Faculty Detail

Fernando Ontiveros

Title: Assistant Professor
Office: ISHS 202
Phone: (585) 899-3881
Email: fontiveros@sjfc.edu
Education: Ph.D., M.S., University of Rochester
B.S., National Autonomous University of Mexico
Areas of Interest: Inflammation, nanoparticles, and microfluidics

Fernando Ontiveros

Targeted delivery of biomolecules to specific tissues provides biologists with an opportunity to develop improved approaches to treat and prevent disease. I am interested in a multidisciplinary approach that makes use of concepts and tools from the fields of chemistry, material science, cell biology and immunology. Research in my laboratory focuses on the use of lipid-based nanoparticles to understand the molecular basis of inflammation and to explore novel ways in which drug delivery and vaccination can become more effective. Trained as an immunologist, I conducted postdoctoral research in the fields of inflammation and antimicrobials before joining the faculty at SJFC. My time is divided between teaching Microbiology & Immunology to Biology and Nursing majors and establishing a Nanobiology Lab at Fisher.


  • BIO 107 Microbes and Disease
  • BIO 214 Microbiology
  • BIO 357 Nanobiology


Cells engulfed in florescent nanoparticles

Our objective is to produce lipid-based nanoparticles that specifically target eukaryotic cells to deliver a cargo consisting of small interfering RNA (siRNA). Immunotargeted nanoparticles (ITNPs) are a recently developed molecule-delivery system. They consist of stabilized unilamellar vesicles with a diameter of approximately 100nm. Monoclonal antibodies raised against cell surface molecules are covalently bound to the surface of the particle, which can be loaded with a variety of molecules. In the past, we successfully produced ITNPs that delivered fluorochrome-labeled small RNAs to human neutrophils. We now use a similar approach to silence the inflammasome, a cytoplasmic macromolecular complex involved in the immune response induced in pathologies like atherosclerosis and gout. Students in the lab have recently produced quantum-dot loaded nanoparticles and successfully delivered them to macrophages in vivo. In 2014 we added the use of microfluidics to our research in order to improve our ability to manufacture and test different kinds of nanoparticles.

    Identification of bacterial populations using satellite imagery

    Remote sensing of bacterial populations in small and large bodies of water can significantly enhance our ability to understand fresh water ecosystems and monitor water quality. Although the identification of individual species is still unfeasible, the likelihood of occurrence of certain bacterial groups would be very valuable. Spectral analysis of satellite imagery is currently used to determine water parameters like temperature, turbidity, phytoplankton and dissolved organic matter. In order to establish a correlation between some of these parameters and the presence of microorganisms, our collaborators at the Center for Imaging Science at RIT collect water samples from several locations in the Lake Ontario Rochester Embayment and Irondequoit Bay that are imaged by the new Landsat 8 OLI and TIRS sensors. Using bacterial 16S rRNA, we mapped the diversity and distribution of microorganisms isolated from the samples and then linked this information to the bio-optical properties of the water. This is an early attempt to develop a method for the remote detection of bacteria.

Site: sites.google.com/a/sjfc.edu/nanobiology


  • The Semen Enhancer Of Viral Infection (sevi) Binds Bacteria, Enhances Bacterial Phagocytosis By Macrophages, An Can Protect Against Vaginal Infection By A Sexually Transmitted Bacterial Disease. David Easterhoff*, Fernando Ontiveros*, Lauren R Brooks, Yoel Kim, Brittany Ross, Joanna S. Olsen, Changyong Feng, Dwight J. Hardy, Paul M. Dunman, Stephen Dewhurst. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 Jun; 57(6): 2443-50
  • Transient Hypercapnia Reveals And Underlying Cerebrovascular Pathology In A Murine Model For Hiv-1 Associated Neuroinflammation: Role Of No-cgmp Signaling And Normalization By Inhibition Of Phosphodiesterase-5 Jharon Silva, Oksana Polesskaya, Walter Knight, Johnny Ting Zheng, Megan Granger, Tenee Lopez, Fernando Ontiveros, Changyong Feng, Chen Yan, Karl Kasischke, Stephen Dewhurst. J Neuroinflammation. 2012 Nov; 9(1): 253
  • IL-1 Generated Subsequent To Radiation-induced Tissue Injury Contributes To The Pathogenesis Of Radiodermatitis
    Matthew Janko, Fernando Ontiveros, Thomas J. Fitzgerald, A. Deng, Maria DeCicco and Kenneth L. Rock. Rad Res. 2012 Aug 1
  • Type-I IFN Supports Primary CD8+ T Cell Responses To Peptide-Pulsed Dendritic Cells In The Absence Of CD4+ T Cell Help
    Fernando Ontiveros, Elizabeth B. Wilson and Alexandra M. Livingstone. Immunology. 2011 Apr; 132 (4):549-58
  • The Sterile Inflammatory Response
    Kenneth L. Rock, Eicke Latz, Fernando Ontiveros and Hajime Kono. Annu Rev Immunol. 2010 Mar; 28:321-42
  • Uric Acid Promotes An Acute Inflammatory Response To Sterile Cell Death In Mice
    Hajime Kono, Chun-Jen Chen, Fernando Ontiveros and Kenneth L. Rock. J Clin Invest. 2010 Jun 1;120(6):1939-49
  • Unravelling The Mechanisms Of Help For CD8 T Cell Responses
    Alexandra Livingstone, Elizabeth B. Wilson, Fernando Ontiveros, Jyh-Chiang Wang. Immunol Res. 2009 Feb; 45:209-17
  • The Influence Of Innate Immune Mechanisms On CD4 And CD8 T Cell Responses
    Fernando Ontiveros; Advisor: Alexandra Livingstone. Doctoral Thesis, U of Rochester, 2008
  • Activation Of Murine Dendritic Cells By Three Protective Epitopes Against Cystycercosis (spanish)
    Fernando Ontiveros; Advisor: Edda Sciutto. Undergraduate Thesis, UNAM School of Sciences, 2001
  • The Nuclear Matrix Concept
    Fernando Ontiveros; Berkeley Scientific, Spring 2001
  • Science Booklet: Biology Of The Cell Nucleus (spanish)
    Olga Echeverria & Fernando Ontiveros (editors); National Autonomous University of Mexico, 2001
  • Emerging Viruses: Fiction Or Reality (spanish)
    Fernando Ontiveros; Ciencias, No. 51, 1998

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