Alfredo Franco-Obregón

Associate Professor

Sector: Biotechnology

Member Since, August 17, 2023

Open To Work

  • I am open to relocating to
  • I am open to working remotely Yes
  • I am open to being contacted by employers and recruiters Yes

About Me

BICEPS (BioIonic Currents Electromagnetic Pulsing Systems) Laboratory

The BICEPS laboratory (within the realms of iHealthtech, NUS) largely focusses on designing, developing and implementing technologies and clinical approaches to promote muscle health and metabolic status in states of inherent mechanical dysfunction such as occurs in old age, or in response to imposed immobilization resulting from injury or disease. As a result of muscle’s essential role in helping establish systemic homeostasis, these technologies will also hold potential to enhance whole-body metabolic efficiency with beneficial implications for instance, in combating diabetes and cancer. To this end we are currently exploiting magnetic field platforms to promote mitochondrial respiration and downstream developmental and survival adaptations via a novel process known as Magnetic Mitohormesis.

My doctorate was awarded from the University of California at San Francisco (Neurosciences) and concerned the analysis of the contribution of mechanical- and voltage-gated calcium entry to muscle development and disease. My studies in calcium-mediated muscle function, cell cycle regulation and apoptosis continued at the University of Seville Medical School (Spain), the Mayo Clinic (Department of Cardiology), Harvard Medical School (Department of Cardiology) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich; Department of Solid States Physics, Institutes for Biomedical Engineering and Biomechanics and Space Biology). In the Space Biology Group of the ETH, I headed the Rehabilitation and Regenerative Strategies group where we focused on the innovation of technologies aimed at exploiting these calcium pathways to offset the degenerative consequences of mechanical dysfunction such as occurs during manned space travel.

Areas of Expertise:
Cancer Research
Tissue Engineering
Exercise Physiology
Flow Cytometry


  • PhD, Neuroscience (1987 - 1993) University of California, San Francisco - School of Medicine

    Activities and societies: Swiss Society for Biomedical Engineering (2005-2006) Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (2008-present) Society for Biological Engineering (2010-present) Center for Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine (2010-present)

  • Bachelor's Degree, Biology, General (1981 - 1986) UC San Diego

Work & Experience

  • BICEPS Laboratory (2016 - Present ) Associate Professor

    BICEPS laboratory is dedicated to developing technological platforms aimed at harnessing the energy of electromagnetic field stimulation to regulate cellular metabolism and biosynthesis for use in clinical and athletic applications. The BICEPS laboratory is found within the realms of iHealthTech of the NUS.

  • QuantumTX Pte Ltd, 2020 (2019 - Present ) Founder

    QuantumTx employs a patented magnetic field platform to metabolically activate skeletal muscle. Our unique BIXEPS signal penetrates deep into muscle to activate mitochondrial respiration and survival adaptations via a novel process known as Magnetic Mitohormesis. This is a process reminiscent of how the metabolic effects of exercise are established, yet without the mechanical stress that accompanies exercise. Mitochondrial activation in this manner calls into action muscle’s endocrine role to release trophic factors, collectively known as myokines, with healthful systemic ramifications.

  • ETH Zurich (2012 - 2013 ) TEAM Leader/Visiting Scientist

    Development and optimization of technologies and therapeutic strategies to enhance muscle, bone and connective tissue maintenance in the elderly, injured and infirm.

  • ETH Zurich (2011 - 2013 ) Head, Rehabilitation and Regenerative Strategies Group

    Design of alternative rehabilitation and regenerative strategies: The rehabilitation and regenerative strategies group focuses on the design and development of technologies and clinical approaches to promote the regeneration of the body’s principal mechanosensitive tissues in states of inherent mechanical dysfunction such as occurs in old age or in response to imposed immobilization because of injury or disease. In particular we are concerned with those mechanosensitive developmental programs (muscle (skeletal, cardiac, smooth), bone, cartilage and ligaments) that rely on calcium entry via mechanically-gated cation channels to be initiated and that are compromised in old age and by long-term manned Space travel.

  • University of Zurich (2007 - 2011 ) Manager, Central Flow Cytometry Laboratory

    The central Flow Cytometry Laboratory served clients from over 30 institutes at the University of Zurich, University Hospital and ETH and logged over 1500 hours of machine time each year. In addition to assisting clients with their analysis and sorts we also ran independent research projects. We also consulted with clients concerning how to optimize and optimize their analysis and collaborated with several research groups of the ETH and University Zürich on research projects. The facility housed over a 1.5 million CHF in FACS machines placed within two BL1 laboratories and one BL2 laboratory; distinct tissue culture facilities were affiliated with each biosecurity level.

  • ETH Zurich (1999 - 2004 ) Senior Research Fellow, Solid States Physics Laboratory

    Coordinated a cross-disciplinary study bridging physics and biology

  • Harvard University (1997 - 1999 ) Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cardiology

    Studied the role of calcium capacitive calcium entry over the onset of apoptosis.

  • Mayo Clinic (1996 - 1997 ) Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cardiology

    Studied the role of calcium capacitive calcium entry over the onset of apoptosis.

  • Universidad de Sevilla, School of Medicine (1993 - 1996 ) Postdoctoral Fellow, Neuroscience and Biophysics Institute

    At the University of Seville I studied the oxygen-regulation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels; Ca2+ entry regulates excitation-contraction coupling, setting vascular tone. We were the first to demonstrate that oxygen tension modulates the activity of voltage-gated L-type Ca2+ channels in vascular smooth muscle cells in a manner that is consistent with the opposed hypoxic vasomotor responses of the systemic (reduced Ca2+ influx - vasodilatation) and deep pulmonary (augmented Ca2+ influx - vasoconstriction) arteries.