Research Program. Precision Nutrition and
Cardiometabolic Health

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.

Email: josealfredo.martinez@imdea.org
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 211