I  am the Theodore and Bertha Bryan Professor of Environmental Medicine and BJC Investigator in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. I am a mother of two now adult boys. I arrived in the United States in 1996 after obtaining a professional title of Biochemist and a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Chile. I received a Ph.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NY working in the laboratory of Thomas Moran (1997-2002), and continued in the same laboratory for a postdoctoral position. At the Moran lab, I investigated how dendritic cells get activated in response to infection with influenza  and parainfluenza viruses and studied the impact of type I interferons on the immune response to viral infection.  I was promoted to Research Assistant Professor in 2005. I joined the Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania for my first independent position in September of 2010, and was promoted to tenured Associate Professor in May of 2016. I joined Washington University as Professor and BJC Investigator in June of 2020.

                I've been an active member of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI), where I gave the Immunology to Viruses lecture in the International AAI Introductory Course in Immunology (2012-2013), served as member of the Committee on the Status of Women (2012-2015), and was a member of the Program Committee (2017-2020). I'm a member of the American Society for Virology (ASV) and of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) where I was on the Council on Microbial Sciences (2017-2020) and chaired Division E (Immunology). I'm member of the NIH CSR VIRB study section,  Section Editor of PloS Pathogens, Associate Editor of Science Advances and Editor of mBio. l am a Fellow of the Professional Mentoring Skills Enhancing Diversity (PROMISED) Program funded by the NIH-National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), a Penn Fellow (2017-18), a Fulbright US Scholar (2018-2019) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (2022)

Honors and Awards

Named Theodore and Bertha Bryan Professor of Environmental Medicine (2023)

American Society for Microbiology Distinguish Lecturer (ASMDL) (2022-2024)

Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (2022-     )

Member  of the Advisory Board of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (2021-     )

Mount Sinai Alumni Award for Achievement in Graduate Education (2021)

BJC Investigator, Washington University in St. Louis (2020)

Fulbright Scholar (2018)

Member of the The American Association of Immunology (AAI) Program Committee (2017-2020)

Member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Council on Microbial Sciences (2017-2020)

Penn Fellow (2017-2019)

Finalist HHMI Faculty Scholars Program (2016)

The American Association of Immunology (AAI) Careers in Immunology Award (2014) 

AAI Early Career Faculty Travel Grant IMMUNOLOGY (2011 and 2014) 

Keystone Symposia Early Career Investigator Travel Award (ECITA) (2013-2014) 

Zoetis Award for Research Excellence (2013) 

Revson Fellowship Award. Charles H. Revson Foundation. USA (2003-2005).

Honor Fellowship for Research (DIPUC). Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago (1994) 

Mentors ...the people that trained and supported me as a trainee

Alfredo De Ioannes, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago (1993-1995)

Alfredo taught me immunology as an undergrad and then took me in his lab for my master's thesis. Our research was on the mechanisms mediating the contact dermatitis to Urushiols, the oily organic allergen from Poison Ivy.

In addition to providing me with a solid foundation in immunology, both on and off the bench, he spent countless hours explaining how things worked... I vividly remember him in front of a centrifuge explaining how the break worked, and when (and when not to!) use it.


López CB, Kalergis AM, Becker MI, Garbarino JA and De Ioannes AE (1998). CD8+ T Cells are the Effectors Cells of the Contact Dermatitis Induced by Urushiol in Mice and are Regulated by CD4+ T Cells. Int. Arch. Allergy and Immunol. 117:194-201. PMID: 9831807. PubMed link.

Kalergis AM, López CB, Díaz MI, Becker MI, Garbarino JA and De Ioannes AE (1997) Modulation by Clofibrate and Tetradecyl Glycidic Acid of the Contact Dermatitis Induced in Mice by an Urushiol Related Allergen 3-Pentadecyl (10-enyl) Cathecol. J. of Invest. Dermat. 108: 57-61. PMID: 8980288. PubMed link. 

Alan Frey, PhD, New York University, NY (1996-1997)

Alan accepted me in his lab when I first arrived to the US even though I was 5 months pregnant and could barely speak English. (More on this in the blog on the "Fun" page). In his lab we studied why T cells infiltrating tumors are not able to eliminate the tumor.


López CB, Rao DT, Freiner H, Shapiro R, Marks J and Frey A (1998) Repression of Interleukin-2 mRNA Translation in Primary Human Breast Carcinoma Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes. Cell. Immunol. 190:141-155. PMID: 9878115. PubMed link.

Thomas Moran, PhD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine (1998-2010)

Tom was stuck with me for a very long time! I started in his lab as a grad student and I sticked around as postdoc and Research Assistant Professor. We grew a lot together, both scientifically and personally. We studied how dendritic cells respond to influenza and parainfluenza viruses, how type I interferons are induced, and how they impact the antiviral response. In his lab I also began to study how viruses induce antiviral responses despite encoding potent antagonists of the cellular mechanisms involved in virus recognition.


Cotter C, Kim WK, Nguyen M, Yount J, López CB, Blaho, and Moran TM. (2011) The Virion Host Shut-off (vhs) Protein of HSV-1 Blocks the Replication-Independent Activation of NF-κB in Dendritic Cells. J. Virol. Sept 21, EPub Ahead of Print. PMID: 2193765. PubMed link.

Cotter C, Nguyen ML, López CB, Blaho JA and Moran TM. (2010) Virion-Associated Vhs Protein Blocks the Activation of Human Dendritic Cells during a Productive HSV-1 Infection. PLOS One. 5:e8684. PMCID: PMC2823768. PubMed link.

Gurfein TB, Zhang Y, López CB, Argaw AT, Zameer A, Moran TM and John GR. Interleukin-11 Regulates Autoimmune Demyelination (2009). J. Immunol. 183:4229-4240. PMID: 19734214. PubMed link.

Moltedo B, López CB, Pazos M, Becker MI, Hermesh T and Moran TM. (2009) Cutting Edge: stealth Influenza Virus Replication Precedes the Initiation of Adaptive Immunity. J. Immunol. 183:3569-3573. PMID: 19717515. PubMed link. 

Escribese MM, Kraus T, Rhee E, Fernandez-Sesma A, López CB and Moran TM. (2008) Estrogen Inhibits Dendritic Cell Maturation to dsRNA Viruses. Blood. 112:475-84. PMID: 18802009, PMCID: PMC2597128. PubMed link.

López CB, Yount JS, Hermesh T and Moran TM. (2006) Sendai Virus Infection Induces Efficient Adaptive Immunity Independently of Type I IFNs. J. Virol. 80:4538-4545. PMID: 16611914, PMCID: PMC1472017. PubMed link.

López CB, Yount JS and Moran TM. (2006) Minireview. TLR-independent Triggering of Dendritic Cell Maturation by Viruses. J. Virol. 80:3128-3134. PMID: 16505141, PMCID: PMC1440398. PubMed link.

Trumpfheller C, Finke JS, López CB, Moran TM, Moltedo B, Soares H, Huang Y, Schesinger S, Park CG, Nussenzweig MC, Granelli-Piperno A, Steinman RM. (2006) Intensified and Protective CD4+ T Cell Based Immunity at a Mucosal Surface Induced in Mice with Anti-dendritic Cell HIV gag Fusion Antibody Vaccine. J. Exp. Med. 203:607-617. PMCID: PMC2118242. PubMed link. 

López CB, Moltedo B, Alexopoulou L, Bonifaz L, Flavell R and Moran T (2004). TLR-Independent Induction of Dendritic Cell Maturation and Immunity by Negative Stranded RNA Viruses. J. Immunol. 173:6882-6889. PMID: 15557183. *Evaluated in the Faculty of 1000 website. PubMed link.

Silva MA, López CB, Rivertin F, Oligny L, Menezes J and Seidman E (2004). Characterization and Distribution of Colonic Dendritic Cells in Paediatric Crohn’s Disease. Inf. Bowel Dis.10:504-512. PMID: 15472509. PubMed link.

López CB, Garcia-Sastre A, Williams BRG and Moran T (2003). The Type I Interferon Pathway, but Not the Secreted Interferon, Participates in the Maturation of Dendritic cells Induced by Negative Stranded RNA Viruses. J Inf. Dis., 187:1123-1136. PMID: 12660927. PubMed link.

López CB, Moran TM, Schulman JL, and Fernandez-Sesma A (2002) Antiviral Immunity and the Role of Dendritic Cells. Int. Rev. Immunol. 21:339-353. PMID: 12486818. PubMed link.

López CB, Fernandez-Sesma A, Schulman J and Moran T (2001) Myeloid Dendritic Cells Stimulate Both Th1 and Th2 Immune Responses depending on the Nature of the Antigen. J. Interf. Cytok. Res.21:763-773. PMID: 11576470. PubMed link.

Lopez CB, Fernandez-Sesma A, Czelusniak S, Schulman J and Moran T (2000) A Mouse Model for immunization with Ex-Vivo Virus-Infected Dendritic Cells. Cell. Immunol. 206:107-115. PMID: 11161442. PubMed link.