Metabolic diseases of pediatric origin

We are a multidisciplinary group of physicians, nutritionists, biologists and biochemists. This allows us to carry out both basic and patient-centred translational research. Our main focus of interest are the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of metabolic diseases of paediatric origin. 

Over the last five years, and in close collaboration with the Endocrinology Unit of the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, we have created a solid structure of clinical research with the aim of facilitating the conduct of translational projects. We also avail of these clinical research projects as the basis for the training of the Unit's clinical staff and ultimately in the completion of their doctoral theses.

We have been recognised by the Government of Catalonia as a consolidated research group (SGR 845) since 2017.

Research lines

  1. Role of the composition of breast milk in the risk of childhood obesity (Principal investigator: Carles Lerín).
  2. Clinical research in childhood obesity (Principal investigator: Carles Lerín).
  3. Animal childhood obesity models (Principal investigator: Josep Jiménez).
  4. New treatments for type 1 diabetes (Principal investigator: Josep Jiménez)

Scientific objectives

  1. To study the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of childhood obesity and diabetes.
  2. To identify new early biomarkers of risk of obesity and associated metabolic diseases.
  3. To design new strategies for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

Area/Field of expertise

Our research focuses on gaining a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms linking nutrition and growth during the very early stages of life with the subsequent development of childhood obesity and metabolic diseases in adulthood. This paradigm is known as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). To accomplish this, we have a highly multidisciplinary group of physicians, nutritionists, biologists, biochemists and laboratory technicians. Together we carry out eminently translational research characterised by:

  1. The development and characterisation of experimental (mouse) models that closely recapitulate human pathophysiology.
  2. The conduct of clinical trials to develop new preventive and treatment strategies.

This research is bidirectional in that it enables the transfer of questions arising in clinical practice to experimental models and, vice versa, the transfer of the knowledge acquired in the laboratory to clinical studies.

For the past five years, we have been working on "omic" techniques to gain a further understanding of these processes and to identify early biomarkers. More specifically, we are conducting (i) targeted and non-targeted metabolomics in breast milk of women with and without obesity, and (ii) analyses of the metabolome, epigenome and, more recently, metagenome in a clinical cohort of prepubertal children with obesity.

We are currently evaluating the physiological role of these biomarkers through in vitro and in vivo animal cell models. Our aim is to better understand their possible involvement in the pathophysiology associated with metabolic diseases and then propose new nutritional-therapeutic interventions for the treatment of childhood obesity and associated metabolic disorders.

Group members

Last Publications

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Projects

Project name:
Non-genomic Inheritance of environmentally-induced traits: Deciphering epigenetically-driven genetic variation in mammals
Leader
José Carlos Jiménez Chillarón
Funding entities:
John Templenton Foundation
Code
ID 62167
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2024
Project name:
Modulación de la dieta durante las primeras etapas de la vida como estrategia de prevención de la obesidad infantil
Leader
Carles Lerin Martinez
Funding entities:
Ministerio de Economía Y Competitividad (MINECO)
Code
PDC2021-121816-100
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2023
Project name:
Impact of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination on breast milk antibodies, milk bioactive compounds and maternal-child health (MilkCORONA)
Leader
Carles Lerin Martinez
Funding entities:
Fundació La Marató de TV3
Code
202106-32
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2023
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Theses

  • Papel de la microbiota intestinal en el tratamiento del síndrome de Prader-Willi
    Author
    Amat Bou, Montserrat
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    20/04/2021
  • Estudi de l'oncostatina M i de la termogènesi del teixit adipós marró, abans i després de la cirurgia bariàtrica
    Author
    Piquer García, Irene
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    22/01/2020
  • Nutrició perinatal i programació de risc metabòlic a llarg termini: estudi de possibles mecanismes i intervencions en models d’experimentació animal
    Author
    Ramon Krauel, Marta
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    04/07/2018
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News

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