ferreira ST, De Felice FG. Exercise-linked FNDC5/irisin rescues synapse and memory defects in Alzheimer’s models. Nature Medicine, 25(1):165-175, 2019. Commented in Nature Medicine, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery and Alzforum.  
  • Lourenco MV, Clarke JR, Frozza RL, Bomfim TR, Forny-Germano L, Batista AF, Sathler LB, Brito-Moreira J, Amaral OB, Silva CA, Freitas-Correa L, Espírito-Santo S, Campello-Costa P, Houzel JC, Klein WL, Holscher C, Carvalheira JB, Silva AM, Velloso LA, Munoz DP, Ferreira ST, De Felice FG. TNF-α mediates PKR-dependent memory impairment and brain IRS-1 inhibition induced by Alzheimer's β-amyloid oligomers in mice and monkeys. Cell Metab, 18(6): 831-843, 2013. Cover story, Commentary in Cell Metab.
  • Bomfim TR, Forny-Germano L, Sathler LB, Brito-Moreira J, Houzel JC, Decker H, Silverman MA, Kazi H, Melo HM, McClean PL, Holscher C, Arnold SE, Talbot K, Klein WL, Munoz DP, Ferreira ST, De Felice FG. An anti-diabetes agent protects the mouse brain from defective insulin signaling caused by Alzheimer's disease- associated Aβ oligomers. J Clin Invest, 122(4): 1339-1353, 2012. Commentaries in Nat Rev Neurol, Sci Transl Med and J Clin Invest.

Lab Members

Natalia Lyra e Silva- Research Associate
Rafaella Goncalves – PhD student
Guilherme de Freitas – PhD student