Research projects > International Consortia


Interindividual variation in response to consumption of plant food bioactives and determinants involved (FA 1403)

Principal researcher: Dr. José María Ordovás Muñoz
Funded by:
European Comission
2014 - 2018

To combat the burden of cardiometabolic disease, which constitutes a major public health issue in Europe, it is of crucial importance to develop efficient strategies that target the dietary behaviors of European consumers and improve the food supply. Plant foods are rich sources of a large range of bioactive compounds that beneficially affect our health, particularly by decreasing the risk of cardiometabolic diseases.
POSITIVe specifically addresses inter-individual variation in bioavailability and physiological responses to consumption of plant food bioactives in relation to cardiometabolic endpoints.

COST Action

European Epitranscriptomics Network (CA 16120)

Principal researcher: Dr. Alberto Dávalos Herrera
Funded by:
European Commission

This COST Action aims at fostering the development of the emerging field of epitranscriptomics in Europe. By understanding the role of RNA modifications in physiology and pathology, novel and powerful disease biomarkers and drug targets could be identified. This will in turn lead to the development of a whole new class of diagnostic tools and targeted therapies, with particular attention devoted to cancer treatment. Furthermore, mechanistic understanding of this set of phenomena will allow to deepen our understanding of the contribution of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression to proteome and thus phenotype variation.
By implementing collaborative efforts, data sharing and mobility-based learning opportunities, this COST action will accelerate discovery in the epitranscriptomics field and contribute to the ultimate realization of this vision. Tightly integrating biotech companies in this networking initiatives will be key to the complete achievement of the action goals and a considerable added value for the European biomedical sector, potentially offering a competitive advantage in the ensuing market.


Anti-inflammatory and healing activity of sea cucumber (Isostichopus badionotus) in a murine model: characterization of pharmacological activity and cellular mechanisms involved (CB.2013- 01 No. 22173) involved (FA 1403)

Principal researcher: Dr. Alberto Dávalos Herrera
Funded by:
CONACYT Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (Mexico)
2015 - 2018

Uncontrolled inflammatory response is a major driver of many modern human chronic diseases. The natural world has been the source of novel anti inflammatory and other biologically-active agents. Plants, insects and marine organisms, including algae and invertebrate marine organisms, have been screened for the presence of anti-inflammatory agents. Sea cucumbers are marine invertebrates, considered by the traditional Chinese medicine as tonic foods, attributing them with a wide range of biological effects, including anti inflammatory. However, their mechanism of action is poorly described. Isostichopus badionotus, is a sea cucumber from the Peninsula of Yucatan (Mexico) whose many biological activities are not well characterized.
“inflammarine” aims to contribute to a better understanding of the anti inflammatory activity and mechanisms of action of the bioactive components of sea cucumber I. badionotus. Our results will allow the development of possible therapies from this marine invertebrate and support the search for therapeutic alternatives to combat the devastating consequences of the chronic inflammatory processes that today afflict our modern society


Action CA17118

Principal researcher: Dr. Ana Ramírez de Molina
Funded by: European Comission

This Action aims at using innovative translational research to identify colorectal cancer biomarkers for personalized medicine that will improve screening, early detection and disease follow-up, and attain better tumor profiling, state-of-the-art functional characterization of genetic variants and new therapy approaches. It will be organized in the following working groups:

  • Disease risk profiling applied to the optimization of current screening programs. Germline predisposition variants, environmental factors, epigenetics, microbiome and metabolomics biomarkers will be used to better select patients eligible to be screened. • Non-invasive biomarkers for early detection and disease follow-up. Circulating tumor cells, circulating tumor nucleic acids, tumor-educated platelets and exosomes will be explored in order to identify new tools for early detection and monitoring of the disease.
  • Tumor profiling to identify biomarkers with prognostics and predictive value for patient stratification. Intra-tumor heterogeneity will be considered and tumor mutational profiling, epigenetics, single-cell genomics sequencing used as instruments to better inform tumor and precursor lesion characterization.
  • Functional genomics and new therapies. Candidate genetic variants will be validated and routes to novel therapies for this disease will be conceived. To do so, cutting-edge approaches such as CRISPR-Cas9 and immunotherapy will be applied. 

The network will bring together participants from different COST countries and will facilitate the research interaction and collaboration between research groups and enterprises interested in the described objectives. Diverse expertise includes clinical practice, germline and somatic genetics, epigenetics, bioinformatics, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, immunology, biostatistics, epidemiology, health economy and the industrial sector.


Revolutionising healthcare by tracking, understanding, and treating human cells during diseases

Principal researcher: Dr. Ana Ramírez de Molina
Funded by:
European Comission

LifeTime is expected to fundamentally impact basic science across multiple fields including developmental biology, regeneration, stem cell biology, RNA biology, epigenetics, signalling, cancer biology, neurobiology and metabolism. It will redefine the role of machine learning in basic science and precision medicine, which will be based on cellular biology and artificial intelligence. 
The synthesis of 21st century biology and data sciences will impact medical practice and improve human health, reducing the economic burden of aging populations.
LifeTime will stimulate new developments in the healthcare sector, providing benefits to the EU economy in terms of business volume, jobs, and personal income for European households. The pharmaceutical industry in Europe will be strengthened by the general acceptance of targeted medicines. The implementation of innovative technologies in toxicology studies and improved  patient stratification in clinical trials will lead to substantial savings in the cost of drug development. High-tech industries and the emerging AI sector will be boosted by the development of knowledge and technology that go far beyond the state-of-the-art in linking molecular analysis at single-cell resolution to early detection and interception of diseases, thus making Europe a leader in this key driver of future economic growth. European SMEs that develop instruments, software and systems for clinical-grade molecular sequencing, mass spectrometry, microscopy, image analysis and AI systems will spin off and flourish. Improved early disease detection and interception will enable healthier ageing, leading to substantial savings in healthcare expenses and care costs for the elderly.