Research Program. Precision Nutrition and
Bioactive Ingredients Food Group
Group leader: Prof. Francesco Visioli
Objectives: the Bioactive Ingredients Food Group is being developing a Ministry of Innovation (MICINN) – funded study on the effects of selected phospholipids in models of aging and cognitive decline. In particular, the group is investigating the nutrigenomic effects of phospholipids isolated from buttermilk and krill oil, via innovative technologies developed in the CIAL (UAM + CSIC Madrid campus). Aging represents an important socio-economic issue, in that the European population is rapidly aging and the health care costs associated with this demographic phenomenon are becoming unbearable. Therefore, there is a strong need to find suitable and effective preventive measures, to lessen the burden of disease and decrease budgetary stress. In particular, aging is associated with cognitive decline, which can become severe and develop into dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
Given than the brain is the organ richest in lipids (up to 40% in weight), the LabFun thinks it conceivable to supply appropriate phospholipids to maintain and/or restore proper membrane composition, fluidity, and signal transduction. The preliminary results do demonstrate the provision of food-derived phospholipids (formulated through original techniques) are able to ameliorate the synaptic machinery and restore adequate mitochondrial function. The group employs in vitro and in vivo (including human) approaches to create strong and solid scientific data and foster the formulation of evidence-based nutraceuticals and functional foods. In addition, the group keeps publishing the results of former projects along with reviews on specific topics, therefore enjoying a strong publication record.
Prof. Francesco Visioli
Group leader of the Bioactive Ingredients Food Groupof Lipid Metabolism Group
Francesco Visioli earned a degree in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Milan and a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Brescia (based on work performed at the Louisiana State University Neuroscience Center). After being Full Professor of physiopathology at the Université Paris 6 “Pierre et Marie Curie”, where he directed the “Micronutrients and cardiovascular disease” unit, he is now Professor of human nutrition at the University of Padua, Italy and Senior Investigator at the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies (IMDEA)-Food. Formerly involved in neurochemistry, Dr. Visioli’s research currently concerns essential fatty acids, namely those of the omega 3 series, and natural antioxidants, as related to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. In particular, Dr. Visioli’s group discovered the biological and pharmacological properties of olive oil phenolics, including hydroxytyrosol. In addition, Dr. Visioli is being studying some bioactive components of plant foods, including lycopene from tomato and biophenols from wild greens. His research ranges from in vitro studies of bioactivity (test tubes, cell cultures) to in vivo tests, performed on laboratory animals and/or humans. Dr Visioli has a publication record of approximately 250 papers and book chapters, which have been cited over 10,000 times. He gave invited lectures in over 100 meetings. Dr. Visioli was member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL). Currently, Dr. Visioli is the Editor-in-Chief of PharmaNutrition Associate Editor of Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, in addition to being a member of the Editorial Board of several other journals. Presently, Dr. Visioli is Leader of the “Fats and Human Health” division of Eurofed Lipid and member of the EFSA GMO Panel.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 204
Dr. João Tiago Estevao Tomé Carneiro
The research carried out by Dr. Joao Tiago Estevao Tomé Carneiro has been focusing on the biological activity of food constituents in chronic pathologies. He has a degree in biochemistry and he obtained his PhD at the University of Murcia working at CEBAS-CSIC (2013). He is the co-author of 30 peer-reviewed papers in relevant international journals. In 2014, hejoined the Bioactive Ingredients Food Group at IMDEA Food, where he contributes to the assessment of the potential health effects of bioactive food components in vitro, in vivo and through placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials.
He is currently participating in a research project focused on evaluating if the consumption of bioactive phospholipids, as part of a nutritional supplement, contributes to the improvement or delaying of mild cognitive impairment and its correlation with different biological, clinical or neuropsychological biomarkers.
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 205
Carmen Crespo Lorenzo
M del Carmen Crespo Lorenzo has a first degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the IE University of Segovia (2010). In 2013 she obtained a Master degree in Pharmacological Research from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). As part of her research activity, she joined the research project team “Genetic and genomic analysis in patients affected by Gorham-Stout Disease and General Lymphatic Anomalies” at the Hospital Universitario La Paz (Supervisor: Dr. Pablo Lapunzina). In June 2014, she started her Ph.D. program at IMDEA’s Bioactive Ingredients Food Group (Supervisors: Prof. Francesco Visioli and Dr. Alberto Dávalos). Her thesis is focused on the protective function of specific micronutrients (soy isoflavones, hydroxytyrosol, and bioactive polar lipids) performing in vitro, in vivo and placebo-controlled, randomized trials in healthy volunteers to evaluate the possible beneficial effect that these molecules play on cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. In March of 2018, she obtained a doctoral degree, marked outstanding, Cum Laude. The title of the doctoral thesis is: "Protective function of specific micronutrients against cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases". Currently, her research focuses on bioactive polar lipids, as part of a nutritional supplement, studying whether these compounds contribute to the improvement or delaying of mild cognitive impairment and collaborates as a laboratory technician of the Platform GENYAL (Genomics and Nutrition).
Phone: +34 91 727 81 00 , ext. 205
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
Raquel Aguado Puertas
Elena Garicano Vilar
Andrea del Saz
|most relevant publications|
|main research grants|
Principal Investigator: Alberto Dávalos Herrera
Principal Investigator: Francesco Visioli
Principal Investigator: Francesco Visioli
Principal Investigator: João Tiago Esteveão Tomé Carneiro
Project Title: Evaluación del hidroxitirosol en la enfermedad del hígado graso no alcohólica
Principal Investigator: Javier Fontecha, Antonio Pérez, Francesco Visioli