Appointment of Wladimiro Jiménez, Group leader
Science is the driving force of progress in human beings and requires a base of honesty, hard work, endeavour, study, constant debate, an open mind and empirical validation

Current research

Problem

Liver diseases are a serious health problem in the West, especially in Europe. These are very prevalent disorders and they come with high social and economic costs.

The main causes are chronic infections for hepatitis B or C, alcoholism and steatohepatitis, all of which are rising worldwide.

Chronic liver damage involves the development of liver fibrosis and portal hypertension, complications that can lead to more severe disorders such as cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, hyperkinesia and ascites. In spite of the advances in the understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern liver disease, there are still no effective therapies that slow down its progression.

Approach

The group is addressing this problem from a multifactorial perspective, especially based on the use of gene therapy or new materials such as nanoparticles. Its main objective is to design complementary therapies with biocompatible nanomaterials that can be applied as a treatment for liver disease in humans.

Impact

The basic treatment for a person with acute or chronic liver failure is a liver transplant, a solution with a high mortality rate in these types of patients. Therefore, it is necessary to identify new therapeutic tools capable of stopping or reversing the progression of the phenomena that promote fibrosis in liver disease. The group’s research is highly translational, because it is opening up new therapeutic pathways for liver disease.