Ximena M. Bustamante-Marin, PhD
Dr. Bustamante-Marin earned her PhD in Biological Sciences with mention in Physiology from Universidad Catolica of Chile. After completing a Research Scholar training at Duke University and a postdoctoral appointment in the Cystic fibrosis Department at UNC, Dr. Bustamante-Marin joined the Gillings School's Department of Nutrition in July 2019 as a Research Assistant Professor. Her research focus on understanding how the cells perceive signals from the microenvironment to control cellular functions and cell fate decisions; a fundamental goal in stem cell and cancer cell biology. Currently Dr. Bustamante-Marin is investigating the role of primary cilia underlying the impact of obesity on cancer. The primary cilia play a role in cancer hallmarks including, reprogramming of cell metabolism, escape from apoptosis, angiogenesis, and migration that leads to metastasis. In addition, signals from the adipose tissue could promote obesity-associated tumors. Understanding the role of cilia in adipose tissue, the tumor microenvironment, and on the crosstalk between the players could generate opportunities for clinical interventions.
Honors and Awards2019, UNC-AIRC/WCR Marilyn Gentry Fellow
• Ciliary Function
• Cell signaling
• Nutrition and Physical Activity