Patricio Mujica Urzúa

  • Assistant Professor, Biology
Image of Dr. Mujica-Urzua in the laboratory with a microscope

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Patricio Mujica-Urzúa (he/him/his)
pron. pa-TREE-cee-o, moo-HEE-kuh, oor-ZOO-ah

Dr. Patricio Mujica is Assistant Professor of Biology in the Department of Natural Sciences. He is a vascular cell biologist with 10+ years of experience in scientific research and education.

Prior to joining Mercy College, Dr. Mujica was Assistant Professor of Biology at the College of New Rochelle. He holds a voluntary Faculty appointment in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School (2018-present), where he maintains a research collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Walter Durán.

  • B.S. in Biological Sciences (2009), Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Ph.D. in Pharmacology (2014), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ
  • Postdoctoral Fellow (2014-2016), Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY

His research interests are in the cell biology of the microvascular endothelium in the context of the primary inflammatory response—specifically, the endothelial mechanisms that regulate macromolecular transport across the vascular wall. Currently, his laboratory is exploring protein-protein interactions that regulate endothelial permeability using imaging, biochemical, and functional approaches such as:

  • Immunocytochemistry and fluorescence microscopy
  • Western-blotting
  • RNAi
  • Permeability assays

You can follow his lab's Instagram account for a sneak peek into the life of his research group! 

Dr. Mujica-Urzua is interested in developing curricula and practices that address inclusion and diversity. In particular, he aims to develop an initiative to increase visibility and representation of LGBTQIA+ faculty, and to work in creating and expanding opportunities that foster the integration of the queer community into College life. Additionally, Dr. Mujica-Urzua is drafting a framework to create a decolonized curriculum in biological sciences, particularly in the prerequisite courses that are required in most allied health programs. He hopes that these initiatives will promote a conversation about equity, inclusion, and a culture that will allow the community to re-think science instruction, and contribute to the creation of academic spaces in which these issues can be addressed and researched.

Dr. Mujica teaches the following courses at Mercy College:

  • BIOL110 - Introduction to Human Biology

  • BIOL130/130A - Anatomy & Physiology I (Lecture/Lab)

  • BIOL131/131A - Anatomy & Physiology II (Lecture/Lab)

  • BIOL309 - Human Physiology

  • BIOL355 - Molecular Biology of the Cell

  • BIOL370 - Biology Research I

  • BIOL460/461 - Coordinating Seminar in Biology



  • Gaynor Aguilar, Francisco Córdova, Tania Koning, José Sarmiento, Mauricio P. Boric, Konstantin Birukov, Jorge Cancino, Manuel Varas-Godoy, Andrea Soza, Natascha G. Alves, Patricio E. Mujica, Walter N. Durán, Pamela Ehrenfeld, Fabiola A. Sánchez. TNF-α activated eNOS signaling increases leukocyte adhesion through the S-nitrosylation pathway. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. (In press) (Peer-reviewed article)
  • Patricio E. Mujica. Role of the tumor microenvironment in triple-negative breast cancer. Presentation given to the Third Integrated Meeting of the Venezuelan Societies for Oncology and Mastology, Caracas, Venezuela, March 21, 2021. (Conference Presentation)


  • Nepali PR, Mujica PE, Kim DD, Thomas AP and Durán WN. Endothelial barrier restoration after inflammation-induced hyperpermeability. FASEB J 32:1_supplement, 706-6, 2018 (Conference Abstract)


  • Korayem AH, Mujica PE, Aramoto H, Durán RG, Nepali PR, Kim DD, Harris AL, Sánchez FA and Durán WN. 2017. Endothelial cAMP deactivates ischemia/reperfusion-induced microvascular hyperpermeability via Rap1-mediated mechanisms. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 313(1):H179-H189, doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00002.2017 (Peer-reviewed article)


  • Marín N, Zamorano P, Carrasco R, Mujica P, González FG, Quezada C, Meininger CJ, Boric MP, Durán WN and Sánchez FA. 2012. S-Nitrosation of beta-Catenin and p120 Catenin: A novel Regulatory Mechanism in Endothelial Hyperpermeability. Circ Res 111(5):553-563,
    doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.274548 (Peer-reviewed article)



  • Mercy College Faculty Development Grant: "Endothelial protein interactions in the control of vascular barrier function". Principal Investigator.


  • Louise T. Squitieri Family Faculty Research Award: "Regulation of endothelial hyperpermeability by ERM proteins". Principal Investigator.
  • U.S Department of Education Title V grant: "Advancing Curricular Change to Enhance Student Success (ACCESS)", Activity Director (PI: Joan Toglia).


  • The American Physiological Society "Frances Hellebrandt/Caroline tum Suden Professional Opportunity Award"


  • The Microcirculatory Society "Benjamin Zweifach Graduate Student Travel Award"