Mauricio A. Torres, Ph.D.

Title
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department
Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Institution
University of Michigan
Address
1000 Wall St
Brehm Tower Room 5325
City, State, Zip
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Country
United States
E-mail
mtorresg[at]med.umich.edu
Website
https://sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/ling-qi-lab/research
Research Field
Physiology
Award Year
2017
Country Of Origin
Chile
Mentor Name
Ling Qi, Ph.D.

Research

Mammals have special stores of fat—called brown adipose tissue—that help regulate body temperature. In brown fat cells, heat is generated by structures called mitochondria. But mitochondria rarely act alone; in most cells, they are physically and functionally coupled to a network of membranes, called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which plays a key role in protein folding, quality control, and cellular signaling. In preliminary studies, I found that mice lacking a particular protein in the ER of fat cells were unable to maintain their body temperature following exposure to the cold. Using a suite of techniques in biochemistry, physiology, and cell and molecular biology, I will determine exactly how this deficit in the ER affects the ability of mitochondria to produce heat in brown fat—work that could lead to novel treatments for obesity.