Sotos, Mercedes

Mercedes Sotos Prieto, MD,PhD

Research Fellow Department of Nutrition
Specialty: Nutritional Epidemiologist
Research Topics: Diet/Cardiovascular/Diabetes


Dr. Sotos-Prieto trained as a nutritional epidemiologist in Spain and Europe (recipient of the PhD extraordinary award), but has also pursued advanced coursework and research in conducting randomized clinical studies and also in different task including, genotyping and gene expression analysis as a doctoral student at University of Valencia, Spain.

During her PhD she was working on nutritional genomics (gene-environment interaction) in the prevention of obesity and cardiovascular risk factors in the PREDIMED study (Prevention with Mediterranean Diet, a randomized control trial with 7,000 participants).

She additionally collaborated in the European Prospective Investigation in Cancer, Medical Research Centre, Cambridge (UK). After her PhD, she was a 1y postdoctoral researcher at CNIC, Madrid, (Spain), where she was working in a cluster randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of a school-based behavioral intervention for health promotion among children aged 3 to 5.

Dr. Sotos-Prieto current research focuses on how dietary and lifestyle behaviors and patterns (including overall diet, physical activity, social network, stress and/or sleep) can influence cardiovascular and diabetes endpoints and their intermediate phenotypes, alone or in moderation with genetic risk. She is interested in contrasting the association between these lifestyle scores and CVD/diabetes outcomes in various racial/ethnic populations at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

So far, Dr. Sotos-Prieto has been involved in many different projects. One of them was involving a lifestyle score and its association with cardio metabolic parameters in Boston Puerto Ricans.

Other involves studying gene-lifestyle score interaction on myocardial infarction among different populations. Mostly, she is interested in primordial prevention of CVD. Dr. Sotos-Prieto is investigating how changes in dietary quality and other lifestyles overtime are associated with clinical risk factors, CVD and mortality in two large cohorts: Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (>100,000 participants followed up more than 24 years).

So far, Dr. Sotos-Prieto has achieved few awards and honours during her postdoctoral research at Harvard, namely the Harvard Chan School of Public Health Program in Cardiovascular Epidemiology Outstanding Fellow Award of the year (2015), the Epidemiology and Prevention Early Career Grant (American Heart Association), or the PDA-HSPH Kocaeli travel award.