Research Program. Precision Nutrition and
Director: Prof. Alfredo Martínez Hernández
Objectives: this PRECISION Program (Personalized Related Energomics and Cardiometabolomics:
interactions Involving Inheritance Obesity and Nutrition) is focused on:
- Optimize and appraise available resources and databases from Diogenes; Nugenob, Predimed, Worldmethylepigenome and Preview cohorts to better understand genetic and epigenetic outcomes involved in obesity and cardiometabolic adverse traits.
- Analyze and implement newer metabolic biomarkers with diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutical potential value including the design and definition of Precision Nutrition guidelines.
- Investigate with global perspectives the interactions including shared mechanisms and triggering common physiopathological pathways among obesity with liver disease and cancer.
- Integration of nutriomics and metagenomics approaches to understand the phenotipical interactions and responses to specific nutrients and diets involving nutrigenetic and nutrigenomic outcomes.
Cardiometabolic Nutrition Group
Group leader: Prof. Alfredo Martínez Hernández
Objectives: observational, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have evidenced that obesity rates and
associated complications such as type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, liver steatosis and cardiovascular events
are continuously rising as a health burden with increasing costs. In this context, subjects elicit variable
responses to the dietary intake depending on phenotypical and genotypical factors whose understanding
is helping to provide Precision Nutrition management.
Nutriomics offer a huge prospect to feature and assess the variety in the reactions to diverse nutritional therapies as well as for medical applications. Research on candidate genes together with Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) and meta-analyses of GWAS have characterized a number of polymorphisms associated with cardiometabolic and liver related adverse features, while nutrigenetics is involved in the recognition of genediet interactions, putatively explaining phenotypical differences accompanying food and dietary consumption.
In addition to discover differences associated to the genetic make-up, transcriptomic strategies measuring mRNAs levels have found that the energy intake plus nutrient contents and quality could affect the expression of genes involved in fuel intermediate metabolism, insulin signalling, lipid turnover, and inflammation in different organs and cells such as liver and adipose tissue . Further studies have revealed the occurrence of epigenetic processes (mainly DNA methylation, covalent histone modifications and miRNAs) that may modulate gene functions and participate in nutrition-related diseases and personalized differences.
The investigation of newer metabolomic biomarkers is essential to progress in the evaluation of patient’s metabolic dysfunctions and unhealthy conditions, which will enable to better define health and disease statuses and discriminate responders from non-responders to a given nutritional prescription. Also, metagenomics researches have demonstrated that lifestyle factors such as diet or physical activity can impact intestinal microbiota composition, with possible influence in body weight homeostasis/maintenance, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular or liver diseases. Integration in the near future of omics data into Precision Nutrition will allow the implementation of personalised nutritional treatments to prevent and manage chronic diseases and to monitor the individual’s response to novel therapeutical interventions.
Prof. Alfredo Martínez Hernández
Director of the Nutrition Research Center, University of Navarra Professor of Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Navarra Associate researcher, IMDEA Food Director of the Precision Nutrition and Cardiometabolic Health Program and Group leader of the Cardiometabolic Nutrition Group
Prof J.Alfredo Martínez holds a PhD Nutrition being also PharmD and MD. He is coIP and has been involved in several landmark intervention trials such as DIOGENES, SEAFOODplus, NUGENOB, FOOD4ME, PREDIMED and PREVIEW, whose results have been published in the most relevant medical and nutritional journals including NEJM, Lancet, Nature, BMJ, AJCN, Obesity, IJO, JCEM, Diabetology, Trends in Immunology, TIPS, IJO, Cell Metabolism Circulation, etc producing so far more than 20.000 citations. Prof. Martínez has supervised more than seventy PhD students and published more than 600 peer review papers in the areas of Obesity and Nutrition, including precision nutritional omics (H Factor > 60); He has en president of FESNAD and is currently president of ISNN as well as president elect of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) and has been recipient of several important awards including ipocrates and Dupont prizes. During his scientific career, Prof. J. Alfredo Martínez has enjoyed training or invited stays at Nothingham, Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, Oxford and King College London as well as being reviewer for different EU Committees and Spanish Organizations such as AECOSAN.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 211
Bioactive Ingredients Food Group
Group leader: Prof. Francesco Visioli
Objectives: the Bioactive Ingredients Food Group is being developing a Ministry of Innovation (MICINN) – funded study on the effects of selected phospholipids in models of aging and cognitive decline. In particular, the group is investigating the nutrigenomic effects of phospholipids isolated from buttermilk and krill oil, via innovative technologies developed in the CIAL (UAM + CSIC Madrid campus). Aging represents an important socio-economic issue, in that the European population is rapidly aging and the health care costs associated with this demographic phenomenon are becoming unbearable. Therefore, there is a strong need to find suitable and effective preventive measures, to lessen the burden of disease and decrease budgetary stress. In particular, aging is associated with cognitive decline, which can become severe and develop into dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
Given than the brain is the organ richest in lipids (up to 40% in weight), the LabFun thinks it conceivable to supply appropriate phospholipids to maintain and/or restore proper membrane composition, fluidity, and signal transduction. The preliminary results do demonstrate the provision of food-derived phospholipids (formulated through original techniques) are able to ameliorate the synaptic machinery and restore adequate mitochondrial function. The group employs in vitro and in vivo (including human) approaches to create strong and solid scientific data and foster the formulation of evidence-based nutraceuticals and functional foods. In addition, the group keeps publishing the results of former projects along with reviews on specific topics, therefore enjoying a strong publication record.
Prof. Francesco Visioli
Group leader of the Bioactive Ingredients Food Group
Francesco Visioli’s current currently concerns essential fatty acids, namely those of the omega 3 series and polyphenols, as related to cardiometabolism and cognitive decline. His research ranges from in vitro studies of bioactivity (test tubes, cell cultures) to in vivo tests, performed on laboratory animals and/or humans. Dr. Visioli has a publication record of approximately 250 papers and book chapters, which have been cited over 9.000 times. He gave invited lectures in over 80 meetings. Dr. Visioli is the Editor-in-Chief of PharmaNutrition, the Leader of the Fats and Human Health division of Eurofed Lipid, and member of the EFSA GMO Panel.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 204
Dr. João Tiago Estevao Tomé Carneiro
The research carried out by Dr. Joao Tiago Estevao Tomé Carneiro has been focusing on the biological activity of food constituents in chronic pathologies. He has a degree in biochemistry and he obtained his PhD at the University of Murcia working at CEBAS-CSIC (2013). He is the co-author of 15 peer-reviewed papers in relevant international journals. In 2014, hejoined the Bioactive Ingredients Food Group at IMDEA Food, where he contributes to the assessment of the potential health effects of bioactive food components in vitro, in vivo and through placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials.
He is currently participating in a research project focused on evaluating if the consumption of bioactive phospholipids, as part of a nutritional supplement, contributes to the improvement or delaying of mild cognitive impairment and its correlation with different biological, clinical or neuropsychological biomarkers.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 205
Carmen Crespo Lorenzo
Mª del Carmen Crespo Lorenzo has a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the IE University of Segovia (2010). In 2013 she obtained a Master degree in pharmacological research from the UAM. As part of her research activity, she was part of the research project team “Genetic and genomic analysis in patients affected by Gorham-Stout Disease and General Lymphatic Anomalies” at the Hospital Universitario La Paz. In June 2014, she began her Ph.D. program at IMDEA’s Bioactive Ingredients Food Group.
She is playing a relevant part in nutrigenomic and epigenetic projects with different micronutrients (e.g.Hydroxytyrosol, bioactive phospholipids) performing in vitro, in vivo and placebo-controlled, randomized trials in healthy volunteers to evaluate the possible beneficial effect that these molecules play on chronic diseases and find their molecular targets, in order to find new therapeutic strategies. Her publication record shows 10 papers.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00 , ext. 205
León Gema Bastante del Palacio
Jorge Llanos Garrido
María Trapero Ruiz
Beatriz Castro Meco
Sara Rollan Esteban
Epigenetics of Lipid Metabolism Group
Group leader: Dr. Alberto Dávalos Herrera
Objectives: cardiometabolic diseases are the main causes of mortality in the world and excess in the diet is one of the main causes of these human diseases linked to our modern life-style. The objective is to understand how different non-coding RNAs regulate lipid metabolism during states of health and disease, developing new strategies, both pharmacological and dietetic, to modulate their function. Pharmacological or dietary modulation of the activity of non-coding RNAs that, ultimately, regulate the metabolism of lipids lead to the prevention or treatment of cardiometabolic diseases. The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases has prompted a strategic focus on prevention strategies. While Precision (personalized) Medicine strives to provide ‘the right therapeutic strategy for the right person at the right time’ a distinct approach is needed for disease prevention.
Epigenetics of Lipid Metabolism Group also focus on understanding lifestyle modification of the pigenome in order to try to personalize the health of individuals using epigenetics for the development of Precision Nutrition. This group works to generate new basic knowledge of how non-coding RNAs regulate the metabolism of lipids under physiological and pathological conditions. To find and evaluate minor dietary components for their ability to modulate the activity of non-coding RNAs associated with the metabolism of lipids.
To carry out collaborative projects with the food and pharmaceutical industry to test and develop new dietary supplements or functional foods based on solid scientific knowledge to prevent or treat a variety of lipid metabolism disorders. And, to incorporate the use non-coding RNAs data to develop Precision Nutrition. In this endeavor, the group actively collaborate with many international research groups located at the following institutions: CINVESTAV (Mérida, Mexico), URFJ (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil), IMSERM UMR1011 (Lille, France) and many other national research groups.
Dr. Alberto Dávalos Herrera
Group leader of the Epigenetics of Lipid Metabolism Group
Dr. Alberto Dávalos holds a degree in Pharmacy and Biochemistry by San Marcos University (Lima) and a PhD in Pharmacy by Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Madrid).
He has conducted postdoctoral research at the Hospital Ramón y Cajal (Madrid), at Yale University School of Medicine, (New Haven), and at New York University School of Medicine (New York). Dr. Dávalos’s research program focuses in identifying and characterizing new noncoding RNAs (miRNAs, lncRNAs and other type of regulatory RNAs) that regulate lipid metabolism and the effects of minor dietary components (micronutrients) on their expression.
Noncoding RNAs have been recognized as critical modulators of cardiovascular system in health and disease. He hopes to: (i) identify new therapeutic strategies through modulating noncoding RNAs levels by the diet or other lifestyle factors to treat dyslipidemia and to prevent atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases; and (ii) understand lifestyle modification of the epigenome and personalize the health of individuals using epigenetics (particularly noncoding RNAs) for the development of Precision Nutrition.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 206
Dr. María Jesús Latasa Sada
Dr. María Jesús Latasa holds a Pharmacy degree by the University of Navarra and a Ph.D. in Pharmacy, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology section, by the University of Alcalá. Throughout all her professional career, her research field has always been the regulation of gene expression on different tissues and systems, as well as in diverse physiopathological conditions. Thus, her work covers several topics, going from the regulation by various hormones and growth factors of the APP gene, implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (IIBM-CSIC-Spain),
to gene expression regulation during nervous system development by epigenetic factors (IC and IIBMCSIC- Spain), and research on the effect of the nutritional state on the regulation of FAS, the central enzyme in lipid synthesis (UCBerkeley- USA). At this moment her scientific interests focus on the effect of diet on the regulation of microRNA and other non-coding RNAs expression. Recently, she has been as well involved in R&D Management activities within the EIT Food.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00 , ext. 205
Dr. Almudena García-Ruiz
Dr. Almudena García-Ruiz holds a Biology degree and a Food Science and Technology degree by University of Seville and University of Cordoba, respectively. She received her PhD in Food Science and Technology and Chemical Engineering from Autonomous University of Madrid.
Her pre-doctoral research was focused on the study of the effect of polyphenols on the growth and metabolism of oenological lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and its potential application as antimicrobial additives in oenology. In addition, during this period she has also worked in the production of biogenic amines by LAB and in the degradation of biogenic amines by vineyard ecosystem fungi and LAB.
During her post-doctoral period, first, she evaluated of probiotic and immunomodulatory activity of enological lactic acid bacteria and new silver nanoparticle with antimicrobial capacity, application in the wine industry. Then, her research was focused on obtaining functional ingredients from quinoa, and fruits native Ecuador as well as on the analysis of phenolic fraction and antioxidant activity of new varieties of Ecuadorian cocoa.
Currently, she is working in IMDEA Food Institute (Epigenetics of Lipid Metabolism Group) evaluating the potential of "small open reading frames (smORF)" as new modulators of disorders of dietary excess, focusing mainly on those that influence lipid metabolism.
Tlf. + 34 91 727 81 00 Ext: 308
Dr. M. Carmen López de las Hazas
Dr. M. Carmen López de las Hazas studied Human Nutrition and Dietetics, and Food Science and Technology in Autonomous University of Madrid. She obtained her Master Degree in Agricultural Chemistry and Novel Foods in Autonomous University of Madrid. Her PhD (international mention) has been obtained in the University of Lleida.
Her research career starts in CIAL institute (2010-2013), focus on the extraction, characterization and evaluation of the biological properties of bioactive compounds of different food matrices. In 2013, she joined the group of Dr. María José Motilva at the University of Lleida where she gained expertise in the in vivo metabolism of olive oil phenolic compounds and their tissue disposition. Also, she studied the cardioprotective bioactivity of hydroxytyrosol and their metabolites using in vitro and in vivo models. Furthermore, she studied the colonic metabolism of different phenolic compounds structures and evaluate their anticarcinogenic activity in colonic cells.
Nowadays, she is working in IMDEA Food Institute (Epigenetics of Lipid Metabolism Group) evaluating the microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs involved in postprandial lipemia and their relationship in the lipid metabolism.
Her scientific activity is being reflected in a total of 14 research publications, being 6 of them as first author. Furthermore, her research work has been published in 3 international congress and has been worked in 3 research projects.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00 Ext: 306
Judit Gil Zamorano
Judit Gil Zamorano has a degree in Biotechnology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2011). In 2012 was fellow of the program Starts from IMDEA Food, taking part in the study of the mechanism by which the consumption of DHA reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and the analysis of miRNAs that modulate this effect.
In 2014 she made a practical stay at the National Center for Microbiology (ISCIII) in Spirochetes and special Pathogens Laboratory, carrying out
techniques of extraction, purification and sequencing of DNA, as well as PCR and Reverse Line Blotting for determination of pathogens in human blood samples.
Now Judit forms part of the team of Dr. Alberto Dávalos as predoctoral researcher, where she is developing a project based on the screening and characterization of miRNAs that regulates the metabolism of cholesterol and lipoproteins in the enterocyte, and the effect of minor components of the diet on its expression.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00 , ext. 303
Flavia Brasil Spreafico
University of Rio de Janeiro
Yolanda Molero Miguel
Ainoa Gómez Díaz