Dr Esteban Gurzov

Research Unit

Islet biology


JDRF Senior Research Fellow
Islet Biology Laboratory
Honorary Fellow, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne

Professional Experience

2002    BSc in Biotechnology, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina
2007    PhD in Molecular Biology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
08-11   Postdoctoral Fellow, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
11-13   Postdoctoral Fellow, Monash University Melbourne, Australia


2003    Fundación Carolina Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Spain), PhD Fellowship
2008    Federal Science Policy Office (Belgium), Postdoctoral Fellowship
2009    European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes, Albert Renold Fellowship
2009    Sanofi-Aventis Diabetes Award Belgium/Luxembourg
2009    European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Fellowship
2012    Paula and Jack Hansky Prize for Research Excellence
2013    JDRF, Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship

Research Interests

Molecular mechanisms of diabetes

The focus of my research is to understand the signalling pathways responsible for the development of diabetes. We study mechanisms of insulin-producing ß-cell dysfunction and death in the pancreas and insulin resistance in the liver, muscle and white adipose tissue. The strength of the laboratory is the combined use of molecular biology, animal models of diabetes and human samples. In addition, we have designed new molecules that can be used in pre-clinical studies to measure ß-cell mass for the early diagnosis of the disease. This work is carried out in the Immunology and Diabetes Unit at St Vincent’s Institute, which provides an ideal environment, with a strong focus on type 1 diabetes, as well as obesity and type 2 diabetes. St Vincent’s Institute also hosts a human islet isolation and transplant centre that provides human samples for this project and a platform for immediate translation of the findings to patient care. We aim to make a difference to the millions of sufferers of diabetes by providing insights into ways that diabetes can be detected and treated.

Selected Publications

  1. Stanley WJ, Litwak SA, Quah HS, Tan SM, Kay TW, Tiganis T, de Haan JB, Thomas HE, Gurzov EN (2015). Inactivation of protein tyrosine phosphatases enhances interferon signaling in pancreatic islets. Diabetes (on line).
  2. Litwak SA, Wali JA, Pappas E, Saadi H, Stanley WJ, Kay TW, Thomas HE, Gurzov EN (2015). Lipotoxic stress induces pancreatic beta cell death through modulation of Bcl-2 proteins by the ubiquitin/proteasome system. Journal of Diabetes Research (on line).
  3. Gurzov EN, Stanley WJ, Brodnicki TC, Thomas HE (2015). Protein tyrosine phosphatases: molecular switches in metabolism and diabetes. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism 26:30-9.
  4. Gurzov EN, Tran M, Fernandez-Rojo M, Merry T, Zhang X, Xu Y, Fukushima A, Waters MJ, Watt M, Andrikopoulos S, Neel BG, Tiganis T (2014). Hepatic oxidative stress promotes insulin-STAT5 signaling and obesity by inactivating PTPN2. Cell Metabolism 20:85-102. 
  5. Gurzov EN, Barthson J, Marhfour I, Ortis F, Naamane N, Igoillo-Esteve M, Gysemans C, Mathieu C, Kitajima S, Marchetti P, Orntoft TF, Bakiri L, Wagner EF, Eizirik DL (2012). Pancreatic b-cells activate a JunB/ATF3-dependent survival pathway during inflammation. Oncogene 31:1723-1732.
  6. Gurzov EN, Eizirik DL (2011). Bcl-2 proteins in diabetes: mitochondrial pathways of b-cell death and dysfunction. Trends in Cell Biology 21:424-431.
  7. Barthson J, Germano CM, Moore F, Maida A, Drucker DJ, Marchetti P, Gysemans C, Mathieu C, Nuñez G, Jurisicova A, Eizirik DL, Gurzov EN (2011). Tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma induce pancreatic beta cell apoptosis through STAT1-mediated Bim activation. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 286:39632-39643.
  8. Gurzov EN, Germano CM, Ortis F, Cunha DA, Vanderwinden JM, Marchetti P, Zhang L, Eizirik DL (2010). p53 up-regulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) activation contributes to pancreatic beta cell apoptosis induced by pro-inflammatory cytokines and endoplasmic reticulum stress. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 285:19910-19920.
  9. Gurzov EN, Ortis F, Cunha DA, Gosset G, Li M, Cardozo AK, Eizirik DL (2009). Signaling by IL-1b + IFN-g and ER stress converge on DP5/Hrk activation: a novel mechanism for pancreatic beta-cell apoptosis. Cell Death and Differentiation 16:1539-1550.
  10. Gurzov EN, Ortis F, Bakiri L, Wagner EF, Eizirik DL (2008). JunB Inhibits ER Stress and Apoptosis in Pancreatic Beta Cells. PLoS ONE 3: e3030.