Elizabeth Figueroa-Juarez

Email: eif20@cam.ac.uk


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 at the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran in Mexico City. Additionally, I was awarded an NDM scholarship at the University of Oxford to perform a research internship at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and with a Carl Duisberg Bayer Fellowship to perform a research internship at the University Hospital of Marburg and Giessen (UKGM) in Marburg, Germany. Currently, I am a PhD student in the TVPLab on the graduate programme in Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease.


Research Interests

My project is focused on finding new candidates from extracellular matrix remodelling involved in the regulation of brown adipose tissue functions and activation.

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has the 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. 


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.