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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address SHEL 513 Zip 2182
Phone  205-975-4806
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Microbiology  Microbiology Assistant Professor
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Assistant Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Assistant Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Assistant Professor

Biographical Sketch 
Beatriz León Ruiz earned her bachelor degree in Biology (2002) from the Complutense University of Madrid. In 2003, she joined the lab of Dr. Carlos Fernandez-Ardavín at Dept of Immunology and Oncology, CNB-CSIC in Madrid to work on mouse monocyte differentiation into dendritic cells during steady state and infection. In 2007, she received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 2007 from Universidad Autónoma in Madrid and she was awarded the “Extraordinary Ph.D reward in biology”. In March 2008, she joined the lab of Dr. Frances E. Lund, as a post-doctoral position associate, at Trudeau Institute and at University of Rochester, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, after Dr. Lund's group moved to the University of Rochester in October 2008. In the Dr. Lund's lab, she studied how B cells and antibodies modulate T cell and dendritic cell responses to infections. In 2011 she joined University of Alabama and was appointed assistant professor in the microbiology department.

Research/Clinical Interest
Dendritic cells in controlling Th2 polarization in allergy and immunity/ Roles of B cells in rheumatoid arthritis
One of my current research objectives is directed toward understanding T helper type 2 (Th2)-driven immune responses. The Th2 immune response is critical in the host defense against parasitic infections, but it is also responsible for the pathogenesis of allergic disorders, such asthma. Dendritic cell activation status plays a critical role in Th2 differentiation. However, it has been difficult to address the precise molecular mechanisms of Th2 induction. We have focused in the studying of the functional specialization of dendritic cells for the induction of Th2 responses against pathogens and allergens. The broad, long term goals of my research program are to develop effective therapies for the treatment of Th2-mediated diseases such as allergic disease. Another project is focused on addressing the role of autoantigen-specific B cells and plasma cells in rheumatoid arthritis disease. Functionally characterization of autoantigen -specific B cells has been difficult due to a lack of reagents that can identify these cells. Thus, my specific interests are developing new methods to identify autoreactive B cells with the long-term goal of using these reagents to determine how autoreactive B cell develop and cause pathology in rheumatoid arthritis disease.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
León, B., Ballesteros-Tato, A., Browning, J.L., Dunn, R., Randall, T.D., Lund, F.E. 2012. Regulation of TH2 development by CXCR5+ dendritic cells and lymphotoxin-expressing B cells. Nat. Immunol. 13: 681-690.    
Ballesteros-Tato, A; León, B; Graf, BA; Moquin, A; Adams, PS; Lund, FE; Randal, TD. 2012 Interleukin-2 Inhibits Germinal Center Formation by Limiting T Follicular Helper Cell Differentiation. Immunity. 36: 847-856.   
León, B; Ballesteros-Tato, A; Misra, RS; Wojciechowski, W; Lund, FE. 2012. Unraveling Effector Functions of B Cells During Infection: The Hidden World Beyond Antibody Production. Infect Disord Drug Targets. 12:213-221.   
Ballesteros-Tato, A., Leon, B., Lund, F.E., Randall, T.D. 2010. Temporal changes in dendritic cell subsets, cross-priming and costimulation via CD70 control CD8+ T cells responses to influenza. Nature Immunol. 11:216-224.   
Mira, M; León, B; Barber, DF; Jiménez-Baranda, S; Goya, I; Almohacid, L; Márquez, G; Zaballos, A; Martínez-A, C; Stein, JV; Ardavín, C; Mañes, S. 2008. Statins induce regulatory T cell recruitment via a CCL1dependent pathway. J. Immunol. 181:3524-34.    
León, B; Ardavín, C. 2008. Monocyte-derived dendritic cells in innate and adaptive immunity. Immunol Cell Biol. 86:320-324.   
León, B; Ardavín, C. 2008. Monocyte migration to inflamed skin and lymph nodes is differentially controlled by L-selectin and PSGL-1. Blood 15:3126-3130.    
León, B; López-Bravo, M; Ardavín, C. 2007. Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells Formed at the Infection Site Control the Induction of Protective T Helper 1 Responses against Leishmania. Immunity, 26: 519-531.   
León, B; López-Bravo, M; Ardavín, C. 2005. Monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Seminars in Immunology, 17:313-318.   
León, B; Martínez del Hoyo, G; Parrillas, V; Hernández Vargas, H; Sánchez-Mateos, P,;Longo, N; López-Bravo, M; Ardavín, C. 2004. Dendritic cell differentiation potential of mouse monocytes: monocytes represent immediate precursors of CD8- and CD8+ splenic dendritic cells. Blood, 103:2668-2676.