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 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 and PREDIMED  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.

Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 211


Judit Gil Zamorano

Technician Doctor of the Laboratory

Judit Gil Zamorano has a degree in Biotechnology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2011). In 2012, as part of IMDEA's Starts program, she participated in the study of the mechanisms by which the consumption of DHA reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, trying to show whether the beneficial effect of DHA could be partly modulated by microRNAs. She is a Senior Technician in Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory and in 2014 she made a stay in the Laboratory of Spirochetes and Special Pathogens (National Microbiology Center, ISCIII) where she learned the techniques for the microbiological diagnosis of infections by bacterial pathogens transmitted by arthropods. Since November 2014 he has been developing his doctoral thesis as a member of Dr Alberto Dávalos' Epigenetics of Lipid Metabolism group at IMDEA Food. Her research objectives include the study of the role of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in different biological processes associated with lipid metabolism and cardiometabolic diseases; the search for mechanisms of gene regulation in the enterocyte through ncRNAs, especially microRNAs as well as their role in intercellular communication between the intestine and other tissues, in physiological and pathological conditions in order to address new therapeutic perspectives. She has recently obtained the PhD title from the Complutense University of Madrid (September 2020).

Phone: +34 91 727 81 00 , ext. 303


- Rosa Ribot

- Andrea Higueras


most relevant publications
  • Raben A, Vestentoft PS, Brand-Miller J, Jalo E, Drummen M, Simpson L, Martinez JA, Handjieva-Darlenska T, Stratton G, Huttunen-Lenz M, Lam T, Sundvall J, Muirhead R, Poppitt S, Ritz C, Pietiläinen KH, Westerterp-Plantenga M, Taylor MA, Navas-Carretero S, Handjiev S, McNarry MA, Hansen S, Råman L, Brodie S, Silvestre MP, Adam TC, Macdonald IA, San-Cristobal R, Boyadjieva N, Mackintosh KA, Schlicht W, Liu A, Larsen TM, Fogelholm M. The PREVIEW intervention study: Results from a 3-year randomized 2 x 2 factorial multinational trial investigating the role of protein, glycaemic index and physical activity for prevention of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2021 Feb;23(2):324-337. doi: 10.1111/dom.14219.
  • Martinez-Urbistondo D, Suarez Del Villar R, Argemí J, Daimiel L, Ramos-López O, San-Cristobal R, Villares P, Martinez JA. Antioxidant Lifestyle, Co-Morbidities and Quality of Life Empowerment Concerning Liver Fibrosis. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Nov 13;9(11):1125. doi: 10.3390/antiox9111125.
  • Fuentes GC, Castañer O, Warnberg J, Subirana I, Buil-Cosiales P, Salas-Salvadó J, Corella D, Serra-Majem L, Romaguera D, Estruch R, Martínez JA, Pintó X, Vázquez C, Vidal J, Tur JA, Arós F, Bullo M, Fitó M, Schröder H. Prospective association of physical activity and inflammatory biomarkers in older adults from the PREDIMED-Plus study with overweight or obesity and metabolic syndrome. Clin Nutr. 2020 Oct;39(10):3092-3098. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2020.01.015. Epub 2020 Feb 3.
  • Assmann TS, Cuevas-Sierra A, Salas-Pérez F, Riezu-Boj JI, Milagro FI, Martínez JA. Crosstalk between circulating microRNAs and chronotypical features in subjects with metabolic syndrome. Chronobiol Int. 2020 Jul;37(7):1048-1058. doi: 10.1080/07420528.2020.1782419.
  • Rodrigo San-Cristobal, Santiago Navas-Carretero, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, José María Ordovas, José Alfredo Martínez. Contribution of macronutrients to obesity: implications for precision nutrition. Nat Rev Endocrinol . 2020 Jun;16(6):305-320. doi: 10.1038/s41574-020-0346-8.
  • Omar Ramos-Lopez, Marta Cuervo, Leticia Goni, Fermin I Milagro, Jose I Riezu-Boj, J Alfredo Martinez. Modeling of an integrative prototype based on genetic, phenotypic, and environmental information for personalized prescription of energy-restricted diets in overweight/obese subjects Am J Clin Nutr. 2020 Feb 1;111(2):459-470. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz286.
main research grants

Principal Investigator: Juan Antonio Vargas Núñez

Investigator: Jose Alfredo Martínez Hernández
Project Title: “Nutrición de Precisión en Pacientes con Enfermedades Autoinmunes Sistémicas y con Síndrome Metabólico”
Date: 2020
Funded by: Sociedad Española de Medicina Interna (SEMI)


Principal Investigator:Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)

Investigator: Jose Alfredo Martínez Hernández
Project Title:Predimed-Plus
Date: 2013-2020
Funded by: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) and MINECO