José Ignacio Aguirre

Ignacio Aguirre Portrait

Assistant Professor

Department of Physiological Sciences
PO Box 100144
1333 Center Drive
Gainesville, FL 32610-0144
FAX: 352-392-5145


  • Resident in Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Florida, Animal Care Services, College of Medicine, 2012
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, College of Medicine, 2005
  • PhD, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, 2002
  • Diplomat in Pathology, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Department of Histochemistry, 1998
  • Master in Vet. Pathology, University of London, Royal Veterinary College, UK, 1997
  • Diplomat, University of Tokyo, Department of Agriculture, Japan, 1992
  • DVM, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Argentina, 1989

Honors and Awards

  • Zoetis Distinguished Teacher of the Year, 2018
  • Cornelius Young Investigator, 2018
  • UF Excellence Award for Assistant Professors, 2016
  • Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DACLAM), 2013
  • President’s Poster Competition Award. ASBMR, 34th annual meeting, Minneapolis, MN, 2012
  • Young Investigator Travel Grant. ASBMR, 33th annual meeting. San Diego, CA, 2011
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Travel Award. National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, Orlando, FL, 2011
  • Young Investigator Award. The International Society of Bone Morphometry (ISBM), XIth Congress of the ISBM, Zell Am See, Austria, 2009
  • Young Investigator Travel Grant 2007. ASBMR, 29th annual meeting, Honolulu, HI, 2007
  • Juan de la Cierva Award, Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. Barcelona, Spain, 2005
  • Young Investigator Award. The American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR),2005
  • Alice L. Jee Memorial Young Investigator Award. The 34th International Sun Valley Workshop on Skeletal Tissue Biology, Sun Valley, ID, 2004
  • Reentry Grant Award for Postgraduate Students. The Antorchas Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2000
  • Biorad. Ltd. Co. Assistantship to support Diploma of The Imperial College in Pathology, Department of Histochemistry, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, United Kingdom, 1997
  • Laboratory Animals LTD grant. London, United Kingdom, 1996
  • Graduate Scholarship Award. International Cooperation Agency, Argentinean Ministry of Education, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1996
  • Award for Advanced Studies in the United Kingdom. The British Council and the British Embassy, London, United Kingdom, 1996
  • Graduate Scholarship Award. Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Tokyo, Japan, 1991

Personal Statement

I have been working in the field of bone biology, and in vivo animal models for more than 25 years. During my research career, I have acquired significant exceptional experiences at many distinguished international institutions. I learned and acquired expertise in veterinary gross and microscopic pathology, advanced cytological and histological techniques, immunocytochemistry, electron microscopy, bone histomorphometry, bone cell biology, basic bone biomechanics and in several molecular biology techniques including real time PCT-PCR, Southern, Northern, Western blotting, and microArray analyses. My veterinary degree in combination with my expertise in Laboratory Animal Medicine/Comparative medicine (DACLAM) and a veterinary pathology degree, make me well suited and competent to proper develop animal models, perform advanced techniques and interventions in laboratory animals, design experiments, conduct them and analyze the data. During these years, I have focused my research primarily on the study of conditions that induce bone loss (osteopenia) including osteoporosis, reduced mechanical loading, and spinal cord injury (SCI). In addition, my lab has been studying Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ), a potentially severe adverse event characterized by persistent exposure of necrotic bone in the jaw in patients treated with powerful anti-resorptives (pARs) and receptor activator of NFκb ligand (RANKL) antibodies. My studies involve the use of different rodent models to study different aspects of these conditions at both cellular and molecular levels and utilizing bone histomorphometry and many different histologic techniques.

Research Interests

Skeletal effects of bisphosphonates and bone anabolic agents/drugs for the prevention and treatment of local osteopenias (e.g., jaw) and postmenopausal osteoporosis. Pathophysiology of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ARONJ), and other side effects of antiresorptive drugs. Small animal models of periodontitis. Extended half-life of RANK Ligand antagonists for preclinical testing of osteoporosis treatments in small animals. Comparative medicine.

Recent Publications

  • Alekseyenko, A.V.; Chavez, M.B.; Chew, M.; Huang, E.; Hathaway-Schrader, J.; Poulides, N.; Kirkpatrick, J.; Aguirre, J.I.; Novince, C.M. Antibiotic-Perturbation of Gut Microbiota Dysregulates Osteoimmune Crosstalk in Post-Pubertal Skeletal Development. The American Journal of Pathology. Accepted for publication November 2018.
  • Jiron, J.M.; Mendieta Calle, J.L.; Castillo, E.J.; Abraham, A.M.; Messer, J.G.; Malphurs, W.; Malinowski, C.; Grove, K.; Reznikov, L.R.; Zubcevic, J.; Aguirre, J.I. Isoflurane is Superior to Ketamine-Dexmedetomidine and Ketamine-Xylazine for General Anesthesia during Oral Procedures in the Rice Rat (Oryzomys palustris). JAALAS. Accepted for publication in June 12, 2018.
  • Chukkapalli, S.S.; Ambadapadi, S.; Varkoly, K.; Jiron, J.; Aguirre, J.I.; Bhattacharyya, I.; Morel, L.M.; Lucas, A.R.; Lakshmyya, K. Impaired Innate Immune Signaling due to Combined Toll-like Receptor 2 and 4 Deficiency Affects both Periodontitis and Atherosclerosis in Response to Polybacterial Infection. Pathog Dis. 2018 Oct 23. doi: 10.1093/femspd/fty076.
  • Otzel, D.M.; Conover, C.F.; Ye, F.; Phillips, E.G.; Bassett, T.; Wnek, R.D.; Flores, M.; Catter, A.; Ghosh, P.; Balaez, A.; Petusevsky, J.; Chen, C.; Gao, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Jiron, J.M.; Bose, P.K.; Borst, S.E.; Wronski, T.J.; Aguirre, J.I.; Yarrow, J.F. Longitudinal Examination of Bone Loss in Male Rats After Moderate-Severe Contusion Spinal Cord Injury. Calcif Tissue Int. 2018 Sep 14. doi: 10.1007/s00223-018-0471-8. PMID: 30218117.
  • Michalski, M.N.; Seydel, A.L.; Siismets, E.M.; Zweifler, L.E.; Koh, A.J.; Sinder, B.P.; Aguirre, J.I.; Atabai, K.; Roca, H.; McCauley, L.K. Inflammatory Bone Loss Associated with MFG-E8 Deficiency is Rescued by Teriparatide. FASEB J. 2018 Jul;32(7):3730-3741. doi: 10.1096/fj.201701238R.
  • Messer, J.G.; Mendieta Calle, J.L.; Jiron, J.M.; Castillo, E.J.; Van Poznak, C.; Bhattacharyya, N.; Kimmel, D.B.; Aguirre, J.I. Zoledronic Acid Increases the Prevalence of Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw in a Dose Dependent Manner in Rice Rats (Oryzomys palustris) with Localized Periodontitis. 2018 Mar;108:79-88. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2017.12.025. Epub 2017 Dec 28. PMID: 2928978.
  • Ko, F.; Van Vliet, M.; Ellman, R.; Grasso, D.; Brooks, D.J.; Spatz, J.M.; Conlon, C.; Aguirre, J.I.; Wronski, T.J.; Bouxsein, M.L. Treatment with a soluble bone morphogenetic protein Type 1A receptor (BMPR1A) fusion protein increases bone mass and bone formation in mice subjected to hindlimb unloading/. JBMRplus. DOI: 10.1002/jbm4.10012. July 2017.
  • Sinder BP, Zweifler L, Koh AJ, Michalski MN, Hofbauer LC, Aguirre JI, Roca H, McCauley LK. Bone Mass is Compromised by the Chemotherapeutic Trabectedin in Association with Effects on Osteoblasts and Macrophage Efferocytosis. J Bone Miner Res. 2017 Jun 10. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3196. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28600866
  • Yarrow, J.F.; Phillips, E.G.; Conover, C.F.; Basset, T.E.; Chen, C.; Teurlings, T.; Vasconez, A.; Alerte, J.; Prock; H. Flores, M.; Aguirre, J.I.; Borst, S.E.; Ye, F. Testosterone Plus Finasteride Prevents Bone Loss Without Prostate Growth in a Rodent Spinal Cord Injury Model. Journal of Neurotrauma. J Neurotrauma. 2017 Jun 5. doi: 10.1089/neu.2016.4814. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28338402
  • Felice, J.I.; McCarthy, A.; Schurman, L.; Sedlinsky, C.; Aguirre, J.I.; Cortizo, A.M. Effects of fructose-induced metabolic syndrome in rat skeletal tissues and cells, and their responses to metformin treatment. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice (DIAB_2016_232). Accepted for publication. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2017 Apr;126:202-213. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2017.02.011. Epub 2017 Feb 14.
  • Holliday, L. S.; McHugh, K. P.; Zuo, J.; Aguirre, J. I.; Neubert, J. K.; Rody, W. J. Exosomes: novel regulators of bone remodeling and potential therapeutic agents in orthodontics. Orthod Craniofac Res. 2017 Jun;20 Suppl 1:95-99. doi: 10.1111/ocr.12165. Review.
  • Messer, J.G.; Jiron, J.M.; Chen, H.Y.; Castillo, E.J.; Mendieta Calle, J.L.; Reinhard, M.K.; Kimmel, D.B.; Aguirre, J.I. High Prevalence of Food Impaction-Induced Local Periodontitis in Marsh Rice Rats (Oryzomys palustris) under Standard Laboratory Conditions. Comparative Medicine. Comp Med 2017 1,67(1):43-50. PMID: 28222838.
  • Aguirre, J.I.; Akhter, M.P.; Neuville, K.G.; Trcalek, C.R.; Leeper, A.M.; Williams, A.A.; Rivera, M.; Kesavalu, L.; Ke, H. Z.; Liu, M.; Kimmel, D.B. Age-Related Periodontitis and Alveolar Bone Loss in Rice Rats. Arch Oral Biol. 2017 Jan;73:193-205. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2016.10.018.
  • Yarrow, J.F.; Toklu, H.Z.; Balaez, A.; Phillips, E.G.; Otzel, D.M.; Chen, C.; Wronski, T.J.; Aguirre J.I.; Sakarya, Y., Tümer,N.; Scarpace P.J. Fructose consumption does not worsen bone deficits resulting from high-fat feeding in young male rats. Bone. 2016 Apr; 85:99-106. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2016.02.004. Epub 2016 Feb 12.
  • Taylor, B.F.; Bekkevold, C.M.; Aguirre, J.I.; Andrutis, K.; Reinhard, M.K. Cutaneous Epitheliotropic T-Cell Lymphoma in a Marsh Rice Rat (Oryzomys palustris). Comp Med. 2015; 65(5):416-9. PMID: 26473345.
  • Ominsky, M.S.; Brown, D.L.; Van, G.; Cordover, D.; Pacheco, E.; Frazier, E.; Cherepow, L.; Higgins-Garn, M.; Aguirre, J.I.; Wronski, T.J.; Stolina, M.; Zhou, L.; Pyrah, I; Boyce, R.W. Differential Temporal Effects of Sclerostin Antibody and Parathyroid Hormone on Cancellous and Cortical Bone and Quantitative Differences in Effects on the Osteoblast Lineage in Young Intact Rats. Bone. 2015 Dec; 81:380-91. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2015.08.007. Epub 2015 Aug 8. PMID: 26261096.
  • Taylor, S.; Ominsky, M.S.; Hu, R.; Pacheco, E.; He, Y.D.; Brown, D.L.; Aguirre, J.I.; Wronski, T.J.; Buntich, S.; Afshari, C.A.; Pyrah, I.; Nioi; P.; Boyce, R.W. Time-Dependent Cellular and Transcriptional Changes in the Osteoblast Lineage Associated with Sclerostin Antibody Treatment in Ovariectomized Rats. 2015 Dec 22. pii: S8756-3282(15)00435-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2015.12.013.
  • Tucker, B.S.; Stewart, J.D.; Aguirre, J.I.; Holliday L.S.; Figg, C.A.; Messer, J.G.; Sumerlin, B.S. Role of Polymer Architecture on the Activity of Polymer-Protein Conjugates for the Treatment of Accelerated Bone Loss Disorders. Biomacromolecules. PMID:26151628. 2015.
  • Aguirre, J.I.; Edmonds, K.; Zamora, B; Pingel, J.; Thomas, L.; Cancel, D.; Schneider, L.; Reinhard, M.K.; Battles, A.H.; Akhter, M.P.; Kimmel, D.B.; Wronski, T. J. Breeding, Husbandry, Veterinary Care, and Hematology of Marsh Rice Rats (Oryzomys palustris), a Small Animal Model for Periodontitis. JAALAS 54(1):51-58, 2015.

A complete list of publications.

Research Support

Ongoing Research Support

NIH R01DE023783-01, Aguirre (PI), 08/01/14–07/31/19
$1,746,678, 6.00 calendar

Role of Periodontitis in Osteonecrosis of the Jaw Pathophysiology in Rice Rats
The main goal of this research project is to determine whether osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) incidence depends on dose and exposure duration, and the nature of causal relationship of potent antiresorptives to ONJ, which a serious side effect of bisphosphonate treatment in humans.
Role: PI

Veteran Affairs RR&D
SPIRE (GRANT I01 RX002447-01A2), Yarrow (PI), 03/01/18-02/28/22
$1,100,000, 0.30 calendar

Locomotor Training with Anabolic Adjuvants for Musculoskeletal Recovery After SCI (I01 RX002447-01A2)
The goal of this research is to test multimodal anabolic therapies to treat SCI with the goal of not only prevent bone loss bone but also to stimulate skeletal recovery.
Role: Co-I



Updated 11 Dec 2018