Claudio Villanueva, PhD


Lab Website


  • English
  • Spanish

Academic Information

  • Departments: Biochemistry - Assistant Professor

Academic Office Information

  • 801-587-9209
  • Emma Eccles Jones Medical Research Building
    15 N Medical Dr E, Room: 5800K
    Salt Lake City, UT

Research Statement

The research objectives of my laboratory are to investigate the transcriptional mechanisms that regulate adipocyte development and biology. Our work is beginning to unravel the molecular mechanisms that distinguish between the white, brown, and beige adipocyte subtypes. We are finding that the combinatorial actions of PPARĪ³ coactivators TLE3 and Prdm16 are key to establishing the phenotypic characteristics of adipocyte subtypes. Because brown and beige adipocytes consume carbohydrates and lipids when activated, we hope to understand how their metabolic program is regulated to identify new strategies to treat diabetes. I have had extraordinary mentoring and research training through my academic career and have gained expertise in endocrinology, genetics, physiology, lipid biochemistry, transcription, and cellular and molecular biology. As a Ph.D. student at UCSF I studied in the laboratory of Robert Farese Jr. M.D. at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease where I investigated an enzyme (DGAT1) that catalyzes the final step in triglyceride biosynthesis and studied its role in hepatic lipid metabolism in mice. The exceptional training acquired at UCSF led to my postdoctoral training at UCLA in the laboratory of Peter Tontonoz M.D., Ph.D., an HHMI investigator that investigates nuclear receptor biology and metabolism. The current application builds logically from my prior work, and I have chosen collaborators who will provide additional expertise in mouse phenotyping studies, protein expression and purification, and cellular energetics.

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California Los Angeles
Gene Expression
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, University of California
Lipid Metabolism
Undergraduate California State University