Research Program. Precision Nutrition and obesity

Nutritional Control of the Epigenome

Group leader: Dr. Lidia Daimiel Ruiz

Objectives: This group aims to describe the epigenetic mechanisms modulated by diet and the impact of such modulation on cellular physiology. These are our main lines of research:

  • The description of the effect of nutrients and dietary patterns on circulating microRNA profiles and cellular methylation marks: based on nutritional intervention trials, This research line aims to identify circulating microRNA profiles and DNA methylation marks with potential to be biomarkers of nutritional response. By clustering analysis according to the change in circulating levels of key microRNAs and methylation status, we aim to predict individual response to diet. With this knowledge as start line, we then study the mechanisms underlying the dietary mediated modification of microRNAs expression and methylation marks.
  •  The description of the effect of nutrients on macrophage physiology: macrophages are key players in atherosclerosis progression, endothelial function, cardiovascular health and aging. We base our studies on human nutritional intervention trials and macrophages derived from participant’s monocytes. We are devoted to clarify how different nutrients and dietary patterns
    modulate macrophage function and to define the molecular mechanisms underlying the impact of diet on macrophage function.
  •  Study of the effect of TMAO, a metabolite derived from red meat, on hepatic and macrophage physiology. TMAO (Trimethylamine N-Oxide) is a metabolite derived from choline, betaine and L-carnitine provided by seafood, red meat and eggs and has been related to cardiovascular disease and inflammation. We analyse the effect of TMAO on human hepatocytes and macrophages function using cell lines, organoids and primary cells.

Dr. Lidia Daimiel Ruiz

Postdoctoral researcher and Group Leader of the Nutritional Control of the Epigenome Group

Dr. Lidia Daimiel Ruiz graduated in Biology at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid where she carried out postgraduate studies about the genetic and epigenetics alterations associated with colorectal cancer onset and progression, under the supervision of Prof. Juan José González Aguilera and Prof. Mª Antonia Fernandez. She started her PhD in 2006 at Hospital Ramón y Cajal and was focused on the study of cholesterol-mediated gene regulation, under the supervision of Dr. Javier Martínez-Botas and Dr. Diego Gómez-Coronado. She joined IMDEA Food in 2011 as postdoctoral researcher to study the dietary modulation of microRNAs under the supervision of Dr. Alberto Dávalos and Prof. José Mª Ordovás. In
2015, she was promoted to Junior Investigation and started to build her own research group to study how diet modulate the epigenome with a focus on microRNAs and methylation marks. She specialized in human nutrition intervention trials and joined to the prestigious consortium PREDIMEDPLUS as Principal Investigator, where she conducts her epigenetic studies. In 2016, she stayed at Carlos Fernández- Hernando’s laboratory at Vascular Biology and Therapeutics program at Yale University for 6 months. She was recently promoted to Group Leader within the Precision Nutrition and Obesity Program directed by Prof. José Mª Ordovás. Along her career, she has published her results in international peer-review journals of the first quartile and high impact. She is also actively participating in communication and education programs within the frame of EIT-Food and IMDEA Food.


 Tlf. + 34 91 727 81 00 . ext 309


Laura Díez Ricote

Predoctoral researcher

Laura Díez Ricote started her undergraduate studies in Biology at the Autónoma University of Madrid, where she specialized in Food Science and obtained her degree in 2013. Later on she completed an internship at APPLUS Agrifood. In 2014, she was awarded with a scholarship from the Autónoma University of Madrid, where she completed a Master of Science in Agricultural Chemistry and Novel Foods (2015) and presented her final project ”TMAO effect in microRNAs expression related to cardiovascular disease and inflammation” which she carried on at IMDEA Food in the Nutritional Genomics and Epigenomics group. In 2015, she was awarded with a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue a Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Florida (2017), focusing on molecular nutrition, where she presented her final project “Iron-related proteins and their regulation by renal iron overload”. In May 2017 she was invited to give an oral presentation at the BioIron Meeting, held in Los Angeles, about her master thesis. In March 2018 she joined IMDEA Food Institute’s in the Nutritional Genomics and Epigenomics group, where she started her doctoral studies the effect of caloric restriction on epigenetic mechanism and their influence on cardiovascular health and healthy aging .  

Tlf. + 34 91 727 81 00  


María  Tanarro García

Cristina Jaén Calvo

María Díaz Cortés

Vicent Peeters

Ana Sánchez Randulfe

Alba Cano Bustos

Cielo García Montero

Guillermo Delgado Muro

Victor Díaz Barrios


most relevant publications
  • Martínez-González MA, Buil-Cosiales P, Corella D, Bulló M, Fitó M, Vioque J, Romaguera D, Martínez JA, Wärnberg J, López-Miranda J, Estruch R, Bueno-Cavanillas A, Arós F, Tur JA, Tinahones F, Serra-Majem L, Martín V, Lapetra J, Vázquez C, Pintó X, Vidal J, Daimiel L, Delgado-Rodríguez M, Matía P, Ros E, Fernández-Aranda F, Botella C, Portillo MP, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Marcos A, Sáez G, Gómez-Gracia E, Ruiz-Canela M, Toledo E, Alvarez-Alvarez I, Díez-Espino J, Sorlí JV, Basora J, Castañer O, Schröder H, Navarrete-Muñoz EM, Zulet MA, García-Rios A, Salas-Salvadó J; PREDIMED-Plus Investigators. Cohort Profile: Design and methods of the PREDIMED-Plus randomized trial. Int J Epidemiol. 2018 Nov 22. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyy225.

  • Sayón-Orea C, Razquin C, Bulló M, Corella D, Fitó M, Romaguera D, et al. Effect of a Nutritional and Behavioral Intervention on Energy-Reduced Mediterranean Diet Adherence Among Patients With Metabolic Syndrome: Interim Analysis of the PREDIMED-Plus Randomized Clinical Trial. Jama. 2019 Oct;322(15):1486–99.

  • Salas-Salvadó J, Díaz-López A, Ruiz-Canela M, Basora J, Fitó M, Corella D, Serra-Majem L, Wärnberg J, Romaguera D, Estruch R, Vidal J, Martínez JA, Arós F, Vázquez C, Ros E, Vioque J, López-Miranda J, Bueno-Cavanillas A, Tur JA, Tinahones FJ, Martín V, Lapetra J, Pintó X, Daimiel L, Delgado-Rodríguez M, Matía P, Gómez-Gracia E, Díez-Espino J, Babio N, Castañer O, Sorlí JV, Fiol M, Zulet MÁ, Bulló M, Goday A, Martínez-González MÁ; PREDIMED-Plus investigators. Effect of a Lifestyle Intervention Program With Energy-Restricted Mediterranean Diet and Exercise on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: One-Year Results of the PREDIMED-Plus Trial. Diabetes Care. 2019 May;42(5):777-788. doi: 10.2337/dc18-0836.

  • Daimiel L, Micó V, Valls RM, Pedret A, Motilva MJ, Rubió L, et al. Impact of Phenol-Enriched Virgin Olive Oils on the Postprandial Levels of Circulating microRNAs Related to Cardiovascular Disease. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2020 Aug;64(15):e2000049.

  • Canfrán-Duque A, Rotllan N, Zhang X, Fernández-Fuertes M, Ramírez-Hidalgo C, Araldi E, Daimiel L, Busto R, Fernández- Hernando C, Suárez Y. Macrophage defi ciency of miR- 21 promotes apoptosis, plaque necrosis, and vascular infl ammation during atherogenesis. EMBO Mol Med. 2017 Sep;9(9):1244-1262. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201607492.

main research grants

Principal Investigator: Guillermo Reglero (coordinador) / Lidia Daimiel Ruiz (IP de grupo)
Project Title: ALIBIRD III-CM
Date: 2014-2018
Funded by: Comunidad de Madrid (S2013/ABI-2728)


Participant Investigator: David Reher
Project Title: GEPS-CM
Date: 2016-2019
Funded by: Comunidad de Madrid (S2015/HUM-3321)


Participant Investigator: Lidia Daimiel Ruiz
Project Title: PREDIMED+DM
Date: 2018-2020
Funded by: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (PI17/00508)


Participant Investigator: Jordana Bell (coordinadora) / José Mª Ordovás (IP de grupo)
Project Title: DIMENSION
Date: 2019-2021
Funded by: European Research Council (DIMENSION)


Principal Investigator: David Jiménez Pavón
Project Title: InLIFE-AGING
Date: 2020 - 2022
Funded by: Junta de Andalucín (FEDER‐UCA18‐107040)