Dr. Villarreal obtained his M.D. degree in 1984 from the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Tijuana, Mexico campus. In 1989 he graduated from UCSD’s Ph.D. program in Physiology and Pharmacology with a focus on research related to cardiac mechanics.
Major focus of my research is to understand the pathophysiology of cardiac remodeling. Specific areas of research include: a) the renin-angiotensin system and cytokine network in the heart focusing on the ability of cardiac fibroblasts and animal models of cardiac remodeling to respond to stimulation by these humoral factors, b) the role of mechanical stimulation in regulating cardiac fibroblast function focusing on the activation of signal transduction pathways and changes in extracellular matrix proteins, c) the capacity of matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor compounds to protect the heart from ischemic injury and, d) the examination of the capacity of adenosine to alter the course of pathological cardiac remodeling.