04/02/2021 23:00 - Europe/Athens
    Not funded by an EU programme
    Spain, Córdoba
    Maimonides Biomedical Research Institute of Cordoba - IMIBIC
    Metabolism and Adipocyte Differentiation-Metabolic Syndrome


La Caixa INPhINIT INCOMING Doctoral Fellowship Programme


Prof. María M. Malagón (bc1mapom@uco.es)


GC11 Group


Research Project / Research Group Description

Adipose tissue (AT) plays an essential role in energy homeostasis as both endocrine organ and energy reservoir that expands to store excess energy during overfeeding. However, in pathogenic obese conditions, AT becomes dysfunctional with limited expandability and proinflammatory profile which promotes the onset of obesity metabolic comorbidities e.g. insulin resistance (IR). Notably, extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling is necessary to accommodate cellular changes (adipocyte hypertrophy and hyperplasia, immune cell infiltration…) during AT expansion. Dysfunctional AT is also characterized by fibrosis, i.e. anomalous depot (amount and organization) of the various ECM components that surround adipose cells, compromising their growth and function. However, the precise composition and balance of ECM components related to obesity-associated IR, and their effect on adipose cells is yet to be determined. Moreover, extracellular environment acts as a physical barrier that hinders biomolecule or drug trafficking which results in reduced bioavailability and impaired action.

The “Adipobiology” research team is a consolidated research group within The Maimonides Biomedical Research Institute of Cordoba – IMIBIC. Our research is aimed at elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of obesity-related comorbidities. Our final goal is to find novel targets and propose original therapies by using specific platforms mimicking the pathogenic ECM environment that replicates adipose tissue functions in vitro.

For the accomplishment of this general goal we pursue:

- To understand the pathogenic pathways leading to the development of metabolic disease in obesity, combining cutting-edge omic technologies with cellular and molecular approaches.

- To test drug-delivery and bioavailability of various conventional and novel drugs alone or combined with different nanoparticles using customed platforms based on engineering hydrogels mimicking AT environment

Job position description

We welcome highly motivated applicants with a Master’s Degree in Science, Biomedical Science, Biotechnology or Pharmacy.

By joining the Adipobiology group, students will get a solid and fruitful training on molecular basis of a highly prevalent disease, obesity. The candidate will develop 3D-culture methods to analyze how obesity-associated fibrotic conditions affect the normal response of adipocytes and other adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction cells (e.g. preadipocytes, immune cells such as macrophages). These models will provide the basis for the functional screening of novel targets for pharmacologic intervention in obesity. Findings will be translated to in vivo models (rodents) and human studies. Besides providing the opportunity to interact with other groups in the IMIBIC and recognized national research teams in the field, short training stays in international laboratories chosen by their scientific level, training capacity and complementarity with our scientific objectives, will be fostered.

The methodological expertise of the group includes a wide variety of cellular and molecular methodologies on cell lines (3T3-L1, SGBS, THP-1…) and human and murine primary (pre-) adipocytes, including confocal and electron microscopy, video-microscopy, activity assays (lipogenesis/lipolysis, fibrogenesis, proteasome), RT-PCR, immunoblotting, etc. We have developed several in vitro models of IR to complement our functional studies. We also employ several proteomic (SWATH, iTRAQ,…) and lipidomic (MALDI-IMS,…) techniques to analyze the changes occurring in AT in association with the development of metabolic diseases. This training will be complemented by IMIBIC’s yearly training agenda, which integrates clinical and experimental knowledge and skills of researchers, especially in the field of innovation and translational research. IMIBIC also offers a variety of courses to improve both the scientific abilities and communication and networking skills of researchers.

How to Search for this offer:

You can find this offer via the Offer Finder, available at https://finder.lacaixafellowships.org/finder

Select “IMIBIC – Maimonides Biomedical Research Institute to Cordoba” from the dropdown list under “HOST ORGANIZATION”

You can also search the position by its title "UNRAVELING NOVEL PLAYERS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF METABOLIC DISEASE IN OBESITY" under " Search by project title / Job position / Positions description".


Eligibility Criteria

1) At the call deadline (4th Feb 2021), applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.

2) At the time of recruitment, candidates must comply with one of the following options:

  • To have completed the studies that lead to an official university degree adapted to the European Higher Education Area awarding 300 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits must correspond to master level.
  • To have completed a degree in university not adapted to the European Higher Education Area that gives access to doctoral studies. The verification of an equivalent level of studies to the ones mentioned above will be made by the university when the admission procedure starts.

3) Candidates must not have resided or have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline (4th Feb 2021). Short stays, such as holidays, done in a country other than their country of usual residence (where they carried out their main activity), will be considered as time spent in their country of usual residence.

4) Candidates must have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).

5) Only candidates whose applications meet all the requirements of the call may be accepted.


How to Apply:

If you want to apply for an INPhINIT fellowship, click on the link below to create your personal account and fill in the on-line application form: https://candidate.lacaixafellowships.org/login



4 February 2021: Application deadline.

18 February 2021: Deadline for submitting the language certificate.

22 April 2021: Notification of the shortlist results.

25, 26 and 27 May 2021: Face-to-face interviews in Barcelona.

7 June 2021: Publication of the final list of selected candidates.

7 – 30 June 2021: Matching between the research centres – fellows.


More Information:

Call for application:


Programme Rules:


Email (for questions concerning the host organisation IMIBIC):



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