During the past 10 years of experience in immunology, I have worked in three continents and four different countries. I have experienced cultural diversity and collaboration with researchers from different backgrounds and expertise.

Despite I spend a long time in the laboratory, my career started in fact in a classroom, teaching biology to middle and high school low-income students in Brazil. I have always been engaged in transmitting knowledge, as I believe that science needs to be shared. I mentored bachelors, masters and PhD students with a clear goal to inspire and show them how exciting the scientific methodology is. I try to foment critical minds that will be able to question matters related to science but also to help them to become concerned citizens, aware of the world around, and the political and social mechanisms that governs our world. As a scientist I pursue a way to reclassify patients in disease sub-groups, based on the disease molecular patterns rather than grouping patients simply by clinical manifestation. We need to treat the cause of the disease and not its symptoms. I hope this will support the optimization of therapy management, promotion of drug repurposing, drug development, improvement of clinical trials design, and ultimately improvement of patient’s well-being.

2021-             Postdoctoral Researcher, Zealand University Hospital, Køge, Denmark.

2021-2021    Postdoctoral Researcher, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria.

2020-2020    Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Otago, Dunedin/New Zealand.

2019-2020    Chair and academic leader of Flow cytometry user facility (Otago Micro and Nanoscale Imaging). University of Otago, Dunedin/New Zealand.

2019-2020    Assistant Research Fellow, University of Otago, Dunedin/New Zealand.

2013-2014    Clinical Trial Coordinator, Edumed Clinics, Curitiba/Brazil.

2014-2020    Medical Sciences, PhD, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherland.

2011-2013    Biotechnology and Bioprocesses Engineering, Master’s degree, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba/Brazil.

2010-2011    Biotechnology, Specialization, Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Curitiba/Brazil.

2007-2009    Biology, Licentiate’s degree in Biology, Faculdade de Ciências Cultura e Extensão do Rio Grande do Norte (UNIFACEX), Natal/Brazil.

In the past years, I have been focusing on basic science, problem solving and troubleshooting experiments in the field of human immunology. This has a strong influence in my successful PhD in Medical Science (Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands), in which I studied the pleiotropic effect of the known inflammatory molecule called TNF, in human T cells. Using flow cytometry to identify and measure immune cells frequency in blood, I also explored ways on how to immune monitor immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to predict drug response. Until then, I had fully focused my studies in human blood samples, but the true pathophysiology happens in the tissue. That´s why I started to work in my postdoc with intestinal organoids. Patient-derived intestinal organoids (PDOs) or “mini guts” are 3D structures that recapitulate the native intestinal epithelium in vitro, allowing in-depth study of the tissue microenvironment outside of the patient. Now I have joined the CSS to fight against colorectal cancer (CRC), a disease that reaped the life of my dear grandmother. Today many people in Denmark and around the world have being diagnosed with CRC. At the CSS I will establish PDOs from CRC, study the role of immune cells in suppressing tumor growth using PDOs as a model, and establish a platform for drug screening. The aim of this project is to provide to patients the best treatment in a personalized therapy manner, using PDOs as model to predict drug response.

  1. Urbano PCM., et al. TNFα-Signaling Modulates the Kinase Activity of Human Effector Treg and Regulates IL-17A Expression. Front. Immunol. 10, 3047 (2020).
  2. Landman S., Cruijsen M., Urbano, PCM., et al. DNA Methyltransferase Inhibition Promotes Th1 Polarization in Human CD4 + CD25 high FOXP3 + Regulatory T Cells but Does Not Affect Their Suppressive Capacity. J. Immunol. Res. 2018, 1–13 (2018)
  3. Urbano PCM., Koenen, H. J. P. M., Joosten, I. & He, X. An Autocrine TNFα-tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 loop promotes epigenetic effects inducing human treg stability in vitro. Front. Immunol. 9, (2018).
  4. Urbano PCM., et al. TNF-α-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3)/A20 acts as a master switch in TNF-α blockade-driven IL-17A expression. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 142, 517–529 (2018).
  5. Aguirre-Gamboa R., Joosten I, Urbano PCM, et al. Differential Effects of Environmental and Genetic Factors on T and B Cell Immune Traits. Cell Rep. 17, (2016).
  6. Azevedo V, Araujo LDCT, Galli NB, Kleinfelder A, Catolino NM, Urbano PCM. Adalimumab: a review of the reference product and biosimilars. Biosimilars. 6:29—44 (2016).
  7. Urbano PCM, Soccol VT, Teixeira VN, et al. Effect of pegylated phosphatidylserine-containing liposomes in experimental chronic arthritis. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol;16:24. (2015)
  8. Azevedo VF, Galli N, Kleinfelder A, D’Ippolito J, Urbano PCM. Etanercept biosimilars. Rheumatol Int;35(2):197–209 (2015).
  9. Urbano PCM, Soccol VT, Azevedo VF. Apoptosis and the FLIP and NF-kappa B proteins as pharmacodynamic criteria for biosimilar TNF-alpha antagonists. Biologics;8:211–220 (2014).

2021-2022    New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology (NZSG) Janssen Research Fellowship, Dunedin/New Zealand.

Title: Prediction of Anti-TNF Response in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients Using Intestinal Organoids.

Role: Principal investigator

2021-2022    Dunedin School of Medicine (DSM), Dunedin/New Zealand.

Title: The role of ‘mini-guts’ in the development of personalized medicine in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Role: Associate investigator

2021-2022    University of Otago Research Grants (UORG), Dunedin/New Zealand.

Role: Associate investigator

2020-2021    Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust (HCO), Dunedin/New Zealand.

Title: TNF-signaling in IBD – effects on immune and epithelial components.

Role: Principal investigator

2019-2020    New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology, Dunedin/New Zealand.

Title: Establishment of Frozen Biopsies as Primary Source for Expansion of Human Organoids In Vitro

Role: Principal investigator


Trainee Grants

2018              Trainee Grant: Open Multiscale Systems Medicine (COST Action CA15120, European Commission), Nicosia/Cyprus.

2018               Trainee Grant: Open Multiscale Systems Medicine (COST Action CA15120, European Commission), Erlangen/Germany.

2017               Trainee Grant: Open Multiscale Systems Medicine (COST Action CA15120, European Commission), Porto/Portugal.



2014-2018    PhD scholarship – Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program Science without Borders, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Title: Implications of TNF-signaling for the Human Immune Response

2011-2013    Master’s scholarship – Brazilian Government, Curitiba, Brazil.

Title: Effect of PEGylated phosphatidylserine-containing liposomes in experimental chronic arthritis.


Peer Review (papers and grants)

2020               Journal of Personalized Medicine

2020               Translational Research in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (Guest editor)

2020               Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the National Science Centre

2020               Stem Cell Research & Therapy

2020               Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC)

2020               Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE)

2019               Clinical & Translational Immunology

Research keywords

#T cells #TNF #IL-17 #IBD #Treg #Psoriasis #Rheumatoid Arthritis #PDO #FCM #Inflammation #TNFAIP3/A20