Dr. Adrian Morelli
  • W1556, Biomedical Science Tower, 200 Lothrop Street Pittsburgh, PA 15260
  • (412) 624-2193
  • morelli@pitt.edu


Professor of Surgery and Immunology

MD, Physician, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina; PhD, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Pathologist, Office of Public Health, Argentina

Research Areas:
Extracellular Vesicles
Transplant Rejection and Tolerance
Feto-maternal Tolerance

Extracellular vesicles and dendritic cells in biology of transplantation and feto-maternal tolerance

The main objective of our laboratory is to unveil the basic mechanisms of allorecognition and regulation of the host-immune respone following transplantation and more recently, during feto-maternal tolerance.  We study the role of donor – and recipient – derived antigen-presenting cells (i.e. dendritic cells) and extracellular vesicles (i.e. exosomes, microvesicles) during allosensitization, graft rejection, and induction of donor-specific immunosuppressioin / tolerance following transplantation.  Our work is focused on the role of dendritic cells and extracellular vesicles (e.g. exosomes, microvesicles), the later as a mechanism of cell-to-cell communication between the donor and the recipient.  We conduct our research in experimental models of skin and heart transplantation in mice and humanized mouse models, using state-of-the-art technics in extracellular vesicle generation, purification and analysis, and biological imaging by intravital multiphoton, confocal, super-resolution and immuno-electron microscopy.  In collaboration with Dr. Adriana Larregina (Department of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh), we work on the effects of neuropeptides on the biology of the immune response.  Our work is NIH funded.

Morelli Team:
William J. Shufesky (Research Specialist)
Rao (Ruby) Chen, MD (Visiting Scholar)
Juliana Schneider Powell (Graduate Student)