Leonardo Ferreira, Ph.D.

Associate  Professor
Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology

Associate  Director
Center for Exercise Science

  • 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)

Ferreira CV
Laboratory of Basic & Clinical Muscle Biology/

Contact Info

FLG 110 | FLG 43
P.O. Box 118205
Gainesville, FL 32611-8205
(352) 294-1724 | ferreira@hhp.ufl.edu


Leonardo F. Ferreira, Ph.D., is a faculty in the department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. Dr. Ferreira’s clinical experience with patients suffering from muscle weakness and fatigue triggered his interest in integrative and exercise physiology, skeletal muscle biology, and cardiomyopathy. He joined the University of Florida after undergoing research training at the University of California, Los Angeles (Harbor-UCLA), Kansas State University, and 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 NIH and the American Heart Association throughout his career.

At the University of Florida (UF), Leo Ferreira directs the Laboratory of Basic and Clinical Muscle Biology. The scientific mission of the laboratory is to resolve mechanisms and advance therapies against respiratory, limb, and cardiac muscle abnormalities in heart failure and aging. The academic goal of the laboratory is to provide the best possible opportunities for trainees to achieve their career goals, and prepare future generations of scientists and physiologists.

Leo Ferreira’s research group uses an integrative approach with state-of-the art techniques to study cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction and relaxation (e.g., intact preps in situ and ex vivo, single myocytes, echocardiography) and examine molecular events in whole-tissue, individual myocytes, and cultured cells. The group also assesses muscle function noninvasively in humans. Research studies involve pharmacologic and genetic approaches in rodents, nutritional interventions in humans and rodents, and experiments using muscle biopsies from patients. The group collaborates with muscle biologists studying metabolism and cancer cachexia, biochemists, clinical geneticists, physical therapists, and cardiothoracic surgeons.

Research Interests

  • Skeletal and cardiac muscle contractile function in health, aging, and disease
  • Redox and sphingolipid biology in muscle
  • Heart Failure with reduced (HFrEF) or preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF)
  • Muscle prehabilitation and rehabilitation strategies for surgery