Our Team

We are a multidisciplinary team composed of researchers from the fields of Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Nutrition, and Mathematics.
metabolismo y funcion vascular
Marta Viana Arribas

Marta Viana

PROFESSOR OF BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Principal Investigator

Dr. Marta Viana Arribas is a Professor in the area of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the School of Pharmacy at San Pablo CEU University. Her research focuses on studying the mechanisms involved in complications associated with pathologies such as Diabetes, Obesity, and more recently Atherosclerosis. She delves into the role of oxidative stress, metabolic alterations, inflammation, as well as the involvement of brown adipose tissue as a therapeutic strategy in obesity, as well as its role in endothelial dysfunction. She has recently incorporated into her research activities the study of the mechanisms involved in the development of atherosclerotic plaques and the role of the protective arm of the renin-angiotensin system.

She has completed various stays at internationally renowned centers, both predoctoral at Kings College London (UK), as well as postdoctoral and as a visiting researcher at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Bern University, Switzerland), at the Joslin Diabetes Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA) and at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii (USA).

She has received the Angel Herrera Research Award as a member of the Perinatal Biochemistry Group and the Angel Herrera Award for the Best Research Work in the Experimental Sciences area, for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018).

Her research and teaching career has been combined with various management positions, such as Department Secretary, Academic Secretary of the Faculty, as well as Academic Secretary of the CEU International Doctoral School (CEINDO). She is currently the deputy director of CEINDO.

Oxidative stress
Lipid metabolism
Atherosclerosis

Beatriz Somoza

PROFESSOR OF PHARMACOLOGY

Co-Principal investigator

Beatriz Somoza Hernández is a Professor of Pharmacology at the Faculty of Pharmacy at USP-CEU and a senior researcher in the field of cardiovascular pathophysiology and pharmacology. She obtained her PhD from the School of Pharmacy at UCM and completed her postdoctoral training at the Faculty of Medicine at UAM. Over the past 10 years, her research has focused on characterizing the mechanisms involved in the relationship between obesity, arterial damage, and cardiac and metabolic alterations, with a special emphasis on the role of AMPK, type 2 angiotensin II receptor, and perivascular adipose tissue on the regulation of vascular tone, structure, and mechanics.

She is the author of more than 50 articles in SCI journals, with an h-index of 22. She is a member of the European Council for Cardiovascular Research (ECCR). Dr. Somoza has actively participated in the training of researchers [5 doctoral theses, 5 projects for obtaining the Advanced Studies Diploma (DEA), and supervisor of a research assistant funded by the Community of Madrid].

Vascular Pharmacology
Renin-Angiotensin System
Perivascular adipose tissue

Marta Gil Ortega MET-VASC

Marta Gil

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PHARMACOLOGY

Marta Gil Ortega is Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Senior Researcher in the field of cardiovascular pathophysiology and pharmacology. Dr. Gil-Ortega obtained her Ph.D. in Pharmacy from the CEU San Pablo University and completed her postdoctoral training at Stromalab (INSERM, France).

Her current research interest is focused on the study of new mechanisms involved in the development of vascular alterations due to obesity and the involvement of perivascular adipose tissue to identify new therapeutic approaches. Dr. Marta Gil-Ortega received the Mario Martín Velamazán Pharmacy Research Award (2014) and is the coordinator of the Early Career Researchers Network of the European Council for Cardiovascular Research (ECCR).

Vascular function and mechanics.
Obesity and cardiovascular risk.
Perivascular adipose tissue.

Martín Alcalá

Martín Alcalá

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Martin Alcala is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He earned his PhD in Pharmacy from the Universidad San Pablo CEU and completed his pre and postdoctoral training with stays at the Joslin Diabetes Center (Boston) and the Center for Cardiovascular Research (Hawaii).

His main interest is the pathophysiology of adipose tissue in obesity and he is currently the Principal Investigator of a project funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation to study the use of brown adipocyte transplantation as a therapeutic tool against metabolic diseases.

He has received the Angel Herrera Award for the best Research work in the Experimental Sciences area in 2017 and 2018, as well as the Angel Herrera Award for the best teaching work in the Faculty of Pharmacy in 2017.

Physiopathology of obesity.
Oxidative stress.
Brown adipose tissue, bioenergetics and metabolism.

Esther Carrera MET-VASC

Esther Carrera

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HUMAN NUTRITION AND DIETETICS.

Esther Carrera is Associate Professor of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Carrera obtained her degree in Veterinary Science from the Complutense University of Madrid and completed her doctoral thesis in the Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Technology, identifying species using immunological and genetic techniques.

She has extensive professional experience as an auditor of quality management systems (ISO 9001) and food safety (ISO 22000) in the food chain. Currently, she is responsible for Quality at the CEU International Doctoral School (CEINDO).

Human nutrition and dietetics.
Veterinary.
Quality systems.

María Larriva MET¨-VASC

María Larriva

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY

Maria Larriva is an Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry and researcher in the field of neurophysiology of stress and its impact on cognitive and behavioral levels during critical developmental stages. Dr. Larriva earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Complutense University of Madrid and completed her postdoctoral training in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Navarra and the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland). In 2019, she joined the Public Engagement team at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN) at the University of Oxford (UK), and in September 2021, she joined the area of Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Faculty of Pharmacy of USP-CEU.

Her current interest is the study of potential connections between perivascular adipose tissue and the regulation of the stress response, both under physiological and pathological conditions, and the impact of this interaction on the neurological level. Since 2022, Dr. Maria Larriva Hormigos has been responsible for the strategy of outreach and Public Engagement with Science of the MET-VASC group.

Neurophysiology of stress.
Public Engagement.
Adipose tissue-brain axis.

Jose Miguel Cárdenas Rebollo

Jose Miguel Cárdenas

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF STATISTICS AND OPERATIVE RESEARCH

Jose Miguel Cardenas is an Associate Professor of Statistics and Operations Research, with over 20 years of teaching experience in the field of Statistics and Data Analysis. He is currently in charge of the Teaching Unit of Applied Statistics for Health Sciences, teaching in both Nursing and Medicine degrees as well as in various postgraduate programs at the Faculty of Medicine. He was the Director of the Virtual Campus of the CEU San Pablo University from 2008 to 2017.

He received the Angel Herrera Award for Best Teaching Work from the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences in 2020.

Since 2016, he has also been able to combine his teaching and management duties with research, defending his doctoral thesis in 2017 entitled “Decision Trees as a Support Tool in the Classification of Breast Lesions According to the BI-RADS@ Categorization System of the American College of Radiology”.

To date, his scientific productivity has resulted in more than 30 publications, as a result of his collaboration on projects with various groups at the CIOCC (Clara Campal Comprehensive Cancer Center).

Applied statistics.

Sahar Samanbar

PhD STUDENT

Sahar Samanbar is a student at the CEU International Doctoral School (CEINDO) and is currently in her first year of doctoral studies. She graduated in Nursing from Fasa University of Medical Sciences in Iran and continued her studies at the University of Barcelona, where she obtained her master’s degree in Translational Medicine.

Her thesis project focuses on the study of intertissue communication between perivascular adipose tissue and the artery as a key axis in the development of endothelial dysfunction in obesity.

Perivascular adipose tissue.
Vascular function and mechanics.

Natalia Piñera Segura

Natalia Piñera

RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Natalia Piñera Segura is a first-year research assistant with a contract from the Community of Madrid. She graduated in Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and later continued her studies at the Universidad Autónoma, Complutense and Alcalá de Henares, where she obtained a master’s degree in Genetics and Cell Biology.

The project in which she participates focuses on the study of the pathophysiology of adipose tissue in obesity, and on the molecular mechanisms underlying the cardiac, metabolic and vascular alterations observed in this condition.

Obesity
Vascular function

David Sanchez Fernandez

David Sánchez

RESEARCH ASSISTANT

David Sánchez Fernández is a first year research assistant with a contract from the Community of Madrid. He graduated in Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid where he carried out his final degree project supported by a collaboration grant (MEFPD) in the laboratory of Sex Hormones and Vascular Function (Faculty of Medicine/UAM) directed by Dr. Mercedes Ferrer. Subsequently, he graduated from the Master’s Degree in Molecular Biomedicine at the Autonomous University of Madrid , continuing his stay in Dr. Ferrer’s laboratory for the development of his master’s thesis. He has carried out internships at the Institute of Rare Diseases (ISCIII) in the Gene Therapy group led by Dr. Ignacio Pérez de Castro; and an ERASMUS+ stay at the Karolinska Institute (Solna, Sweden) in the Molecular Cardiology laboratory led by Dr. Francesco Cosentino.

The project in which he participates focuses on the study of the pathophysiology of perivascular adipose tissue in obesity, and on the therapeutic potential of angiotensin 2 receptor activation in this condition and other pathologies associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Vascular physiopathology

Therapeutic Strategies Against Cardiovascular Diseases

Former team members / Theses completed

Name

Date

Current position

Fabiola Alvarez Gallego MET VASC

Fabiola Álvarez Gallego, PhD

2020-2023

Postdoctoral Researcher. Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard University.

Raquel Gonzalez Blazquez

Raquel González Blázquez, PhD

2018-2022

Margarita Salas / Juan de la Cierva Postdoctoral Researcher. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Elena Vega Martín, PhD

2017-2021

Training Coordinator at the General Council of Pharmaceutical Colleges.

María Calderón Domínguez, PhD

2017-2019

Associate Professor. Universidad de Cádiz.

Concepción Fernández García-Prieto, PhD

2011-2015

Medical Advisor | Diabetes en Eli Lilly and Company.

Victoria Bolado García, PhD

2008-2011

Full Researcher. Universidad Veracruzana. México.