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Cesar Medina Prada

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Computational Biology

I am a Bioinformatician passionate about leveraging systems biology to discover the cellular basis of human diseases. Currently, as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Samson lab, I study synovial cellular dynamics during arthritis onset. For this, I develop single-cell multi-omics and cross-species analytical approaches to discover the early cellular changes that the synovium undergoes during arthritis onset. In this way, we might be able to intercept the pathological cell trajectories that establish arthritis. 

My background in translational computational biology starts with my Ph.D. at the University of São Paulo in Nakaya’s lab where I applied systems immunology to understand the clinical heterogeneity of systemic inflammatory conditions. Then, I joined the data curation team of the ExpressionAtlas at the European Bioinformatics Institute and joined the CABANA bioinformatics trainer network. During this period, I participated in the thriving single-cell genomics community at the Wellcome Genome Campus. Excited about the potential of single-cell genomics, I moved to the Spielmann’s Lab at the Max Plank Institute for Molecular Genetics to characterize the first single-cell atlas of the human midbrain and its perturbation in Parkinson’s disease; also, to develop a proof-of-concept methodology to prioritize disease-causing candidate genes in the human genetics clinical practice based on single-cell developmental data. The latter project granted me the prestigious Young Research Award by the European Society of Human Genetics in 2020. 

Now at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, I have brought my systems biology skills back into the immunology field. Being part of this strong interdisciplinary environment brings tremendous opportunities to discover, validate, and translate new cell-based treatment strategies for rheumatoid arthritis.