Metabolism, Aging and Disease

The Metabolism, Ageing and Disease (MAD) thematic line involves a multi-/interdisciplinary study of metabolic and chronic diseases, with emphasis on those that are environment or aging-related, in an integrative approach from in vitro to animal models, human samples and patients.

About Metabolism, Aging and Disease Area


The convergence of ageing, lifestyle, and (epi)genetic risk factors has resulted in a surge in metabolic and degenerative diseases, whose pathophysiologies involve complex intra- and inter-cellular mechanisms impacting multiple tissues and organs. The Metabolism, Ageing, and Disease (MAD) research line tackles metabolic and chronic diseases through a multi-/inter-disciplinary approach, emphasising those related to lifestyles or ageing. Relying on an integrative perspective from in vitro to animal models, human samples, and clinical cohorts, MAD integrates fundamental and translational scientists and clinicians to foster a holistic understanding of the cause-effect relationships between lifestyles, (epi)genetic variability, organelle (dys)function, and metabolic flux alterations in ageing and disease, with potential for clinical translational and value transfer. Organised into eight research groups led by internationally recognized scientists, MAD investigates alterations in mitochondrial function, intercellular communication and proteolysis, inter-organelle crosstalk, gamete metabolism, (epi)genome variation, immunometabolism, nutrient sensing, and metabolic fluxes. Since some of these alterations are shared by chronic diseases including obesity, Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, developmental disabilities, infertility, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, at MAD we promote inter-group collaborations to tackle the complexity of these disorders. Fundamental knowledge produced by MAD finds application in clinical settings for diagnosing or treating infertility or in oncology, generating value through spinoffs (MitoTAG, LifeTag, SEAentia, TOXfinder), or specialised services (e.g., MitoXT services or Mitochondrial Biomedicine and Theragnostics genetic studies). MAD members are engaged in developing outreach initiatives, good practices and technologies to support healthy lifestyles and active ageing. With its scope and collective expertise, MAD is advancing our understanding and developing more effective interventions for ageing- and lifestyle-related diseases, contributing also strongly to science outreach.

Main Goals

  • Understand how  altered metabolic fluxes, including those resulting from disrupted mitochondrial function and quality control processes underlie lifestyle and aging-dependent chronic diseases;
  • Understand early aging: in utero and early life programming of chronic diseases and aging trajectory;
  • Investigate inflammation in the setting of lifestyle, chronic diseases, and aging;
  • Study nutrition and lifestyles-related disorders;
  • Discover new (epi)genetic and metabolic biomarkers for disease diagnostics and interventions;
  • Development of methodologies for disease profiling and staging based on metabolic alterations, with potential clinical applications;
  • Develop novel pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to prevent or delay the development of ageing and lifestyle-related diseases.

We use cookies to improve your visit to our website.