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Elizabeth Irina Figueroa-Juarez



About me:

I studied food chemistry as an undergraduate course at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Mexico city, Mexico), where I later obtained a M. Sc. degree with honors in Biological sciences (Biomedicine). I developed both of my experimental thesis projects, masters and undergraduate studies, at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran in Mexico city. Additionally, I was awarded with an NDM scholarship at the University of Oxford to perform a research internship at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. And I was also granted with a Carl Duisberg Bayer Fellowship to perform a research internship at the University Hospital of Marburg and Giessen (UKGM) in Marburg, Germany.

At the University of Cambridge, I am part of the graduate program in Metabolic and Cardiovascular disease for which I have already obtained the degree of Masters in Research and I am currently a PhD student.


Research interests:

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is particularly relevant due to its capacity to perform non-shivering thermogenesis through the oxidation of nutrients. For this reason, promoting BAT thermogenesis is one of the potential therapeutic approaches to treat human obesity-related metabolic disturbances. However, obese and diabetic patients have a limited amount of brown adipose tissue. 

BAT activation is sustained by the recruitment of progenitor cells, their activation and a permissive/enabling extracellular matrix (ECM). Hyperplastic changes in BAT require adequate ECM remodelling. Recent publications and preliminary data suggest that ECM remodelling is a relevant process for BAT activation. Also, defects in ECM remodelling, as occurs in obesity and ageing, may contribute to BAT atrophy. 

For this reason, as a PhD student, my project is focused on finding new candidates from extracellular matrix remodelling involved in the regulation of brown adipose tissue functions and activation.



Torre-Villalvazo I, Bunt AE, Alemán G, Marquez-Mota CC, Diaz-Villaseñor A, Noriega LG, Estrada I, Figueroa-Juárez E, Tovar-Palacio C, Rodriguez-López LA, López-Romero P, Torres N, Tovar AR. Adiponectin synthesis and secretion by subcutaneous adipose tissue is impaired during obesity by endoplasmic reticulum stress. J Cell Biochem. 2018 Jul;119(7):5970-5984. doi: 10.1002/jcb.26794. Epub 2018 Mar 25. PMID: 29575057.


Wirries A, Jabari S, Jansen EP, Roth S, Figueroa-Juárez E, Wissniowski TT, Neureiter D, Klieser E, Lechler P, Ruchholtz S, Bartsch DK, Boese CK, Di Fazio P. Panobinostat mediated cell death: a novel therapeutic approach for osteosarcoma. Oncotarget. 2018 Aug 31;9(68):32997-33010. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.26038. PMID: 30250645; PMCID: PMC6152475.


Torres-Villalobos G, Hamdan-Pérez N, Díaz-Villaseñor A, Tovar AR, Torre-Villalvazo I, Ordaz-Nava G, Morán-Ramos S, Noriega LG, Martínez-Benítez B, López-Garibay A, Torres-Landa S, Ceballos-Cantú JC, Tovar-Palacio C, Figueroa-Juárez E, Hiriart M, Medina-Santillán R, Castillo-Hernández C, Torres N. Autologous subcutaneous adipose tissue transplants improve adipose tissue metabolism and reduce insulin resistance and fatty liver in diet-induced obesity rats. Physiol Rep. 2016 Sep;4(17):e12909. doi: 10.14814/phy2.12909. PMID: 27582062; PMCID: PMC5027344

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