Claudio J. Villanueva

“In science, we’re creating new knowledge, exploring, going into the unknown.”

Moving to Southern California at the age of nine, Dr. Villanueva always believed he would follow his father’s footsteps as a dentist. However, his interest in pursuing science began during his undergraduate years of college where he was able to study how frogs regulate sodium uptake across the abdominal epithelium. Since then, his love for science has only grown. He received his Ph.D. at UCSF where he worked with Robert Farese Jr. at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease. In addition, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Peter Tontonoz at UCLA. In the years following, Dr. Villanueva was recruited to the Department of Biochemistry in the University of Utah School of Medicine until he moved his lab to UCLA! His lab at UCLA lab studies gene regulation, metabolism, and thermogenesis. He wants to understand how thermogenic adipocytes promote energy utilization and how that impacts glucose metabolism. His work may lead to discoveries for conditions like type 2 diabetes. We are excited to learn more about Dr. Villanueva’s studies as he continues his research at UCLA!