Martin Bilban was born in 1974 in Klagenfurt, Austria. Following his M.Sc. degree in Chemistry, he pursued his PhD work in Biochemistry at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz and The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. He joined the Department of Laboratory Medicine in 2002. He performed part of his postdoctoral training at Harvard University at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Martin Bilban is an Associate Professor in Medical Biochemistry at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of Vienna.
Know-how and research interests
Our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating adipose tissue plasticity and function during various physiological and pathological conditions. Adipose tissue plays a critical role in the regulation of energy balance. Adipose tissue dysfunction through pathological expansion is linked to metabolic disease. White adipocytes store extra energy while thermogenic fat - brown and beige adipocytes - dissipate energy in the form of heat. Increasing brown fat function in vivo results in protection against obesity. Ongoing efforts focus on identification of genetic mechanisms governing “healthy” adipocyte differentiation and the molecular network controlling brown fat activation and “browning” of white adipose tissue to combat obesity.
He characterized anti-inflammatory mechanisms involving PPARγ and Heme Oxygenase-1 derived products in macrophages (Bilban et al., 2006 & 2008). Using transcriptomic approaches his research group identified molecular networks governing visceral fat expansion including LMO3 (Lindroos et al. 2013) and Heme Oxygenase-1 (Wagner et al., 2017). Most recently, his research is focused on identification of molecular mechanisms regulating brown and beige fat development (Schmidt et al., 2018).
Main Research Interests
- Genetic mechanisms regulating white adipose tissue plasiticty
- Role of Heme Oxygenase-1 in the regulation of brown and beige fat development
- Decipher the coding and non-coding transcriptome of fat depots to find ways to treat obesity associated metabolic diseases