Ferreira, Leonardo, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Muscle Biology, Center for Muscle Biology, University of Kentucky (2007-2010)
  • Ph.D. in Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University (2006)
  • Physical Therapy, Universidade Estadual de Londrina (UEL) (2003)
  • Curriculum Vitae


(Office) FLG 146
(Lab) FLG 43
P.O. Box 118205
Gainesville, FL 32611-8205
(352) 294-1724


Leonardo F. Ferreira, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of applied physiology and kinesiology. Over the last 10 years, he has been committed to research and education in basic and applied physiology. Dr. Ferreira’s clinical experience with patients suffering from muscle weakness and fatigue triggered his interest in muscle biology. He performed training in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation research at the University of California, Los Angeles (Harbor-UCLA) while in Physical Therapy in school. He then completed his Ph.D. in physiology at Kansas State University studying skeletal muscle microvascular function in health and disease. Subsequently, he performed postdoctoral training in the Center for Muscle Biology at the University of Kentucky Medical School. Ferreira’s research experience spans from experiments in individual cells to non-invasive studies in humans. He has been funded by federal grants and national organizations (e.g., American Heart Association), and serves as referee for several top-ranked scientific journals.

Dr. Ferreira is the director of the Laboratory of Basic and Clinical Muscle Biology in the Center for Exercise Science at the University of Florida. The main research focus of the laboratory is to understand mechanisms and develop new therapies for skeletal muscle weakness and atrophy in chronic diseases. Ferreira’s research also aims to understand mechanisms of muscle fatigue in health and disease states. In the laboratory, Ferreira and his students use an integrative approach with state-of-the art techniques to study force production by intact muscles (in vivo and in vitro) and single muscle fibers, measure protein and mRNa abundance, and examine molecular events in whole-tissue and cultured cells (e.g., fluorescence imaging). Members of the laboratory are also working under Ferreira’s supervision to implement clinical studies in the near future.

Research Interests:

  • Redox homeostasis and muscle force
  • Muscle weakness and atrophy in cardiopulmonary diseases and aging
  • Respiratory muscle biology
  • Sphingolipids and muscle biology
  • Mechanisms of muscle fatigue and exercise intolerance