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Francesc Villarroya Gombau

ICREA Academia 2014 & 2019

Universitat de Barcelona · Life & Medical Sciences

Francesc Villarroya Gombau

My scientific career is fully associated with the direction of my research group, which I started in the mid 90's, after my previous training in Barcelona, Paris and New York. Since then I have developed an upward research career as PI, financed through competitive funds obtained from public agencies, foundations and private companies. We have participated in numerous European projects and led regional, national and international research networks on the pathophysiological mechanisms of obesity, diabetes and lipodystrophy, including research on the metabolic alterations in HIV patients. I am full professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UB since 2010. I act as advisor of multiple international research agencies and institutions. I have been director of the Institute of Biomedicine of the UB for 8 years, where I currently hold the position of scientific director. I have been member of steering committees of the CIBERobn and Sociedad Española de Estudio de la Obesidad.

Research interests

.Disturbances in energy balance lead to obesity and associated metabolic pathologies (e.g. diabetes or cardiovascular disease).These alterations involve disturbances in the capacity of the body to activate metabolic energy expenditure. My research activity is focused to the study of the molecular and cellular processes that control metabolic energy balance, the activity of brown fat (the main site of energy expenditure in mammals), and brown-versus-white adipose tissue plasticity. Recently, we paid particular attention to the secretory role of brown fat and the discovery of brown adipokines or “batokines”. “Batokines” are obvious candidates as biomarkers of metabolic disease as well as for the design of novel therapies, and therefore I am developing an intense translational research to determine their role in patients with obesity, diabetes, lipodystrophy and other complex metabolic diseases


metabolism, endocrinology, adipose, mitochondria, transcription

ICREA Memoir 2023