Nutrition and Metabolism - Biomarkers Group
Main research objectives are to develop new approaches and to use the most advanced analytical techniques to identify, validate and implement biomarkers, in order to better understand the relationship of nutrition and other environmental and lifestyle factors with carcinogenesis. These biomarkers are applied to population-based studies in different geographic areas, including low and middle-income countries to study how they can affect cancer and intermediate endpoints at cellular and physiological level.
Specific and highly sensitive methods including mass spectrometry and immunological methods are developed to estimate biomarkers of food consumption, physical activity and exposure to environmental risk factors including food contaminants as well as hormone levels in blood or urine samples. Compounds analysed include fatty acids and lipids, trans-fats characteristic of highly processed foods, polyphenols, vitamins, carotenoids, food contaminants, hormones (sex hormones, growth factors, insulin, thyroid hormones) and cytokines. Metabolomics approaches are developed through national and international collaborations for biomarker discovery and to characterize metabolic profiles and their modulation in different lifestyle conditions.