Department of Microbiology and Immunology
1967 M.D., University of Lisbon
1974 Ph.D., University of Lisbon
Dr. Virella’s research is focused on the investigation of the role of autoimmune and inflammatory processes in the pathogenesis of human atherosclerosis. His lab has established unique protocols for the isolation and characterization of human antibodies to modified lipoproteins, the definition of lipoprotein modification involved in autoimmune reactions, and the biological properties of antigen-antibody complexes prepared with human modified LDL and human purified antibodies to modified LDL. The sum of the data generated in collaboration with Dr. Maria Lopes-Virella supports a pathogenic role for the autoimmune response to modified lipoproteins. Currently we are investigating parameters that may have a modulatory effect on the consequences of autoantibody formation against modified LDL, such as the ration of IgG vs. IgM antibodies and on the definition of immune complex-mediated pathogenic mechanisms responsible for the development of diabetic nephropathy..
Recent Publications | Additional Publications
Smith KJ, Twal WO, Soodavar F, Virella G, Lopes-Virella MF, Hammad SM. Heat shock protein 70B' (HSP70B') expression and release in response to human oxidized low density lipoprotein immune complexes in macrophages. J Biol Chem. 2010 May 21;285(21):15985-93. Epub 2010 Mar 26. PubMed PMID: 20348092; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2871467.
Virella G. Immunology of cardiovascular disease. Clin Immunol. 2010 Jan;134(1):1-4. Epub 2009 Jun 16. PubMed PMID: 19535296.
Lopes-Virella MF, Virella G. Clinical significance of the humoral immune response to modified LDL. Clin Immunol. 2010 Jan;134(1):55-65. Epub 2009 May 8. Review. PubMed PMID: 19427818; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2808452.
Lopes-Virella MF, Carter RE, Gilbert GE, Klein RL, Jaffa M, Jenkins AJ, Lyons TJ, Garvey WT, Virella G; Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Intervention and Complications Cohort Study Group. Risk factors related to inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in the DCCT/EDIC cohort and their relationship with nephropathy and macrovascular complications. Diabetes
Care. 2008 Oct;31(10):2006-12. Epub 2008 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 18628568; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2551645.
Title: Lipoprotein Metabolism and Cell-Lipoprotein Interactions in Diabetes Mellitus
Agency: VA Merit Review Research Program-Year 20
Funding Period: 04/01/1985-09/30/2011