Leo Ferreira, PhD
Principal Investigator
Instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery


Leo Ferreira’s research focuses on limb, respiratory, and cardiac muscle dysfunction caused by surgery, aging, and disease. The group uses an integrative approach with state-of-the-art techniques to study the biophysics and physiology of contraction-relaxation, examine structural and molecular events in whole-tissue, individual myocytes, and cultured cells, and develop rehabilitation strategies to restore muscle function. Research studies involve pharmacologic, exercise, and nutritional interventions in humans and rodents, genetic approaches in rodents, noninvasively assessing muscle function, and using patient muscle biopsies. The academic goal of the laboratory is to provide the best possible opportunities for trainees to achieve their career goals and prepare future generations of scientists and clinicians.



Past Members

Past (at U. Florida)

  • Ravi Kumar, PhD
  • Rachel Kelley, PhD
  • Dongwoo Hahn, PhD
  • Derek Muscato, MS
  • Svetlana Yegorova, PhD
  • Guilherme Bresciani, PhD
  • Orlando Laitano, PhD
  • Philip Coblentz, MS
  • Bumsoo Ahn, PhD
  • Ravi Patel, MD
  • Gregory Frye, PT
  • Elaina Bost, PT
  • Hyacinth Empinado


Selected Publications

  • Bresciani G, Beaver T, Martin AD, van der Pijl R, Mankowski R, Leeuwenburgh C, Ottenheijm CAC, Martin T, Arnaoutakis G, Ahmed S, Mariani V, Xue W6, Smith BK, Ferreira LF. Intraoperative phrenic stimulation offsets diaphragm fiber weakness during cardiothoracic surgery. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.09.16.22279894v1
  • Kumar RA, Hahn D, Kelley RC, Muscato DR, Shamoun A, Curbelo-Bermudez N, Butler WG, Yegorova S, Ryan TE, Ferreira LF. Skeletal muscle Nox4 knockout prevents and Nox2 knockout blunts loss of maximal diaphragm force in mice with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Free Radic Biol Med. 2023 Jan;194:23-32. PMID: 36436728
  • Kelley RC, Betancourt L, Noriega AM, Brinson SC, Curbelo-Bermudez N, Hahn D, Kumar RA, Balazic E, Muscato DR, Ryan TE, van der Pijl RJ, Shen S, Ottenheijm CAC, Ferreira LF. Skeletal myopathy in a rat model of postmenopausal heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2022 132(1):106-125. PMID: 34792407.
  • Kelley RC, McDonagh B, Brumback B, Walter GA, Vohra R, Ferreira LF. Diaphragm weakness and proteomics (global and redox) modifications in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction in rats. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2020 Feb;139:238-249. PMID: 32035137.
  • Kelley RC, McDonagh B, Ferreira LF. Advanced aging causes diaphragm functional abnormalities, global proteome remodeling, and loss of mitochondrial cysteine redox flexibility in mice. Exp Gerontol. 2018 Mar;103:69-79. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2017.12.017. PMID: 29289553.
  • Ahn B, Beaver T, Martin T, Hess P, Brumback BA, Ahmed S, Smith BK, Leeuwenburgh C, Martin AD, Ferreira LF. Phrenic nerve stimulation increases human diaphragm fiber force after cardiothoracic surgery. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014 Oct 1;190(7):837-9. PMID: 25271750.

Research Opportunities

If you would like to join our research team, please contact Dr. Ferreira

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