Carlos Félix Sánchez Ferrer
Catedrático de Farmacología
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Elena Cercas Alonso
Técnico Especialista en Análisis Clínico
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Jorge Francisco Gómez Cerezo
Jefe de Servicio de Medicina Interna
Hospital Universitario Infanta Sofía
Concepción Peiró Vallejo
Profesora Titular de Farmacología
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Mariella Ramos González
Investigador Predoctoral
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Susana Vallejo Fernán
Investigador Postdoctoral
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Strategic Objective
Our research deals with the challenge 1 of the Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology and for Innovation: “Health, demographic change and wellbeing”. The main goal is to improve our understanding of vascular ageing, both in healthy and pathological conditions, like obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Vascular ageing is associated with complex vascular structural and functional changes. It represents a crucial process for the health status of elderly people and the main risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases. Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are extremely prevalent and closely related diseases, so that the term “diabesity” has been coined. Diabesity is among the highest health and socioeconomic challenge in Western countries, especially due to cardiovascular complications. Epidemiological studies indicate that these patients have reduced life expectancy, in close relation to the development of diseases, such as hypertension and atherosclerosis. Diabesity is also considered an age-related disease, as well as a progeric entity, sharing similar cellular and molecular mechanisms than the age-induced vascular dysfunction. Understanding the pathways involved in vascular damage and premature ageing associated to diabesity should help to delay vascular complications. Furthermore, preservation of vascular function in ageing should not only reduce deaths and disabilities secondary to cardiovascular events but should attenuate other negative aspects of the ageing process that lead to loss of function and/or disability, such as motor capacity and cognitive frailty. Indeed, it seems now quite evident that robustness in advanced age cannot be achieved without preservation of vascular function.
Research Lines
The main objective of FARMAVASM for the next 5 years is to determine how those called progeric cardiometabolic diseases, particularly obesity, diabetes mellitus and/or metabolic syndrome, can favour the vascular aging process. In particular, we will analyse the role for selected adipokines over-produced and released by the inflamed adipose tissue in the development of premature vascular ageing. We aim to characterize the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of selected adipokines that may lead to alterations in the vascular function and/or structure, as well as their interaction with other key factors influencing cardiometabolic diseases such is high glucose. Moreover, as pharmacologists, we aspire to characterize new pharmacological targets that could be relevant to prevent or delay accelerated vascular ageing and the associated cardiovascular risk. To achieve this global objective, we have now an active grant by the Plan Nacional de I+D covering 2015 to 2017, and we expect to obtain further financial support for the period 2018 to 2020. Furthermore, we have active projects with pharmaceutical companies (Boehringer Ingelgeim). Our strategy will also include our incorporation to national networks (CIBER or RETICS), and international programmes (Horizon 2020). Indeed, this is in fact one of the reasons for asking our inclusion in IdiPAZ. Additionally, we aimed to include new researchers into FARMAVASM, both at pre- and postdoctoral level (FPU-MEC, FPU-UAM, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, Juan de La Cierva, Ramón y Cajal).