Daniel Limonta M.D., Ph.D

Daniel Limonta (M.D., Ph.D) received his Doctor of Medicine degree with honors (Magna Cum Laude) at the most prestigious school of medicine in Cuba, the Havana School of Medicine. In the well-regarded Oswaldo Cruz Institute (FIOCRUZ) of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Dr. Daniel Limonta earned an MSc degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. His MSc thesis at the Flavivirus Laboratory and the Viral Immunology Laboratory of this institution focused on the interplay between plasmatic pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins and its correlations with blood cells counting in Brazilian dengue patients. Daniel described new interesting correlations using the recent WHO clinical classification of dengue. He completed his clinical microbiology residency and virology PhD at the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK) in Havana, Cuba, in 2014. IPK is the Cuban reference center for infectious diseases and a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center. His Ph.D. dissertation at the Virology Department of IPK focused on the association of apoptosis in tissues of dengue fatal cases with hallmark clinical manifestations of dengue hemorrhagic fever. He reported apoptotic cells in tissues related to hallmark clinical manifestations of dengue hemorrhagic fever that have not been previously reported. After finishing his Ph.D., Daniel applied for a Post-Doctoral Fellow position in the Department of Cell Biology at University of Alberta, which is among the top-ranked universities in Canada. He obtained a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions competition for Postgraduate Fellowships. The main topic of research of Daniel has been dengue virus for almost 10 years. He has presented his dengue work in Brazil, United States, Canada, Israel, Italy, Spain, and Oman. He spent the summer of 2014 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as Visiting Professor at the Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases. In 2014, he was honored to be elected as Young Affiliate Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) based in Trieste, Italy, and he is the first Young Affiliate Fellow elected from Cuba to this academy. At the Department of Cell Biology and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta, Daniel will continue his research on human host cells and dengue virus interactions. In particular, he is interested in the roles played by dengue virus proteins in apoptosis mechanisms of human target cells during dengue infection.