iCubed’s Featured Researcher of the Month is Eduardo Mufarrege, Ph.D. Dr. Mufarrege is a post-doctoral fellow in the Cell Culture Laboratory of the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) in Argentina. Over the past six months he has been collaborating with iCubed as a visiting researcher developing a deimmunization project of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha).

This cytokine is widely used in the treatment of viral infections such as Hepatitis B and C, as well as in several subtypes of cancers. When administered in high doses and frequency, the cytokine can trigger an immune response against the therapeutic. These effects vary from neutralizing antibody development leading to a reduced therapy efficacy to the development of autoimmune diseases. This project is a combined effort between UNL and the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Mufarrege earned his undergraduate degree  in biotechnology as well as his Ph.D. in biological sciences from UNL. He has been awarded scholarships by Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET) and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT). He says his work experiences have allowed him to acquire deep knowledge in molecular biology and animal cell culture techniques.

At the end of November Dr. Mufarrege returned to Argentina to continue his work in the Cell Culture Laboratory of UNL. His future projects include a continued  focus on the deimmunization of IFN- alpha as well as another potential iCubed collaboration to develop recombinant proteins widely used in the treatment of various human diseases in the future.