Research Program. Precision Nutrition and Aging
Metabolic Syndrome Group
Group leader: Dr. Pablo José Fernández Marcos
Objectives: metabolic syndrome (MS) is a group of pathologies caused by a prolonged imbalance between energy intake and expenditure, and is strongly related to the degenerative process of aging. The main MS-associated pathologies are obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, which makes MS one of he main health challenges of developed countries. This research group is focused on the study and development of nutritional interventions to fight MS and aging. More precisely, we are focused on two main research lines: characterization and development of new bioactive products with evidences of metabolic activity, for which no molecular mechanism is yet known; and the study of the beneficial effects and applications of fasting as a powerful nutritional intervention.
For the first line, we will analyze a battery of pure compounds and extracts from different natural sources, and will measure their effects on essential metabolic processes in obesity and diabetes development, such as insulin signaling, mitochondrial activity, the pentose phosphate pathway or brown fat thermogenesis. Once safety and effectivity of these bioactive products are checked on mice, we can start designing nutritional assays on human volunteers, taking advantage ofthe nutrigenomic platform at IMDEA Food. For the second research line, we are currently studying the ability of fasting to enhance anti-cancer chemotherapy treatment, in two ways: first, fasting protects from chemotherapy toxicity; second, fasting potentiates anti-tumor immune responses.
Dr. Pablo José Fernández Marcos
Group leader of the Metabolic Syndrome Group
Dr. Pablo José Fernández Marcos studied Biochemistry in the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He obtained his PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Manuel Serrano, at the CNIO, for which he obtained the Special PhD Award and published 8 research articles about mouse models of cancer, metabolism and aging in mice.
He them moved to the laboratory of Prof. Johan Auwerx, at the EPFL, Switzerland, studying mouse models of metabolic alterations and achieving 5 publications. He returned to the CNIO after two years at the EPFL, where he combined studies on cancer with research on metabolism, publishing 9 new articles. In December 2015, he was appointed Group leader Metabolic Syndrome Group at IMDEA Food, focused on nutritional interventions against obesity, diabetes and cancer.
From this standpoint, Dr. Fernández Marcos has participated in several publications about the potential of molecular drugs and fasting to improve metabolic status and to enhance chemotherapy safety and efficacy. In total, he counts with 29 publications in prestigious journals as Cell, Cancer Cell, Cell Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Investigations, Nature Communications, PNAS or EMBO Journal, 4 of them as co-corresponding author (already from IMDEA Food) and 9 as first author.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 209
Dr. Marta Barradas Solas
Senior Researcher of the Metabolic Syndrome Group
Marta Barradas joined Manuel Serrano’s lab at Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (Madrid) in 1997, where she obtained her PhD in the characterization of Ras-induced senescence in primary cells. In 2003 she moved to UK, where she was working as a postdoctoral researcher in several laboratories. First, in Fiona Watt’s labsa at London Research and Cambridge Research Institutes, studying the role of catenin signalling in skin cancer. Then in 2008, she moved to Jesús Gil’s lab at the MRC-CSC (London), where she studied the interplay between epigenetics and cancer. In 2011 she moved back to Spain to work in the Cell Signalling Therapies lab of EliLilly at Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas, CNIO (Madrid), where she focusedon the validation of new metabolic targets for cancer therapy. After a brief stay in the Brain Metastasis Group at CNIO, in December 2015 she joined the Metabolic Syndrome Group at IMDEA Food Institute.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00
Luís Filipe Costa Machado
Luís Filipe Costa Machado has a bachelor degree in Pharmacy (2014) and a master’s degree in Biomedical Research (2015) both from the University of Santiago de Compostela. In March 2013, he joined the group of neuropharmacology at the University of Bath (UK) where he worked in a research project focused on the study of the genetic bases of depression.
During the last months of his undergrad, he also worked at the group of Oncology and Cell Cycle at the Center for Molecular Medicine and Chronic Diseases (CIMUS), to study the role of the transcription factor E2F in neuronal stem cells. During his master’s research project, he joined the group of Stem Cells in Cancer and Aging at the Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (IDIS) where he was responsible for the development of high-throughput methods to identify new senescence inducing compounds in tumor cells.
In December 2015, he joined Dr. Pablo Fernández group, as a predoctoral researcher, in order to study new approaches to understand and treat metabolic disorders.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00
Patricia Agudo García
Sindy Stefany Paz Martínez
Daniel de la Nava Martín