Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Francisca Acosta

Post Doctoral Fellow

Francisca Acosta is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Structural
Biology and NCATS TL1 Research Scholar at UT Health San Antonio (UTHSA) in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Acosta graduated with a bachelor’s degree (B.S.) in Bioengineering from Rice University in 2015 and then went on to pursue postbaccalaureate training as part of the NIH The University of Kansas post-baccalaureate research training program (KU PREP), prior to coming to San Antonio to complete her doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in the Joint Biomedical Engineering Graduate program between The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and UTHSA in May 2020. Her research interests are combining engineering, basic science, and translational research in the fields of Metabolism, Musculoskeletal, Diabetes, Aging, Cancer Biology, and Biomedical Engineering/Regenerative Medicine.

Beyond research, Dr. Acosta is incredibly passionate about scientific outreach, mentorship, and science communication. She currently serves as the President of the UT Health San Antonio Postdoc Association (UP), is involved in numerous service groups/committees, and truly enjoys talking to and guiding the next generation of scientists.

  • Professional Background


    • 2020 - Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering - The University of Texas at San Antonio / UT Health San Antonio
    • 2015 - B.S. of Bioengineering - Rice University


    • 2020 - Trainee NCI T32: Cancer Research Training Program
    • 2022 - Trainee NCATS TL1: Translational Science Research Training Program
  • Research
    • Metabolism
    • Musculoskeletal
    • Diabetes
    • Aging
    • Cancer Biology
    • Biomedical Engineering/Regenerative Medicine
  • Publications

    15. Gonzalez Porras M, Stojkova K, Acosta FM, Rathbone C, Brey E, “ Engineering Human Beige Adipose Tissue”,   Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 10:906395, 2022, DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2022.906395

    14. Acosta FM*, Stojkova K*, Zhang J, Garcia Huitron E, Jiang J, Rathbone C, Brey E, “Vascularized Beige Adipose Tissue Model Engineered from Healthy and Diabetic Rodent Microvascular Fragments”, Journal of Tissue Engineering, January 2022, 2022, DOI: 10.1177/20417314221109337

    13. Li Y, Acosta FM, Li Z. Quan Y, Cheng H, Riquelme M, Gu S, Jiang J, “Studying Macrophage Activation in Immune-Privileged Lens through CSF-1 Protein Intravitreal Injection”,  STAR Protocols, 3(1): 101060, 2022, DOI: 10.1016/j.xpro.2021.101060

    12. Liu X, Riquelme M, Tian Y, Zhao D, Acosta FM, Gu S, Jiang J, “ATP Inhibits Breast Cancer Migration and Bone Metastasis through Down-Regulation of CXCR4 and Purinergic Receptor P2Y11”, Cancers,  13(17):4293, 2021, DOI: 10.3390/cancers13174293

    11. Li G, Zhang L, Cao N, Xue T, Chu Y, Acosta FM, Shang P, Jiang J, Xu H, “Osteocytic Connexin43 Channels Regulate Bone-Muscle Crosstalk”, Cells, ,10(2):37, 2021, DOI: 10.3390/cells10020237

    10. Acosta FM, Howland K, Stojkova K, Hernandez E, Brey E, Rathbone C, “Adipogenic Differentiation Alters Properties of Vascularized Tissue-Engineered Skeletal Muscle”,  Tissue Engineering Part A, Jan;28(1-2):54-68 , 2022, DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2021.0064

    9. Chiou G, Jui E, Rhea A, Gorthi A, Miar S, Acosta FM, Perez C, Suhail Y, Kshitiz, Chen Y, Ong J, Bizios R, Rathbone C, Guda T, “Scaffold Architecture and Matrix Strain Modulate Mesenchymal Cell and Microvascular Growth and Development in a Time Dependent Manner”, Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, 13, 507–526, 2020, DOI: 10.1007/s12195-020-00648-7

    8. Acosta FM, Jia U, Stojkova K, Howland K, Pacelli S, Brey E, Rathbone C, “Diabetic Conditions Confer Metabolic and Structural Modifications to Tissue-Engineered Skeletal Muscle,” Tissue Engineering Part A, May;27(9-10):549-560 , 2021, DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2020.0138

    7. Acosta FM, Jia U, Stojkova K, Pacelli S, Brey E, Rathbone C, “Divergent Effects of Myogenic Differentiation and Diabetes on the Capacity for Muscle Precursor Cell Adipogenic Differentiation in a Fibrin Matrix,” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 526(1):21-28, 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.03.025

    6. Acosta FM, Stojkova K, Brey E, Rathbone C, “A Straightforward Approach Towards the Engineering of Vascularized Adipose Tissue Using Microvascular Fragments,” Tissue Engineering Part A, Aug;26(15-16):905-914, 2020, DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2019.0345

    5. Pacelli S, Basu S, Whitlow J, Chakravarti AR, Acosta FM, Modaresi S, Berkland C, Paul A, “Strategies for stem cell recruitment for cardiovascular and bone tissue regeneration,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 120:50-70, 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2017.07.011

    4. Pacelli S, Acosta FM, Chakravarti AR, Samantha SG, Whitlow J, Modaresi S, Ahmed R.P.H, Rajasingh J, Paul A, “Nanodiamond-based injectable hydrogel for sustained growth factor release: preparation, characterization and in vitro analysis,” Acta Biomaterialia, 58:479-491, 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2017.05.026

    3. Beck EC, Barragan M, Tadros MH, Kiyotake E, Acosta FM, Kieweg SL, Detamore MS, “Chondroinductive hydrogel pastes composed of naturally derived devitalized cartilage,” Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 44(6): 1863-1880, 2016 (Special issue on ‘Emerging Trends in Biomaterials Research’) DOI: 10.1007/s10439-015-1547-5

    2. Blancas A, Balaoing L, Acosta FM, Grande-Allen J, "Identifying Behavioral Phenotypes and Heterogeneity in Heart Valve Surface Endothelium." Cells Tissues Organs, 201(4): 268-76, 2016. DOI: 10.1159/000444446

    1. Blancas A, Acosta FM, Grande-Allen J, “Not Just Skin Deep: Cosmetic and Medical Applications of Injectable Hyaluronan and Fibrin”, Materials Technology: Advanced Biomaterials, 30(Sup8): 206-210, 2015. DOI: 10.1179/17535557B15Y.000000011


    Full List of Published Work:

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