Prize winners session: Room Liffey Hall 2, 11:30-13:00H Thursday 18 May
Cintia is a Postdoctoral Researcher Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research Carlos III (CNIC). She has a proven track record in biomedical research and health sciences, where she is involved in adipose tissue metabolism and its endocrine and thermogenic function.
Based in the Stress Kinases in Diabetes, Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease group led by Dr. Sabio CNIC, Cintia received her PhD in Endocrinology from Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (IDIS), University of Santiago de Compostela (CIMUS-USC), where she developed the study of new hypothalamic signals involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis through the central nervous system and its implications in metabolic disorders.
She demonstrated the importance of the complementarity between basic techniques and clinical research: drive the basic science to understand molecular mechanisms of the cell and organism and trying to translate the results to the clinic. To date, her career has focused on the role of stress kinases in the control of central and peripheral metabolism, together with evaluating new mitochondrial mechanisms in the adipose tissue in relation to prevention and treatment of obesity and its comorbidities. Cintia has already co-authored more than 30 original articles in biomedical research and health sciences, demonstrating leadership as well as enthusiasm and desire to tackle the challenge of obesity and metabolic diseases.
She has been recognised with the award for the Best Thesis in Endocrinology awarded by the Society for Endocrinology and the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (FSEEN).
Here we find out more about Cintia’s life and career.
Q: Congratulations on your award, Cintia. For those who don’t know you well, please can you share a bit about your background, including home life and education experiences?
A: I was born in Lugo, a small friendly city in the northwest of Spain known for its rich history, monuments, and gastronomy.
Throughout my childhood, biology was one of my favorites subjects and my teachers told me to pursue natural sciences. I studied my degree (molecular biology and biotechnology) at the University of Santiago de Compostela, and became focused on the role of biochemical changes in the organism and the importance of metabolic disorders, which led me to develop an interest in exploring the latest scientific research in the control of energy balance. I studied the role of the brain in the control of energy homeostasis and neuroscience, which became the start of my career in the field of endocrinology and metabolism.
Q: Tell us about the recent developments in your career?
A: In January 2020 I moved to Madrid joining the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research ISCIII (CNIC) under the supervision of Dr. Guadalupe Sabio. I obtained a Juan de la Cierva-formación fellowship, but I rejected this grant in favour of Sara Borrell fellowship Instituto de Salud Carlos III, which is a very competitive fellowship to enable outstanding scientists to make a transition towards more independence, allowing me to initiate my own research program and continue my research career studying the role of stress kinases in the control of central and peripheral metabolism. In 2022, my scientific expertise has been recognised by three competitive grants. I received funding to lead three projects as principal investigator for different projects awarded by the prestigious European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD), the Society for Endocrinology and the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (FSEEN).
During my research I have tried to address one of the biggest health problems in our country and one of the pandemics of the 21st century: obesity. To deepen in this disease, it is necessary to investigate the molecular mechanisms that control and regulate energy balance. In addition to studying these mechanisms, I also had the opportunity to be involved in different scientific studies and I am actively involved in the mentoring and supervision of undergraduate students. I consider myself a scientist committed to our role within society, and I believe that we have an obligation to bring the laboratory closer to population and to inspire future generations to become a scientist one day.
Q: What impact to do you think you work can have in public health, policy-making, or clinical practice?
A: Obesity and metabolic syndrome are growing epidemics. These diseases are associated with the development of diabetes and both an increased risk for and worse outcomes for many types of cancer. Despite the importance of obesity and metabolic disorders associated such as glucose tolerance, hypertension or dyslipidemia, the molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. My work constitutes a novel and multidisciplinary approach to the regulation of energy balance and obesity focusing on evaluating new molecular adipose tissue mediators that trigger adipose tissue dysfunction.
Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in the word and one of the pandemics of the 21st century, a clear economic problem because the treatment of obesity-related diseases increases health care costs. The developing of new drugs in Europe might result in a return to our economy part of the cost that we are spending on treatment. Furthermore, new biomarkers that help to diagnostic the disease soon enough will help to decrease the cost of the treatment. We are trying to elucidate new diagnostics and new treatments that involved the play of mitochondrial activity as well as its paracrine effect. We will try to unravel this BAT signalling pathway and understand better the function of our mitochondrial protein in health and metabolic diseases.
Thanks Cintia and enjoy ECO2023 !