Mercedes Ricote graduated in Biology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She began her scientific career in the Endocrinology Department at the Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, where she investigated regulatory systems involved in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension. In 1994 she obtained her PhD in Biology, and afterwards moved to the Burnham Institute, San Diego, where she studied the regulation of gene expression in colon tumors. Continuing her interest in nuclear receptor signaling and cardiovascular research, in 1996 she joined Dr. C. K. Glass’ laboratory at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Her studies there focused on the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) in the regulation of macrophage development and function. She was primarily responsible for the discovery that PPAR-gamma and its ligands inhibit macrophage activation. The Nature article reporting these findings has been cited more than 2600 times, highlighting the importance of this discovery.
In 2000, Dr. Ricote was appointed as an Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, UCSD, where she extended her studies to explore the potential role of PPARs in innate and adaptive immunity. Mercedes joined the CNIC in November 2004.