Patrícia T. Bozza

Fellow: Awarded 2010

Field of Study: Molecular and Cellular Biology

Competition: Latin America & Caribbean

Patricia Bozza is a Senior Scientist at the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil. Research in Dr. Bozza's laboratory focuses on molecular and cellular mechanisms of leukocyte activation and generation of inflammatory mediators in host defense and other forms of inflammation. The main areas of investigation are the biogenesis and functions of lipid droplets in host pathogen-interactions; sepsis pathogenesis and biomarkers; and mechanisms of leukocyte activation and trafficking in pulmonary inflammation.

Patricia Bozza received her M.D. in 1990 from the School of Medical Sciences, State University of Rio de Janeiro, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1993 from the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was named a Pew Latin American Fellow in 1994 and she went on to do postdoctoral work at the Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School (1994-1997), under the mentoring of Dr. Weller where she conducted studies on cellular mechanisms of inflammatory mediator production. From her studies she received the Young Reseacher Travel Award, from the International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR) in 1994 and the Young Researcher Aspirin Award (Bayer) in 1995.

Patricia Bozza returned to Brazil to join the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz as an Associated Scientist in 1997. She was named International Scholar from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2002-2006) and Chair of the Pew Program in Biomedical Sciences Regional (Brazil) Committee (2004-2008). She was elected councilor of the Brazilian Society in Immunology (2009-2011). Her Laboratory is part of the prestigious network of Laboratories of Excellence since 2003 (PRONEX, Ministry of Science and Tecnology). In 2002 she was appointed as Scholar and later as Senior Scholar (1A) of the Brazilian National Research Council and was honored as a Scientist of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), an award presented by the Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, and received the Scopus Award Brazil in 2008 for highly cited Brazilian scientists in a ten-year period (Elsevier). Her work has been funded by competitive grants from Brazilian and international organizations. Dr. Bozza has published over 120 papers in peer-reviewed international journals.

She is Academic Editor of PlosOne and act as consultant for National and International Journals (including J. Immunology, J Infectious Diseases, Critical Care Medicine, J Leuk Biology, Amer J Respiratory and Critical Care Med, BBA) and funding agencies. In addition, she devotes great attention to science education and has served as Committee Member of The Institutional Program of Scientific Initiation and the Board of the Ph.D. program in Cell and Molecular Biology, and acts as member and now as Chair of the Institutional Research Ethical Board, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Dr. Bozza has mentored the work of twenty-five graduate students (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) and four postdoctorate fellows.

During her Guggenheim Fellowship term, Patricia Bozza will study the molecular mechanisms of lipid droplet formation and the functional significance of lipid droplets to host-pathogen interactions and microbial pathogenesis, focusing on the roles of lipid droplets biogenesis during mycobacterial infection and their roles in phagosome interaction and escaping mechanisms. The better recognition of the molecular mechanisms involved in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-regulated innate immunity pathways and escape mechanisms may open new possibilities of developing novel therapeutics for tuberculosis.