Antonio Vidal-Puig (born Valencia, Spain June 12, 1962) is a Spanish medical doctor and scientist who works as a Professor of Molecular Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Cambridge (UK), best known for advancing the concept that pharmacological targeting of brown fat may serve to treat overweight and obesity in affected individuals, as well as for introducing the concept of adipose tissue "expandability" as an important factor in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance in the context of positive energy balance. His published work focuses on areas such as adipose tissue metabolism and lipotoxicity, regulation of insulin secretion, and the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Vidal-Puig studied medicine at University of Valencia Medical School, and trained in endocrinology at the University of Granada Medical School. He held post-doctoral positions in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, from 1992–1999, where his mentors included Jeff Flier, Brad Lowell, David Moller, and Leo Krall. In 2015 he completed the Executive Master of Business Administration at the Cambridge Judge Business School.
Vidal-Puig established his research laboratory (TVP Lab) at the Institute of Metabolic Science, of the University of Cambridge in 2000, and became a Professor of Molecular Nutrition and Metabolism, as well as an Honorary Consultant in Metabolic Medicine. He is also an Associate Faculty of the Wellcome Sanger Institute. In 2014 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK).
Together with Matej Orešič, in 2014 he edited an essay volume "A Systems Biology Approach to Study Metabolic Syndrome".
His academic engagements outside the UK include his affiliation with the Centre on Artificial Intelligence for Humankind at the National University of Singapore Business School. Since 2019 he has been associated with the newly launched Cambridge University Nanjing Centre for Technology. As a Visiting Professor at Nanjing University, he is engaged in studies concerning aspects of the epidemic of obesity and diabetes occurring in China. He is also a Chair of the Life Sciences Panel and a recipient of a Principal Investigator award of the European Research Council.
Vidal-Puig's research laboratory in Cambridge is devoted to exploring "the molecular mechanisms involved in controlling energy expenditure, fat deposition, and the mechanisms controlling the partition of energy towards oxidation or storage". More specifically it works on lipotoxic effects on insulin sensitivity, activation of thermogenesis in adipose tissue, molecular mechanisms controlling energy expenditure and brown fat activation, and modulation of fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle.
Novel concepts worked on by Vidal-Puig include:
- Adipose tissue expandability hypothesis. The concept was advanced by him in 2006. According to the hypothesis, the expansion of adipose tissue (AT) is a normal phenomenon when an individual undergoes sustained positive energy balance, providing strategic fuel storage. However, it may reach a threshold beyond which toxic effects ensue: abnormal accumulation of lipids in organs such as muscle, liver, heart, kidney; accumulation of macrophages in AT, and spillover of proinflammatory molecules from metabolically stressed AT (lipotoxicity). These eventually lead to disease states typically accompanying obesity, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and heart attacks. This expandability concept has gained considerable acceptance among experts.
- Brown fat targeting to treat obesity. Since brown fat burns lipids to produce heat through the uncoupling of its mitochondria (thermogenesis), this phenomenon has been historically suggested as a method to fight obesity. Vidal-Puig's contributions have included studies of the neural, metabolic, and genetic control of the thermogenic uncoupling of adipocyte mitochondria, and the therapeutically oriented testing of possible synthetic activators of such uncoupling. In reports attracting media coverage, his team unveiled the existence of naturally occurring, pro-thermogenic biochemical mechanisms controlling mitochondrial uncoupling in fat cells, a finding with potential use to treat overweight. and anti-thermogenic
Research articles where Vidal-Puig is an author will be found in current entries on Adipogenesis, Gene expression profiling, Lipidomics, Lipotoxicity, Macrophages, Metabolic syndrome, Metabolomics, Mitophagy, Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Pyruvate carboxylase, Resistin, Senotherapy, Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1, Uncoupling protein, UCP2, and UCP3.
Vidal-Puig gave the 2015 FEBS National Lecture, the 2016 Maimonides Lecture Award by the University of Córdoba, and the 2019 Sir Philip Randle Lecture sponsored by the British Biochemical Society.
He has been awarded the Lilly Foundation Distinguished Career Award (2015) , the Hippocrates International Award for Medical Research on Human Nutrition given by the Real Academia de Medicina y Cirugía of the Principality of Asturias (2015), and the Society for Endocrinology Medal (2017).
- "Could our own fat be used to help us fight obesity?". Cambridge Independent. 2018-12-02. Retrieved Feb 9, 2020.
- firstname.lastname@example.org. "Professor Antonio Vidal-Puig — Cambridge Cardiovascular". www.cardiovascular.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
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- "Meet the Endocrinologist: Interview with Prof Antonio Vidal-Puig". endocrinologyblog.org. 2017-09-14. Retrieved Feb 9, 2020.
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- Oresic, Matej; Vidal-Puig, Antonio, eds. (2014). A Systems Biology Approach to Study Metabolic Syndrome. Springer International Publishing. ISBN 978-3-319-01007-6.
- "International Research Affiliates". bschool.nus.edu.sg. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
- "University of Cambridge - Latest news". kyanizing20.rssing.com. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
- "Panel Chairs of the ERC Peer Review Panels ERC Starting Grant Panel 2019" (PDF). erc.europa.eu. Retrieved Feb 11, 2020.
- "List of principal investigators – Life sciences" (PDF). erc.europa.eu. Retrieved Feb 11, 2020.
- Slawik, M; Vidal-Puig, AJ (May 2006). "Lipotoxicity, overnutrition and energy metabolism in aging". Ageing Research Reviews. 5 (2): 144–64. doi:10.1016/j.arr.2006.03.004. PMID 16630750.
- Virtue, S; Vidal-Puig, A (Jan 6, 2010). "Adipose tissue expandability, lipotoxicity and the Metabolic Syndrome--an allostatic perspective". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids. 1801 (3): 338–49. doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2009.12.006. PMID 20056169.
- Caprio, S; Pierpont, B; Kursawe, R (29 March 2018). "The "adipose tissue expandability" hypothesis: a potential mechanism for insulin resistance in obese youth". Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation. 33 (2). doi:10.1515/hmbci-2018-0005. PMID 29596053.
- Garrow, J. S. (1983-05-28). "Luxuskonsumption, brown fat, and human obesity". British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Ed.). 286 (6379): 1684–1686. doi:10.1136/bmj.286.6379.1684-a. ISSN 0267-0623. PMC 1548238. PMID 6405934.
- Himms-Hagen, J (March 1, 984). "Impaired thermogenesis and brown fat in obesity". Canadian Journal of Surgery. 27 (2): 125. PMID 6704806.
- Whittle, AJ; Carobbio, S; Martins, L; Slawik, M; Hondares, E; Vázquez, MJ; Morgan, D; Csikasz, RI; Gallego, R; Rodriguez-Cuenca, S; Dale, M; Virtue, S; Villarroya, F; Cannon, B; Rahmouni, K; López, M; Vidal-Puig, A (11 May 2012). "BMP8B increases brown adipose tissue thermogenesis through both central and peripheral actions". Cell. 149 (4): 871–85. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2012.02.066. PMC 3383997. PMID 22579288.
- Whittle, AJ; Jiang, M; Peirce, V; Relat, J; Virtue, S; Ebinuma, H; Fukamachi, I; Yamaguchi, T; Takahashi, M; Murano, T; Tatsuno, I; Takeuchi, M; Nakaseko, C; Jin, W; Jin, Z; Campbell, M; Schneider, WJ; Vidal-Puig, A; Bujo, H (20 November 2015). "Soluble LR11/SorLA represses thermogenesis in adipose tissue and correlates with BMI in humans". Nature Communications. 6: 8951. Bibcode:2015NatCo...6.8951W. doi:10.1038/ncomms9951. PMC 4673879. PMID 26584636.
- Carobbio, Stefania; Guénantin, Anne-Claire; Samuelson, Isabella; Bahri, Myriam; Vidal-Puig, Antonio (2019). "Brown and beige fat: From molecules to physiology and pathophysiology". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids. 1864 (1): 37–50. doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2018.05.013. ISSN 1879-2618. PMID 29852279.
- "Prof Toni Vidal-Puig has been awarded the FEBS National Lecturer 2015". Cambridge Metabolic Network. 2015-09-10. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
- "Congratulations to Prof Toni Vidal-Puig who gave the VI Maimónides Lecture in Cordoba on 13th December". Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science. 2016-12-19. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
- "Biochemical Society announces 2019 award recipients". biochemistry.org. Retrieved Feb 9, 2020.
- "La Fundación Lilly reconoce la trayectoria científica del Prof. Antonio Vidal Puig con el Premio a una Carrera Distinguida en Endocrinología, Nutrición y Obesidad". www.fundacionlilly.com. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
- "Prof. Toni Vidal Puig has been awarded the 2015 Hippocrates International Award". Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science. 2015-07-30. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
- "Medals | Society for Endocrinology". www.endocrinology.org. Retrieved 2020-02-09.