Ecogenetics and Human Health

The research group Ecogenetics and Human Health is structured according to five research lines, namely ‘Behavioural genetics and environment’, ‘Environment and genetics of cardiovascular disorders and cancer’, ‘Environment and genetics of endocrine and metabolic diseases’, ‘Iron metabolism in human diseases’ and ‘Metabolic syndrome: Obesity and environment’.

The main focus of this research group is to understand how environmental factors interact with the individual’s genetic pool and vice-versa, modulating health risk. The research addresses leading behavioural factors acting on this complex interaction (diet, and tobacco, alcohol and coffee consumption), along with several other environmental factors (e.g. light and noise passible to modify genetic expression at the signal transduction level). Environmental exposure to virus can equally affect the immune response, which in turn is genotipically defined and variable, being also taken into account.

This research group aims essentially to undertake a differential analysis of intermediate and distant phenotypes according to Mendelian randomization (genetic polymorphisms) in interaction with physical, dietary and microbiological environmental factors.

Research areas

  • Iron Metabolism in Human Diseases
  • Microbiome, Innate Immunity and Genetic Variation
  • Nutrigenetics, Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
  • Environment and Longevity
  • Environment and Osteoporosis/Sarcopenia as Metabolic Diseases
  • Environment and Genetics in Cardiovascular Disorders and Cancer
  • Behavioural Genetics, Exercise and Environment
  • Evolutionary Biology, Environment and Human Diseases
  • Microenvironment, Genetics Variation and Cancer
  • Prenatal Environment, Fetal Programing and Consequences at Short and Medium Term of Human Diseases
  • Endocrine Tumors and Signaling

Team members


Selected publications