Dr. Mariana Cifuentes Biography
Mariana Cifuentes graduated in 1997 as a Pharmacist from the Chemistry and Pharmacy School at the University of Chile. She continued her training at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (USA), where she got her Ph.D. from the Department of Nutritional Sciences in 2002. In 2003 she joined the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA) at the University of Chile, where she was awarded a Postdoctoral grant from the Ellison Medical Foundation. She has since developed her academic career at INTA, where she is currently Associate Professor. Dr. Cifuentes has participated as a member of the Academic Committee for the Doctorate in Nutrition and Food (2011-2014), INTA Institutional Council (2008-2010), the Institutional Review Board/ Ethics Committee (2008-2012) and since 2014 she is Deputy Graduate Director. Her research focuses on the study of adipose tissue and its dysfunction in the development of obesity-associated diseases, particularly focused on the role of the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor.
Our research explores the connection between obesity and its associated diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), which is currently a serious public health problem worldwide. The long-term goal is to understand the mechanistic link between obesity and the development of these disorders, to eventually be able to reduce the cardiometabolic consequences of being obese. The main focus of our research is on adipose tissue and its cell components, to study the functional changes that occur in obesity. Specifically, we are focused on the extracellular Calcium Sensing Receptor, whose main function is to control the circulating calcium levels, however many other functions have been described in different organs. Our laboratory reported its presence in adipose tissue in the year 2005, and since we have explored its role in obesity.
- Bravo R, Mattar P, Diaz X, Lavandero S, Cifuentes M. Calcium sensing receptor as a novel mediator of adipose tissue dysfunction: mechanisms and potential clinical implications. Frontiers in Physiology 7:395, 2016
- Villarroel P, Mattar P, D’Espessailles A, Arrese M, Arreguin A, Fuentes C, Reyes M, Cifuentes M. Calcium sensing receptor effects in adipocytes and liver cells: Implications for an adipose-hepatic crosstalk. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2016; 607:47-54.
- Rocha G, Villalobos E, Fuentes C, Villarroel P, Reyes M, Díaz X, Mattar P, Cifuentes M. Preadipocyte proliferation is elevated by calcium sensing receptor activation. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2015; 412: 251-6.
- Villarroel P, Villalobos E, Reyes M, Cifuentes M. Calcium, obesity, and the role of the calcium-sensing receptor