Gema Frühbeck (Spain)
Born in Spain and educated in the German schooling system, Prof Gema Frühbeck attended the Medical Faculty at the University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain) obtaining the MD in 1989 and the PhD in 1995 with a thesis on protein and lipid metabolism changes following bean intake. With the advent of leptin into the research panorama her post-doctoral work and interests focused on obesity and, in particular, on the effects of leptin in extraneural tissues. In 1997 with a fellowship grant of The Royal Society she performed a postdoctoral stay in Prof. Andrew Prentice’s Energy Group at the MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre in Cambridge, UK.
In December 1998 Prof Frühbeck returned to Pamplona to join the Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition of the Clínica Universitaria of Navarra. As Senior Consultant of the mentioned Department and Head of the Metabolic Research Laboratory of the University of Navarra, she combines everyday work in the clinical setting with basic research in experimental animals and cells to try to disentangle the pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to obesity and its comorbidities. In the last years Gema has been recipient of The Nutrition Society’s Silver Medal in 2000 and the Sir David Cuthbertson Medal in 2005.
The efforts of her group are focused on the following three interconnected research lines:
- The study of the impact of adiposity on the development of comorbidities. We have taken the step forward of using body composition measurements routinely in the clinical assessment of obese patients in order to analyse the relevance of body fat -beyond BMI- in comorbidity development and the effect of conventional and surgical treatment on body fat changes and the subsequent impact on metabolic and cardiovascular outcomes.
- The analysis of the intracellular signalling pathways activated in adipocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells. Our research has focused particularly on the participation of leptin on blood pressure regulation through the release of nitric oxide.
- The determination of adipose tissue gene expression profiling. To gain insight into the gene expression profiles of adipose tissue biopsies obtained from obese patients and lean volunteers we have used DNA microarrays with the aim of identifying critical pathways.
Prof Gema Frühbeck
Head of the Metabolic Research Laboratory Clínica Universitaria
University of Navarra Dept. of Endocrinology
Clínica Universitaria de Navarra
Avda. Pío XII, 36
31008- Pamplona Spain
Tel: + 34 948 25 54 00 (ext. 4484)
Fax: + 34 948 29 65 00