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:
Role of microbial metabolites in regulating hypothalamic pathways involved in feeding behavior
Leader
Carles Lerin Martinez
Funding entities:
Foundation for Prader-Willi Research
Code
PFE00116
Starting - finishing date:
2023 - 2024
Project name:
Efecto de una pauta de alimentación de bajo contenido en hidratos de carbono en adolescentes con diabetes tipo 1
Leader
Serafin Murillo Garcia
Funding entities:
Fundació Privada per a la Recerca i la Docència Sant Joan de Déu - FSJD, Sociedad Española de Diabetes
Code
PCP00346
Starting - finishing date:
2023 - 2024
Project name:
SGR 2022-2024_Malaties metabòliques d'origen pediàtric
Leader
Carles Lerin Martinez
Funding entities:
Agaur - Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
Code
2021 SGR 00661
Starting - finishing date:
2022 - 2025
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Theses

  • Child behavior, feeding practices and health in the context of obesity
    Author
    Juton, Charlotte Martine
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    09/03/2023
  • 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
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