Fernanda G. De Felice

Fernanda G. De Felice


Dr. De Felice led innovative studies on the actions of hormones in Alzheimer’s disease. She conducted seminal work on the mechanisms leading to defective insulin signaling in Alzheimer’s disease. Her recent study showing that irisin, an exercise-linked hormone, has protective actions in AD has received widespread interest from the scientific community and media all over the World. Her studies, along with clinical observations, have contribute to understand how neuronal dysfunction occurs in the brains of AD patients and are contributing to comprehend how lifestyle interventions, in particular physical exercise, have the potential to preserve brain health and prevent or delay AD.

Keywords: Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, hormones, insulin resistance, memory, physical exercise


PhD in Biological Chemistry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro





Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer’s Research – Alzheimer’s Association USA (2021)

Member of the College of Reviewers CIHR (College), Canada (2018-2024)

Senior Editor, Neuropharmacology (2019)

Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2009)

Selected Publications

Melo HM, Seixas da Silva GS, Costa B, Clarke JR, Figueiredo CP, Klein WL, Checler F, Velloso LA, Balthazar M, Cintra D, Ferreira ST, De Felice FG. (2020) Palmitate is increased in the cerebrospinal fluid of humans with obesity and induces memory impairment in mice via pro-inflammatory TNF-α. Cell Reports, 30;2180-2194.
doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.01.072

De Felice FG, Tovar-Moll F, Moll J, Munoz DP & Ferreira ST. (2020) Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the Central Nervous System. Trends in Neuroscience, 43(6):355-357.
doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2020.04.004

Lourenco MV, Frozza RL, de Freitas GB, Zhang H, Kincheski GC, Clarke JR, Ribeiro FC, Beckman D, Staniszevski A, Berman HL, Guerra LA, Forny-Germano L, Meier S, Abisambra JF, Wilcock DM, Prado VF, Prado MAM, de Souza JM, Alves-Leon SV, Tovar-Moll F, Mattos P, Arancio O, Ferreira ST, De Felice FG. Exercise-linked FNDC5/irisin rescues synapse and memory defects in Alzheimer’s models. Nature Medicine, 25(1):165-175, 2019. Commented in Nature Medicine, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery and Alzforum.
doi: 10.1038/s41591-018-0275-4

Lourenco MV, Clarke JR, Frozza RL, Bomfim TR, Forny-Germano L, Batista AF, Sathler LB, Brito-Moreira J, Amaral OB, Silva CA, Freitas-Correa L, Espírito-Santo S, Campello-Costa P, Houzel JC, Klein WL, Holscher C, Carvalheira JB, Silva AM, Velloso LA, Munoz DP, Ferreira ST, De Felice FG. TNF-α mediates PKR-dependent memory impairment and brain IRS-1 inhibition induced by Alzheimer’s β-amyloid oligomers in mice and monkeys. Cell Metab, 18(6): 831-843, 2013. Cover story, Commentary in Cell Metab.
doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2013.11.002

Bomfim TR, Forny-Germano L, Sathler LB, Brito-Moreira J, Houzel JC, Decker H, Silverman MA, Kazi H, Melo HM, McClean PL, Holscher C, Arnold SE, Talbot K, Klein WL, Munoz DP, Ferreira ST, De Felice FG. An anti-diabetes agent protects the mouse brain from defective insulin signaling caused by Alzheimer’s disease- associated Aβ oligomers. J Clin Invest, 122(4): 1339-1353, 2012. Commentaries in Nat Rev Neurol, Sci Transl Med and J Clin Invest.
doi: 10.1172/JCI57256

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