Marxa L. Figueiredo, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
625 Harrison Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: 765.494.5790


2002 Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI.

1994 B.S. in Biological Sciences
Federal University of Goiás
Goiânia-GO, Brazil.

Areas of Research Interest

The primary goals of the lab are to understand the interactions between the skeletal and immune systems and apply this understanding to developing novel therapeutic applications. We focus on integrating biological mechanisms with development of strategies that can leverage the immune system to simultaneously promote restoration of bone and alter immune responses to control inflammation or cell viability. Our therapeutic modalities build on multifunctional osteo-immune cytokines, which can be targeted to bone or inflammatory cells in order to exert regenerative effects. We are developing several gene delivery and stem cell delivery systems for cytokine-based gene therapy, with a focus on sonoporation gene delivery (sonodelivery) and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells as vehicles. Although the lab group is involved with many projects, the vast majority of our work falls under one of three overarching projects.

  • Project 1 is centered on disrupting immune:bone malignant interactions using multifunctional cytokine sonodelivery. We are developing more effective therapies for inflammatory bone loss (arthritis) as well as metastatic prostate cancer using intramuscular sonodelivery of targeted cytokines including IL-27 and OP-1. We utilize modern optical and other noninvasive molecular imaging to detect therapeutic delivery and efficacy.
  • Project 2 examines the biology and potential of priming adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASC) for tissue regeneration, including bone and cartilage repair. Also, we examine how expression of therapeutic molecules by ASC can be used to treat tumors.
  • Project 3 is focused on the development of small molecules and peptides with a broad translational application for promoting bone and cartilage regeneration and antitumor effects. Small molecules in development mimic the interaction between Pigment Epithelium Derived Factor (PEDF) and its receptor. Oligopeptide-polymer nanoparticles are also in development for osteoarthritis therapy.

Selected Publications