Direct Doctorate Fellowship in Energy Metabolism

Aug 30, 2019
Sep 29, 2019
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
A direct doctoral fellowship approved by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), is available within the scope of a Young Researcher Grant Project, entitled Impact of Alpha Estrogen Receptor on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Energetic Liver Metabolism, (grant number # 2018 / 04956-5), which will be based in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics of the University of São Paulo's Biomedical Sciences Institute (ICB-USP).


Lifestyle and increased consumption of high fat diets contribute greatly to the development of obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease. In addition, cardiovascular diseases associated with metabolic complications such as insulin resistance and obesity are less prevalent in young women than in men of the same age or postmenopausal women. Several mechanisms are currently considered to cause insulin resistance, such as abnormal lipid metabolism and ectopic accumulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and inflammation and stress of the endoplasmic reticulum.

One of the consequences of Western lifestyle and high fat diet is Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), which affects about 30% of adults and up to 10% of children in developed countries. In recent decades, data from clinical and experimental studies have shown that estradiol (the most potent estrogen) contributes greatly to glycemic homeostasis. In fact, decreased estrogen concentration during menopause is associated with increased visceral fat and, in turn, metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance, T2DM, and cardiovascular disease.

Since the liver is a central organ in the development of T2DM, the general objective of this project is to study (in vivo and in vitro) the function of the estrogen receptor (ERα) on hepatic energy metabolism using primary cell culture of hepatocytes and animals with modulated expression of ERα in the liver (knockdown or overexpression) by the use of adeno-associated virus (AAV) for evaluation or ERα-deleted animals specifically in the liver (Cre-Lox system). This project will allow the establishment of a new line of research in the department involving the impact of sex hormone signaling, such as estradiol, on energy metabolism, the mechanisms involved in the development of NAFLD and possible targets and new approaches to treatment development. / prevention of NAFLD and T2DM.

In addition, this project will allow the establishment of the gold standard technique of hyperinsulinemic-normoglycemic clamp in mice using radioactive tracers to determine possible changes in glucose metabolism in vivo. The establishment of this technique in the department will make it possible to contribute, with excellence, to the high demand for mouse phenotyping in relation to glucose metabolism.


Highly motivated and ambitious candidates are encouraged to apply. Experience and excellent track record will be considered an advantage. In all cases, the ability to do the job will be the primary consideration and we therefore encourage everyone - regardless of personal history and status - to apply.

More information about the fellowship is at: .

Eligible destination country/ies for fellows: Brazil

Eligibility of fellows: country/ies of residence: All

Eligibility of fellows: nationality/ies: All

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