• Medicina Translacional

[SCItalk] Adipose Tissue Plasticity in Health and Disease

Maria M. Malagón
University of Córdoba, Spain
Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba (IMIBIC), Spain


The research team on “Adipobiology” of the Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba (IMIBIC, Córdoba, Spain) is a consolidated research group working on the identification and characterization of novel markers of adipose tissue dysfunction in obesity. We pursue understanding of the pathogenic pathways leading to the development of metabolic disease in obesity. This research has a two-pronged approach: (a) targeted analyses of the regulation of insulin signaling and lipid storage and mobilization in adipocytes at the cellular and molecular levels, using cellular and molecular methodologies on adipocyte cell lines and primary human preadipocytes and adipocytes; and (b) untargeted omics studies of the two major fat depots, subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue, and its separate components in lean and obese individuals with different degrees of insulin sensitivity. We employ in vitro models of insulin resistance to mimic different aspects of obesity and metabolic disease, as well as different approaches for the identification of protein networks and inter-organelle contacts relevant for adipocyte function. Finally, one of our current research projects is aimed at characterizing the composition and impact of the extracellular matrix (matrisome) on the cellular components of the adipose tissue under physiological and pathological conditions in order to devise effective therapies in obesity and metabolic disease.


Prof. María M. Malagón is full Professor at the Dept. of Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology of the University of Córdoba (UCO), Spain, and also leads the research group “Metabolism and Adipocyte Differentiation” at the Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba (IMIBIC). Prof. Malagón coordinates IMIBIC’s Research Program of Nutrition, Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases; and in 2016-2018, she was the Director of the Biomedicine Ph.D. Program of UCO and the Training Committee of IMIBIC. With 159 scientific publications, Prof. Malagón has considerable experience in the field of adipose tissue biology and pathophysiology, as well as in nanotechnology applications in cell biology. She has been awarded several research grants from international, national and regional competitive calls. She belongs to the “Center for Biomedical Research in Network - Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition” (CIBERobn).  Prof. Malagón has supervised 19 Ph.D. theses and was Manager of the Program “Integrative Biology and Physiology” of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (2010-2014). She is member of numerous evaluation panels, most recently as auditor for the National Institute of Health (ISCIII) and the Spanish National Research Council. At the international level, she evaluates projects for ANR and AERES (France), the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, and PHRT program of the Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (Switzerland). Prof. Malagón serves as an associate editor for Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, and has served as editor for Endocrinology, Journal of Neuroendocrinology, and General and Comparative Endocrinology. She is the coordinator of the Working group of Translational Research in Obesity of the Spanish Society for Obesity (SEEDO) and has been a member of the organizing committee for international and national meetings (e.g., European Congress of Endocrinology and SEEDO). She was a Council Member of the Foundation of the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN) and Chair of the SEEDO; and currently, she is Vice-President of the Foundation of the SEEDO.


Host: Pablo Garcia-Roves