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Faculty Detail    
Name BEATRIZ LEON-RUIZ
 
Campus Address SHEL 513 Zip 2182
Phone  205-975-4806
E-mail  bleon@uab.edu
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
Title
Dendritic cells in controlling Th2 polarization in allergy and immunity
Description
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. In addition, my lab is interested in study the mechanisms that license dendritic cells for the generation of fully responsive effector CD8+ T cells against tumor antigens. In this regard, we are exploring whether antibody-dependent mechanisms and post-translational antigen modifications can improve antigen presentation by dendritic cells to elicit extensive CD8 T-cell responses with therapeutic anti tumor effects.

Positions Available
Date Posted Position Title
5/18/2016  Graduate Student 
My lab invites applications for a graduate student position. The research project focuses on characterization of the mechanisms that initiate and regulate T Helper 2 (TH2) responses to inhaled allergens in infancy and adulthood and the identification of therapeutic modalities that specifically block TH2 responses without causing general immunosuppression. (see Immunity. 2016 Feb 16;44(2):259-73; J Immunol. 2014 Aug 15;193(4):1531-7, Nat Immunol. 2012 May 27;13(7):681-90)   

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Ballesteros-Tato A, Randall TD, Lund FE, Spolski R, Leonard WJ, León B. 2016. T Follicular Helper Cell Plasticity Shapes Pathogenic T Helper 2 Cell-Mediated Immunity to Inhaled House Dust Mite. Immunity. 16;44(2):259-73  PMID: 26825674 
León B, Ballesteros-Tato A, Lund FE. 2014. Dendritic cells and B cells: unexpected partners in Th2 development. J Immunol.193(4):1531-7  PMID: 25086176 
León B, Ballesteros-Tato A, Randall TD, Lund FE. 2014. Prolonged antigen presentation by immune complex-binding dendritic cells programs the proliferative capacity of memory CD8 T cells. J Exp Med. 28;211(8):1637-55.  PMID: 25002751  
León B, Bradley JE, Lund FE, Randall TD, Ballesteros-Tato A. 2014. FoxP3+ regulatory T cells promote influenza-specific Tfh responses by controlling IL-2 availability. Nat Commun. 17;5:3495.   PMID: 24633065  
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.   PMID: 2263486 
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.  PMID: 22464171 
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.  PMID: 22394173 
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.  PMID: 20098442 
León, B; Ardavín, C. 2008. Monocyte-derived dendritic cells in innate and adaptive immunity. Immunol Cell Biol. 86:320-324.  PMID: 18362945 
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.   PMID: 18184867 
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.  PMID: 17412618 
León, B; López-Bravo, M; Ardavín, C. 2005. Monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Seminars in Immunology, 17:313-318.  PMID: 15955712 
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.   PMID: 14630812 

Keywords
Dendritic cells, T helper type 2 (Th2) responses, memory T cells, allergy, asthma, anti-tumor immunity.