Adipose Tissue Molecular Biology and Gene Regulation and Associated Disorders

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Institut de Biomedicina de la UB (IBUB)

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Our research group focuses its research on the study of the molecular and physiological basis that control energy metabolism and how they relate to human pathologies. We investigate the molecular mechanisms controlling adipogenesis, muscle and hepatic differentiation in relation to fat metabolism and functionality. This calls for the development of experimental models at various levels: subcellular, cellular and animal models, as well as the analysis of biological material from patients with obesity, diabetes, lipodystrophy and other metabolic diseases.

Our group has been a member of CIBEROBN (Centre for Biomedical Network Research on Obesity and Nutrition) since its foundation and a recognised consolidated group for over 15 years (Government of Catalonia, 2017 SGR 330). Furthermore, our group leader is an investigator at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA Acadèmia).

Scientific objectives

  1. To establish the differential secretome of various adipose tissue types and determine their signalling properties and potential use as biomarkers of metabolic disease.
  2. To identify novel mediator molecules in the inter-organ communication pathway implicated in controlling energy metabolism, with special emphasis on crosstalk between adipose tissue, heart, liver and intestine, as well as immune cells.

Area/Field of expertise

  • Molecular gene transcription studies.
  • Specialised cell cultures of different types of adipocytes and differentiated muscle cells, cardiomyocytes and hepatocytes.
  • Metabolic disease animal models, targeted modification (invalidation, transgenesis) of candidate genes implicated in obesity and metabolic disease.
  • Analytical micromethods of biological material adapted to the study of limited amounts of biological material of human origin (biopsies).
  • Mass data collection and analysis (RNA sequencing, microarrays, etc.) methods.

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