About Leonardo Riella, MD, PhD

Dr. Leonardo V. Riella is the Harold and Ellen Danser Endowed Chair in Transplantation and Associate Professor of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He is the Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation and Senior Investigator at the Center of Transplantation Sciences. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at BWH and his Nephrology and Transplantation Fellowship at the combined BWH and Massachusetts General Hospital Program.

His research has the goal of prolonging the life of transplanted organs by better detecting transplant rejection and applying novel treatments to re-educate the immune cells to tolerate the transplanted organ. Dr. Riella sees kidney patients both pre- and post-transplantation. He has special expertise in challenging cases such as antibody-mediated rejection and recurrence of glomerular disease. 

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:




Renal Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
Phone: 617-726-5050

Medical Education

  • MD, Federal University of Parana
  • PhD, Federal University of Sao Paulo
  • MD, Universidade Federal Do Parana
  • Residency, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Fellowship, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Fellowship, Brigham and Women's/Massachusetts General Joint Nephrology Fellowship

American Board Certifications

  • Nephrology, American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

Accepted Insurance Plans

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.


View my most recent research

Our bodies are constantly under attack by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. In addition, sometimes our own cells proliferate out of control—as seen with cancer—or attack our own body—as seen with autoimmune diseases.

The immune system is our body’s army and protects us against all of the above enemies at all times. The immune system must be tightly regulated, since fighting an infection with too much ammunition may cause significant collateral damage. In 1995, one of the most critical immunological advances in the past 50 years occurred: the discovery of regulatory immune cells that inhibit the immune response, preventing it from getting out of control. We now know that there are many regulatory immune cells in our bodies that keeps the immune system under a tight control.

The Riella Laboratory is focused on understanding these mechanisms of immune regulation in order to develop smarter and more efficient ways to control the immune system and prevent organ rejection after transplantation.