Débora Malta Cerqueira Sant'Anna Santos, PhD

  • Research Scientist

Débora Malta Cerqueira is a research scientist focusing on defining how in utero exposure to maternal diabetes affects nephrogenesis. This is an important area of research, given the growing incidence of diabetes mellitus among women of childbearing age. Prenatal exposure to maternal diabetes increases the risk of associated congenital anomalies of the kidney, which are among the leading causes of chronic kidney disease in children. Using a genetic model of maternal type 1 diabetes (Akita mice), she demonstrated that the diabetic intrauterine environment impairs the differentiation of nephron progenitors into nephrons (possibly by perturbing the Notch and Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathways), resulting in an overall decrease in nephron number. Recently, her research has also focused on investigating the role of microRNAs in kidney development and disease using transgenic mouse models.

Education & Training

  • BPharm, Faculty of Pharmacy, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, 2004
  • MS, Organic Chemistry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, 2005
  • PhD, Morphological Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, 2010

Selected Publications

Cerqueira, D.M.; Tran, U.; Alexander, V.; Agrawal, R.; Wessely, O. Posttranscriptional Regulation of Jagged-1 is Critical for Xenopus and Mouse Kidney Morphogenesis (in preparation). 

Hemker, S.L.; Cerqueira, D.M.; Bodnar, A.J.; Clugston, A.; Anslow, M.J.; Kostka, D.; Ho, J. (2020). Deletion of hypoxia-responsive microRNA-210 results in a sex-specific decrease in nephron number. The FASEB Journal, 34(4):5782-5799. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201902767R. 

Anslow, M.J.; Bodnar, A.J.; Cerqueira, D.M.; Bushnell, D.; Sims-Lucas, S.; Bates, C.M.; Ho, J. (2020). Deletion of Dicer in the peri-Wolffin duct stroma leads to increased rates of vesicoureteral reflux in mice. Pediatric Research. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-020-0788-7. 

Tan, R.J.; Li, Y.; Rush, B.M.; Cerqueira, D.M.; Zhou, D.; Fu, H.; Ho, J.; Stolz, D.; Liu, Y. (2019). Tubular injury triggers podocyte dysfunction by -catenin-driven release of MMP-7. JCI Insight, 4(24):e122399. DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.122399. 

Cerqueira, D.M.; Hemker, S.L.; Bodnar, A.J.; Ortiz, D.M.; Oladipupo, F.O.; Mukherjee, E.; Gong, Z.; Appolonia, C.; Muzumdar, R.H.; Sims-Lucas, S.; Ho, J. (2019). In utero exposure to maternal diabetes impairs nephron progenitor differentiation. The American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology, 317:F1318-F1330. 

Cerqueira, D.M.; Bodnar, A.J.; Phua, Y.L.; Freer, R.; Hemker, S.L.; Walensky, L.D.; Hukriede, N.A.; Ho, J. (2017). Bim gene dosage is critical in modulating nephron progenitors survival in the absence of microRNAs during kidney development. The FASEB Journal, 31(8):3540-3554. 

Fonseca, B.F.; Predes, D.; Cerqueira, D.M.; Reis, A.H.; Amado, N.G.; Cayres, M.C.; Kuster, R.M.; Oliveira, F.L.; Mendes, F.A.; Abreu, J.G. (2015). Derricin and derricidin inhibit Wnt/-catenin signaling and suppress colon cancer cell growth in vitro. PLoS One, 10(3):e0120919. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0120919. 

Amado, N.G.; Predes, D.; Fonseca, B.F.; Cerqueira, D.M.; Reis, A.H.; Dudenhoeffer, A.C.; Borges, H.L.; Mendes, F.A.; Abreu, J.G. (2014). Isoquercitrin as a novel flavonoid inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin with anti-tumoral effects. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(51):35456-35467. 

Cerqueira, D.M.; Tran, U.; Romaker, D.; Abreu, J. G.; Wessely, O. (2014). Sterol Carrier Protein 2 Regulates Proximal Tubule Size in the
 Xenopus Pronephric Kidney by Modulating Lipid Rafts. Developmental Biology, 394:54-64. 

Romaker, D.; Kumar, V.; Cerqueira, D.M.; Cox, R.M.; Wessely, O. (2014). MicroRNAs are Critical Regulators of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and mTORC1 Activity in the Size Control of the Xenopus Kidney. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United Sates of America, 11:6335-6340. 

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »