Research Program. Precision Nutrition and Cancer

Molecular Oncology Group

Group leader: Dr. Ana Ramírez de Molina

Objectives: The group is currently focused on three research topics:

1. Lipid metabolism alterations in cancer: identification of new biomarkers and therapeutic targets in diet-related tumors such as colon or pancreatic cancer. We are especially interested in identifying metabolic profiles associated to the disease progression together with treatment response and analysing their role from in-vitro cell systems to organoids and cancer patients. These analyses are mainly focused on the identification of metabolic pathways and distinctive oncometabolites that may constitute novel markers and targets for the development of future cancer precision therapies.

2. Metabolic reprogramming analysis in cancer and its relationship with other associated diseases such as obesity. We are interested in the molecular basis underlying the link between obesity and cancer, especially on the role of fatty acid metabolism and cholesterol reprogramming and the tumor progression.

3. Precision nutrition strategies in cancer. Analysis of the activity and mechanism of action of bioactive compounds and natural extracts as possible effective dietary supplements in the prevention and treatment of cancer and associated metabolic disorders. The objective is to establish the scientific basis for the development of precision nutrition strategies in oncology by including or avoiding specific products due to their effect on specific cancer signaling pathways.

Dr. Ana Ramírez de Molina

Deputy Director, Director of the Precision Nutrition Program and Group leader of the Molecular Oncology Group.

Dr. Ana Ramírez de Molina has developed her scientific career in the field of lipid metabolism, molecular oncology, nutrition and cancer. She has worked as an associated researcher in the Traslational Oncology Unit CSIC-UAM-La Paz Hospital (Madrid), and has performed long postdoctoral stays at Cancer Research UK Centre for Therapeutics (London) and the Molecular Pathology Division of the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York). She has published more than 60 scientific articles in her research field, is co-inventor of 6 patents in different phases of exploitation by a biotechnology company and has supervised 6 PhD Thesis.

Several of her patents promoted the creation of a spin-off company from CSIC focused on the development of new tumour markers and therapies in Cancer in which she was former Director of Research, Development and Innovation for more than 3 years. She joined IMDEA Food Institute in 2010, where she leads the Programe of Precision Nutrition and Cancer. From 2011 she has been the Coordinator of Research, Development and Transfer, and in 2014 was promoted to Deputy Director of the Institute.

In 2002 she was awarded with the prize Young Researchers MSD, in 2003 the extraordinary doctorate recognition as the best Thesis of her promotion in Molecular Biology, and in 2016 the 8th March distinction from the Community of Madrid as an outstanding woman in Science.

Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 102



Maria Elena Rodríguez

Senior researcher and Head of Research Line in Thyroid Cancer

Dr. Maria ER Garcia-Rendueles' career has been devoted to investigating thyroid tumorigenesis and tumor progression by using multidisciplinary genetic, biochemical, and cell biological approaches to understand the functional consequences of the key drivers of the disease. She has been focused on identifying potential targets and new approaches based on this dependency on new therapies. She obtained her Ph.D. with honors in 2011 by Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain. In 2012, she received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Ministry of Education of Spain and joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, where she was promoted to Research Associate in 2016. She has published in highest impact journals, including Cancer Discovery, JCI, Oncogene, or Clinical Cancer Research. She joined IMDEA in June 2020 as an independent investigator where she continues investigating the pathogenesis and the biology of thyroid cancers to identify new molecular-based therapies, under the funding of a Talento’s Fellowship.

Phone: +34 91 727 81 00  


Sara Garrido Galand
María Victoria Martínez
María Fernández Valero


most relevant publications
  • ABCA1 overexpression worsens colorectal cancer prognosis by facilitating tumour growth and caveolin-1-dependent invasiveness, and these effects can be ameliorated using the BET inhibitor apabetalone. Aguirre-Portolés C, Feliu J, Reglero G, Ramírez de Molina A. Mol Oncol. 2018 Oct;12(10):1735-1752. doi: 10.1002/1878-0261.12367.

  • The role of glycosyltransferase enzyme GCNT3 in colon and ovarian cancer prognosis and chemoresistance. Fernández LP, Sánchez-Martínez R, Vargas T, Herranz J, Martín-Hernández R, Mendiola M, Hardisson D, Reglero G, Feliu J, Redondo A, Ramírez de Molina A. Sci Rep. 2018 May 31;8(1):8485. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26468-4.
  • Targeting the lipid metabolic axis ACSL/SCD in colorectal cancer progression by therapeutic miRNAs: miR-19b-1 role. Cruz-Gil S, Sanchez-Martinez R, Gomez de Cedron M, Martin-Hernandez R, Vargas T, Molina S, Herranz J, Davalos A, Reglero G, Ramirez de Molina A. J Lipid Res. 2018 Jan;59(1):14-24. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M076752.
  • Tolerability and Safety of a Nutritional Supplement with Potential as Adjuvant in Colorectal Cancer Therapy: A Randomized Trial in Healthy Volunteers. Gómez de Cedrón M, Laparra JM, Loria-Kohen V, Molina S, Moreno-Rubio J, Montoya JJ, Torres C, Casado E, Reglero G, Ramírez de Molina A. Nutrients. 2019 Aug 24;11(9). pii: E2001. doi: 10.3390/nu11092001.
  • A more physiological approach to lipid metabolism alterations in cancer: CRC-like organoids assessment. Cruz-Gil S, Sánchez-Martínez R, Wagner-Reguero S, Stange D, Schölch S, Pape K, Ramírez de Molina A. PLoS One. 2019 Jul 24;14(7):e0219944.
main research grants

Principal Investigator: Ana Ramírez de Molina

Project Title: Formulacion de productos alimentarios para la prevencion y el tratamiento Dirigido de enfermedades crónicas relacionadas con el metabolismo. (FORCHRONIC)
Date: 2016-2019
Funded by: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.Programa Estatal de investigación, desarrollo e innovación orientada a los retos de la sociedad (AGL2016-76736-C3-3-R)


Participant Investigator: Ana Ramírez de Molina
Project Title: Estrategias para promocionar la calidad de vida de pre-seniors y seniors basadas en la Nutrición de Precisión (NUTRIPRECISIÓN)
Date: 2017-2020
Funded by: Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI). Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (CDTI IDI 20141213)


Participant Investigator: Ana Ramírez de Molina
Project Title: Alimentos funcionales y estrategias nutricionales eficaces para la prevención y tratamiento de enfermedades crónicas (ALIBIRD III)
Date: 2014-2018
Funded by: Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI). Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (CDTI IDI 20141213)


Participant Investigator: Manuel Fernández Rojo
Project Title: Caveolin-1 dependent regulation of hepatic bile acid singling: understanding metabolic disease
Date: 2013
Funded by: Consejería de Educación e Investigación. Comunidad de Madrid (ALIBIRD III P2013/ABI-2728)