Peñalvo, José Luis

José Luis Peñalvo, PhD

LEADER | Area of Epidemiology at the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC)

Specialties: Pharmacy, Epidemiology


Dr. Peñalvo started his scientific career working on two large-scale, multicenter EU-funded (FP6) projects, Phytoprevent and Phytos at the University of Helsinki (Finland). He returned to Spain where he leads Area of Epidemiology at the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research. Dr. Peñalvo collaborates actively with former colleagues at different institutions, such as the Folkhälsan Institute for Preventive Medicine at the University of Helsinki, and, and the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Fuster, as the Director of the Department of Epidemiology, Atherothrombosis and Imaging and General Director of the CNIC, acts as the candidate’s mentor, guiding his career.  He is interested on the study of lifestyle determinants of cardiovascular health, as well as on the mechanisms by which diet and dietary components alter risk factors, gene-diet interactions, and biological responses to diet.

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Johns Hopkins University, USA Postdoc 2008-2009 Epidemiology
University of Alcalá, Spain Masters 2006-2007 Clinical Research
University of Helsinki, Finland Postdoc 2003-2006 Epidemiology
University Complutense of Madrid, Spain PhD 1997-2002 Pharmacology
University Complutense of Madrid, Spain BSc 1990-1996 Pharmacology

Additional Information

Positions and Honors

2001-2006, Research Scientist, Institute for Preventive Medicine, Nutrition and Cancer, Folkhälsan Research Center, University of Helsinki, Finland
2004- UK Nutrition Society (NS)
2005- Assistant Professor, Spanish Quality Assessment and Accreditation Agencies (ANECA and ACAP)
2007-2008 Assistant Professor, Dept. Human Nutrition, University of Lleida, and University CEU San Pablo, Spain.
2007- Board Member, Southern Europe Representative, European Nutrition Leadership Programme (ENLP)
2008- Expert Member, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
2008- Member, Spanish Nutrition Society (SEN)
2008- Associate Professor (2008)
2008- Assistant Professor, Dept. Epidemiology and Population Genetics, National Centre for Cardiovascular Research, Madrid, Spain

Selected Peer-reviewed Publications
1. León-Latre M, Moreno-Franco B, Andrés-Esteban M, Ledesma-Fuentes M, Laclaustra-Gimeno M, Alcalde V, Peñalvo JL, Ordovás JM, Casasnovas-Lenguas JA. Sedentarism and its relationship with cardiovascular risk, insuline resistance and inflamation. The Aragon Workers´ Health Study [In Spanish]. Rev Esp Cardio. In press.
2. Sotos-Prieto M, Santos-Beneit G, Pocock S, Redondo J, Fuster V, Peñalvo JL. Parental and self-reported dietary and physical activity habits in preschoolers and their socio-economic determinants. Public Health Nutrition. In press.
3. Peñalvo JL, Sotos-Prieto M, Santos-Beneit G, Pocock S, Redondo J, Fuster V. The Program SI! intervention for enhancing a healthy lifestyle in preschoolers: first results from a cluster randomized trial. BMC Public Health. 2013; 13(1):1208.
4. Fernández-Ortiz A, Jiménez-Borreguero J, Peñalvo JL, Ordovás JM, Mocoroa A, Fernandez-Friera L, Laclaustra M, García L, Molina J, Mendiguren JM, López-Melgar B, Martínez de Vega V, Alonso-Farto JC, Guallar E, Sillesen H, Rudd JH, Fayad ZA, Ibañez B, Sanz G, Fuster V. The Progression and Early detection of subclinical aterosclerosis: Rational and desing. Am Heart J. In press.
5. Peñalvo JL, Santos-Beneit G, Sotos-Prieto M, Rodriguez C, Martínez R, Franco M, López-Romero P, Pocock S, Redondo J, Fuster V. A cluster randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of a multi-component behavioral intervention for health promotion among preschoolers. BMC Public Health. 2013; 13(1):656.
6. Sotos-Prieto M, Peñalvo JL. Genetic variation of apolipoproteins, diet and other environmental interactions. An updated review. Nutr Hosp. 28(4), 2013.
7. Peñalvo JL, Céspedes J, Fuster V. Sesame Street: Changing cardiovascular risks for a lifetime. Sem Thor Cardiovasc Surgery. 2012; 24(4):238-40.
8. Iglesias-Gutiérrez E, Egan B, Díaz-Martínez AE, Peñalvo JL, González-Medina A, Martínez-Camblor P, O’Gorman DJ, Ubeda N. Transient Increase in Homocysteine but Not Hyperhomocysteinemia during Acute Exercise at Different Intensities in Sedentary Individuals. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51185. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051185.
9. Lin Y, Wolk A, Håkansson N, Peñalvo JL, Lagergren J, Adlercreutz H, Lu Y. Validation of FFQ-based assessment of dietary lignans compared with serum enterolactone in Swedish women. Br J Nutr. In press.
10. Casasnovas JA, Alcaide V, Civeira F, Guallar E, Ibañez B, Borreguero JJ, Laclaustra M, León M, Peñalvo JL, Ordovás JM, Pocovi M, Sanz G, Fuster V. Aragon workers’ health study – design and cohort description. BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2012;12(1):45.
11. Peñalvo JL, Moreno-Franco B, Ribas-Barba L, Serra-Majem L. Determinants of dietary lignan intake in a representative sample of young Spaniards: association with lower obesity prevalence among boys but not girls. Eur J Clin Nutr 2012;66(7):795-8.
12. Peñalvo JL, López-Romero P. Urinary enterolignan concentrations are positively associated with serum HDL cholesterol and negatively with serum triglycerides in U.S. adults. J Nutr 2012;142(4):751-6.
13. Gil-Izquierdo A, Peñalvo JL, Gil JI, Medina S, Horcajada MN, Lafay S, Silberberg M, Llorach R, Zafrilla P, Garcia-Mora P, Ferreres F. Soy isoflavones and cardiovascular disease: epidemiological, clinical and –omics perspectives. Curr Pharm Biotechnol 2012;13(5):624-31.
14. Moreno-Franco B, García-González A, Montero-Bravo AM, Iglesias-Gutiérrez E, Úbeda N, Maroto-Núñez L, Adlercreutz H, Peñalvo JL. Dietary alkylresorcinols and lignans in the Spanish diet: development of the Alignia database. J Agric Food Chem 2011;59(18),:9827-34.
15. Birkvek FK, Mortensen A, Peñalvo JL, Lindecrona RH, Sørensen IK. Investigation into the cancer protective effect of flaxseed in Tg.NK (MMTV/c-neu) mice, a murine mammary tumor model. Genes Nutr 2011;6(4):403-11.
16. Papadaki A, Valsta LM, Lampi AM, Peñalvo JL, Adlercreutz H, Kafatos A. Validation of a nutrient database using chemical analyses of food samples during a Greek Orthodox Christian fasting and non-fasting week. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 2011;24:22-28.
17. Saarinen NM, Smeds AI, Peñalvo JL, Nurmi T, Adlercreutz H, Mäkelä S Flaxseed ingestion alters ratio of enterolactone enantiomers in human serum. J Nutr Metabol 2010; doi:10.1155/2010/403076.
18. Nurmi T, Mursu J, Pinheiro A, Peñalvo JL, Poulsen H, Voutilainen S. Dietary intake and urinary excretion of lignans in Finnish men. Br J Nutr 2010; 103(5):677-85.

Research Support
PI11/00403 Peñalvo (PI) 2011 – 2014
Polymorphism APOA2 -265T>C in relation to dietary patterns and cardiovascular risk factors
The major goal of this study is: The identification of genetic traits that contribute to inherited dietary patterns, requires special attention to specific genes that can modulate caloric intake and therefore obesity. In this line, the -256C>T polymorphism in the apolipoprotein A-II gene promoter has been associated with increased body mass index or obesity in different populations and on those following a saturated fat-rich diet. There is no information so far on the possible modulation of this association by specific dietary or physical activity patterns or if this polymorphism also influences other cardiovascular risk factors such as the ratio APOA1/APOA2 or the development of atherosclerosis. This hypothesis will be studied in the context of the AWHS (Aragon Workers Health Study) cohort, involving cardiovascular disease-free (N~4000, 40-55 years) volunteers, and aiming to study early markers of atherosclerosis. For this, we will identify dietary and physical activity patterns by multivariate statistic analyses, and those will then be associated with anthropometric measurements and with the prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis (evaluated through coronary TAC and carotid ecography). Linear and logistic regression models will be applied with increasing adjustment levels.
Role: PI

AWHS. Aragon Workers Health Study Fuster (PI) 2008-2012
Aragón Workers Health Study (AWHS)
The major goal of this study is: This study examines the development of cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors by monitoring the workers from the General Motors factory in Zaragoza (Spain) through their annual medical checkup. AWHS is a longitudinal cohort study including more than 5,000 workers. Participants are examined in the imaging facilities of the study with the objective of finding evidence of subclinical atherosclerotic disease.
Role: Co-investigator

PESA/CNIC-Santander Fuster (PI) 2010 – 2019
Early Detection and Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis
The major goal of this study is: The PESA, CNIC2-Santander study will help identify cardiovascular risk factors and daily habits that may have influence on the development of atherosclerosis, and will help prevent the atherosclerotic disease by means of an early diagnosis before symptoms appear. PESA is a longitudinal study which is being implemented by Banco Santander and CNIC. Its core feature is the use of imaging techniques that help detect the prevalence and ratio of the progression of subclinical vascular damage in a population of 4,500 workers (men and women), aged 40-54. The study focuses on the association between those clinical values and the presence of genetic, epigenetic, metabolomic, proteomic and environmental factors, including dietary habits, physical activity, biorhythms, psychosocial factors and exposure to pollutant agents.
Role: Co-investigator