Regulation of Lipid Metabolism in Obesity and Diabetes Group

Western lifestyle has transformed obesity into an alarming epidemic. Of particular concern are the concurrent and parallel increases in the prevalence of pathological conditions associated with obesity, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The pathophysiology of obesity-induced insulin resistance is attributable to the ectopic deposition of fat in liver, muscle and pancreas, and the increase in adipose tissue inflammation. Our group is interested in the molecular mechanisms implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In particular, we study the role of fatty acids in metabolism, focusing on Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase I (CPTI), the key regulatory enzyme in mitochondrial fatty-acid oxidation. CPTI catalyses the rate-limiting step in the entry of cytosolic long-chain acyl-CoA into mitochondria, where β-oxidation takes place. There are three isoforms of CPTI: CPTIA, mainly expressed in liver and pancreas; CPTIB, expressed in skeletal muscle; and CPTIC, expressed in the brain. Our research lines include the study of fatty-acid metabolism in:

  1. Obesity-induced insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (liver and white and brown adipose tissue)
  2. Appetite (hypothalamus)
  3. Development of potential new treatments for obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer, through structural studies of CPTI-related drugs.


Positions available to do a PhD or Postdoc The REGULATION OF LIPID METABOLISM IN OBESITY AND DIABETES GROUP is looking for graduated students in Pharmacy, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Medicine or related degrees interested in the field of obesity and diabetes (high qualifications recommended for fellowships’ applications). Contact: Dr. Dolors Serra ( / Dr. Laura Herrero (


Mitochondrial bioenergetics (Seahorse) in cultured cells and adipose tissue explants

Tissue, body and cell culture thermogenesis (thermographic camera)

CPT1A flox mice

Adenovirus and AAV of GFP, CPT1A and CPT1AM 

Fatty acid and glucose oxidation

Enzyme activity of CPT1, CrAT and COT