I want to donate

The Paediatric obesity and cardiovascular risk research group is led by Dr. Abel López Bermejo since 2008. The research is aimed at identifying new metabolic, genetic, and epigenetic markers in early life stages (prenatal, perinatal, and early childhood) that indicate which infants are at greater risk of having cardiometabolic disorders and obesity in adulthood.

The research team leads multiple competitive research projects and oversees several doctoral and master's theses in this line of research. It has the collaboration of research, clinical and health care personnel at national and international levels. Multiple publications in international indexed journals are noteworthy in the group’s trajectory. In recent years, we have characterized several metabolic, genetic and epigenetic markers in relation to alterations in pre- and post-natal growth and metabolic dysfunction in school-age children.

Main lines of research

The group's main research line is the identification of markers in childhood for early prevention of cardiometabolic risk and obesity in adulthood.

The group's research lines below:

  • Prevention of obesity and cardiovascular risk in childhood.
    • Molecular bases / pathophysiology of childhood obesity.
    • Study of cardiovascular risk markers in childhood.


Study: Longitudinal clinical study in healthy pregnant-neonatal cohorts and prepuberal children from health centres in Girona.

Objective: To characterize new cardiometabolic risk markers in the paediatric age as well as to investigate possible mechanisms related to the onset of metabolic and cardiovascular disorders.

Methods: clinical, biochemical, imaging, and in vitro studies.

Financing: Consolidated line of research with FIS PI07 / 0404 and PI10 / 0053 projects.


  • Epigenetics of development.
    • Identification of the prenatal and postnatal bases of metabolic programming.
    • MicroRNAs study, DNA methylation and genetic imprinting.


Study:  Longitudinal clinical study in cohorts of healthy pregnant women included in the health areas of Girona and the Hospital Universitari de Girona Dr. Josep Trueta.

Objective:  Identifying epigenetic marks (microRNAs and DNA methylation) in the placenta and umbilical cord as new markers of susceptibility to metabolic diseases and cardiovascular risk. The studies involve both healthy new-borns and new-borns with alterations in prenatal development (maternal overnutrition or restriction of foetal growth) and also prepuberal children. The line also focuses on the study of genetic imprinting and the involvement of genes imprinted with a susceptibility to developing metabolic and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood.

Methods: Clinical, biochemical, imaging, and in vivo studies (  development of animal models for the analysis of epigenetic marks in metabolic regulation tissues -liver and adipose tissue- of offspring).

Financing: Consolidated line of research with FIS PI13/ 01257, PI13 / 01257 and PI19 / 00451 projects.


  • New technologies applied to health
    • Application and utility of new technologies for the monitoring of new-borns.


Study: Clinical study in neonates born at the Hospital Universitari de Girona Dr. Josep Trueta.

Objective: To develop smart systems for the health care of patients in order to provide health solutions in general, and specifically, for the monitoring of neonates at home.

Methods: Medical sensors and smartphones or low-cost smartphones coordinated telematically for health care.

Financing: Research line funded with the European ITEA2-ip11027 project; IPT-2012-0943-300000 INNPACTO.


  • Physiopathology and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (POS) in adolescents.


Study: clinical study in adolescents and young women with POS included in the Girona health area and the Hospital Universitari de Girona Dr. Josep Trueta.

Objective: To develop a new effective treatment for POS, a chronic endocrine-metabolic disorder often associated with obesity, based on the study of its pathophysiology. The study will focus on the reduction of hepatic and visceral fat mass in precocious stages of the disease in order to reduce the risk of cardiometabolic morbidity and anovulatory subfertility.

Methods: Clinical trial using medications with a metabolic and endocrine action and their combination, to reverse the POS phenotype.

Funding: Line of research funded with the European H2020-SC1-2020-two-stage-RTD SPIOMET4HEALTH 899671-2.

Strategic objectives


  • Promote research in the area of paediatric endocrinology.
  • Design new disease prevention and patient assistance strategies.
  • Establish research collaborations with national and international groups for the main lines of research.


  • Generating new advances in clinical research in paediatric obesity and cardiovascular risk.
  • Seek new epigenetic marks in early ages of life for identifying populations at risk of developing metabolic and cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
  • Identify new targets and therapeutic molecules in childhood obesity.
Carreras-Badosa G, Remesar X, Prats-Puig A, Xargay-Torrent S, Lizarraga-Mollinedo E, de Zegher F, Ibáñez L, Bassols J, López-Bermejo A

<i>Dlk1</i> expression relates to visceral fat expansion and insulin resistance in male and female rats with postnatal catch-up growth (vol 86, pg 195, 2019)

PEDIATRIC RESEARCH, 2024, 95, 406-406
Vasileva F, Hristovski R, Font-Lladó R, Georgiev G, Sacot A, López-Ros V, Calleja-González J, Barretina-Ginesta J, López-Bermejo A, Prats-Puig A

Physical Exercise-Induced DNA Methylation in Disease-Related Genes in Healthy Adults-A Systematic Review With Bioinformatic Analysis

Mas-Parés B, Xargay-Torrent S, Carreras-Badosa G, Gómez-Vilarrubla A, Niubó-Pallàs M, Tibau J, Reixach J, Prats-Puig A, de Zegher F, Ibañez L, Bassols J, López-Bermejo A

Gestational Caloric Restriction Alters Adipose Tissue Methylome and Offspring's Metabolic Profile in a Swine Model

Gómez-Vilarrubla A, Mas-Parés B, Carreras-Badosa G, Bonmatí-Santané A, Martínez-Calcerrada JM, Niubó-Pallàs M, de Zegher F, Ibáñez L, López-Bermejo A, Bassols J

DNA Methylation Signatures in Paired Placenta and Umbilical Cord Samples: Relationship with Maternal Pregestational Body Mass Index and Offspring Metabolic Outcomes

Biomedicines, 2024, 12
Vasileva F, Font-Lladó R, Carreras-Badosa G, Roman-Viñas B, Cadellans-Arróniz A, López-Bermejo A, Prats-Puig A

Salivary cardiac-enriched FHL2-interacting protein is associated with higher diastolic-to-systolic-blood pressure ratio, sedentary time and center of pressure displacement in healthy 7-9 years old school-children

Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2024, 15, 1292653-1292653
Osinga JAJ, Liu Y, Männistö T, Vafeiadi M, Tao FB, Vaidya B, Vrijkotte TGM, Mosso L, Bassols J, López-Bermejo A, Boucai L, Aminorroaya A, Feldt-Rasmussen U, Hisada A, Yoshinaga J, Broeren MAC, Itoh S, Kishi R, Ashoor G, Chen L, Veltri F, Lu X, Taylor PN, Brown SJ, Chatzi L, Popova PV, Grineva EN, Ghafoor F, Pirzada A, Kianpour M, Oken E, Suvanto E, Hattersley A, Rebagliato M, Riaño-Galán I, Irizar A, Vrijheid M, Delgado-Saborit JM, Fernández-Somoano A, Santa-Marina L, Boelaert K, Brenta G, Dhillon-Smith R, Dosiou C, Eaton JL, Guan H, Lee SY, Maraka S, Morris-Wiseman LF, Nguyen CT, Shan Z, Guxens M, Pop VJM, Walsh JP, Nicolaides KH, D'Alton ME, Visser WE, Carty DM, Delles C, Nelson SM, Alexander EK, Chaker L, Palomaki GE, Peeters RP, Bliddal S, Huang K, Poppe KG, Pearce EN, Derakhshan A, Korevaar TIM

Risk Factors for Thyroid Dysfunction in Pregnancy: An Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis

Thyroid, 2024, 34, 646-658
Zong, XN, Kelishadi, R, Kim, HS, Schwandt, P, Matsha, TE, Mill, JG, Caserta, CA, Medeiros, CCM, Kollias, A, Whincup, PH, Pacifico, L, López-Bermejo, A, Zhao, M, Zheng, MB, Xi, B

A proposed simplified definition of metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents: a global perspective

BMC MEDICINE, 2024, 22
Vasileva, F, Font-Lladó, R, Carreras-Badosa, G, Cazorla-González, J, López-Bermejo, A, Prats-Puig, A

Integrated neuromuscular training intervention applied in schools induces a higher increase in salivary high molecular weight adiponectin and a more favorable body mass index, cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength in children as compared to the traditional physical education classes

Frontiers in Public Health, 2024, 12
Garcia-Beltran C, Peyrou M, Navarro-Gascon A, López-Bermejo A, de Zegher F, Villarroya F, Ibáñez L

Organokines and liver enzymes in adolescent girls with polycystic ovary syndrome during randomized treatments

Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2024, 15, 1325230-1325230
Zong X, Kelishadi R, Kim HS, Schwandt P, Matsha TE, Mill JG, Whincup PH, Pacifico L, López-Bermejo A, Caserta CA, Medeiros CCM, Yan WL, Kollias A, Skidmore P, Correia-Costa L, Khadilkar A, Jazi FS, Gong Z, Zhang C, Magnussen CG, Zhao M, Xi B

Utility of waist-to-height ratio, waist circumference and body mass index in predicting clustered cardiometabolic risk factors and subclinical vascular phenotypes in children and adolescents: A pooled analysis of individual data from 14 countries

Competitive projects
Codi oficial: PI22/00366 Start date:01/01/2023 Data fi: 31/12/2025 Investigador/a principal: ABEL LÓPEZ BERMEJO Organisme finançador: INSTITUTO DE SALUD CARLOS III
Codi oficial: 210653186 Start date:01/04/2021 Data fi: 31/03/2026 Investigador/a principal: ABEL LÓPEZ BERMEJO Organisme finançador: EUROPEAN COMISSION
Codi oficial: FI20/00138 Start date:01/01/2021 Data fi: 31/12/2024 Investigador/a principal: ABEL LÓPEZ BERMEJO Organisme finançador: INSTITUTO DE SALUD CARLOS III
Codi oficial: ICI21/00005 Start date:01/01/2022 Data fi: 31/12/2025 Investigador/a principal: ABEL LÓPEZ BERMEJO Organisme finançador: INSTITUTO DE SALUD CARLOS III
Codi oficial: ICI21/00005 Start date:01/01/2022 Data fi: 31/12/2025 Investigador/a principal: ABEL LÓPEZ BERMEJO Organisme finançador: INSTITUTO DE SALUD CARLOS III
Codi oficial: SLT028/23/000143 Start date:03/08/2023 Data fi: 31/12/2025 Investigador/a principal: ABEL LÓPEZ BERMEJO Organisme finançador: GENERALITAT DE CATALUNYA
Job offers


If you are a researcher and you are interested in collaborating with any of our research groups, please fill in this form.
I am interested in
If you are a student or you want to do an internship with any of our research groups, please fill in this form.
I am interested in