Adriana T. Larregina, MD, PhD

Dr. Adriana Larregina is a Professor with tenure of Dermatology and Immunology in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is also the Director of Cutaneous Laboratories and Education in the Department of Dermatology. In addition, she is a faculty member of the Graduate Program in Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Larregina earned her medical degree at National University of La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she graduated magna cum laude. After an internship in general medicine at the Hospital “San Roque” La Plata, Buenos Aires, Dr. Larregina completed a residency in pathology at the University of Buenos Aires, where she was chief resident during her final year. She then did a fellowship in pediatric pathology, Children’s Hospital of La Plata. She earned her PhD in Immunology at the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine, where she finished summa cum laude, and did her postdoctoral research in gene therapy with the Molecular Medicine Unit, Department of Medicine at Victoria University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. Upon completion, she came to the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Larregina’s current research interests include:

  • Use of adjuvants for skin genetic immunizations: Transfection and activation of human and mouse skin dendritic cells using CMC microneedles arrays (MNAs).  The purpose of the research project is to use a novel method using self-dissolving microneedles that deliver efficiently biologics.
  • Development of positive immunizations methods using MNAs to deliver simultaneously Ag and immunostimulatory molecules for the purpose of immunizations against tumors and infectious diseases.
  • Development of negative immunizations methods using MNAs to deliver simultaneously Ag and immuno-suppressive molecules for the purpose preventing and treating chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
  • Study of the relevance of pro-inflammatory neuropeptides released in the skin (i.e. substance P (SP)) to promote immunostimulatory function of mouse and human dendritic cells generated ex-vivo.  The project is analyzing the possibility of inducing potent immune responses to foreign Ag by stimulation of ex vivo generated DCs with SP, Hemokinin-1, and SP analogs. Also this project evaluates the relevance and the mechanism involved in the immune-stimulatory functions of SP to promote skin inflammation and autoimmunity.
  • Use of antagonists of the NK1R to block pro-inflammatory signaling in skin inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The project objectives include the use of synthetic antagonists of the NK1R to abrogate skin inflammation and autoimmunity.
  • Use of NK1R antagonists for allograft acceptance and survival. This project will analyze the role of blocking inflammatory signaling via the NK1R for engraftment and survival of allogeneic transplants.
  • Dr. Larregina’s laboratory has described that human skin contains hematopoietic progenitors. The team will analyze the ability and the mechanisms involved in the local generation of DCs and other leukocytes in the skin.

Dr. Larregina is an associate editor of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology and the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles.

Dr. Larregina is also a member of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, the American Association of Immunologists, the International Endotoxin & Innate Immunity Society, and a founding member of the International Society of Exosomes and Microvesicles.

Dr. Larregina’s work has received continuous NIH funding. Active funding includes:

  • NIH/NIAMS. R01AR071277 Title: MNA Delivery of Neurokinin 1 Receptor Antagonists to Treat Atopic Dermatitis. This grant explores the possibility of manipulating the skin microenvironment to treat atopic dermatitis. Role: AT Larregina, Co-Principal Investigator. Years inclusive: 7/1/2017 – 6/30/2022.
  • NIH/NIAMS. R01AR068249.  Title: Manipulating Cutaneous Neuroimmunity to Treat Contact Dermatitis. This grant explores the biology of skin resident T cell expressing neuropeptide receptors and the possibility of eliminating skin memory Th1 and Tc1 lymphocytes that have survived immune contraction and cause contact dermatitis. Role: AT Larregina, Co-Principal Investigator. Years inclusive: 7/1/2015 – 6/30/2020.
  • NIH/NIHL. R01HL130191-01 (PI: A. Morelli). Title: Exosomes as paracrine signal mediators in cardiac allograft rejection. We propose to test the hypothesis that after heart transplantation, donor exosomes (and other extracellular vesicles) function as paracrine mediators for passage and dissemination of donor MHC Ag and APC-stimulating signals to recipient APCs. Role: AT Larregina, Co-Investigator. Years inclusive: 2/8/2016 – 01/31/2020.

View Dr. Larregina’s complete list of publications in MyBibliography.