Luis Graca has an MD from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and a PhD in transplant immunology from Oxford, UK. He developed his post-doctoral research first in Oxford and later in Perth, Australia. He is currently Full Professor of Immunology and Vice-Dean at the University of Lisbon Medical School, directing a research group in Cellular Immunology at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular.
His most significant scientific contributions have been related to the fields of transplantation and autoimmunity. Graca worked on the regulation of antibody production following vaccination and strategies to overcome transplant rejection and the induction of immune tolerance in autoimmunity and allergy. Graca has been exploring the concept that in the same way specialized inflammatory responses are necessary for optimal immunity, specialized regulatory mechanisms ought to be also present. While probing this concept, Graca discovered the existence of Foxp3+ iNKT cells and, more recently, T follicular regulatory (Tfr) cells specialized in regulating antibody production. The recognition of his research led to invitations to review the field, presentations at major conferences, and election as president of the Portuguese Society of Immunology and of the Sociedade das Ciências Médicas de Lisboa, the oldest medical society in Europe (founded in 1822).
Graca chairs the National Advisory Group for COVID-19 Vaccination. A highlight of his career was the definition of the national COVID-19 vaccination plan, incorporating the best immunology evidence and transparent public communication, leading to overall population acceptance and broad vaccination coverage, recognized as one of the most successful vaccination programs in the World.
Graca has collaborated with several artists, including a long-term relationship with Marta de Menezes (www.martademenezes.com), a pioneer in bioart, and possibly the artist with the most diverse approach within this field. Artworks developed by different artists in collaboration with the Graca Laboratory have been exhibited worldwide.
Luís Graça Lab