Miriam Granado

Miriam Granado García is a tenured scientist at the Faculty of Medicine of the Autonomous University of Madrid, and she has chosen the Institute of Materials Science of Madrid (ICMM-CSIC) to deepen her knowledge about the role of nanoparticles in medicine. Therefore, she will spend a year as a visiting researcher: the first half will be working with Beatriz H. Juárez from the Semiconductor Nanoparticles Group, and the second half will join the Materials for Medicine and Biotechnology group, where she will work alongside Ana Espinosa.

What have you worked on?

I obtained a degree in Pharmacy from the Complutense University of Madrid in 2001. In 2007, I presented my doctoral thesis, titled 'Role of the GH-IGF-I axis, TNFα, and COX-2 in arthritis-induced cachexia,' which consisted of a compilation of scientific articles. A year later, I joined the Department of Pediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine of the Autonomous University of Madrid with a Juan de la Cierva postdoctoral contract. During my time in this group, my interest focused on studying leptin and ghrelin in metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. In 2011, I received the "Young Investigator Award in Basic Sciences" for scientific excellence from the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) for my research on modifications in the leptin hormone during the perinatal period.

In October 2010, I joined the Department of Physiology at the Faculty of Medicine of the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), where I currently hold a position as Associate Professor. Within this department, I have established my own line of research focused on studying metabolic and cardiovascular alterations associated with obesity and aging, as well as their possible prevention and treatment using nutraceuticals and functional foods. I conduct this research within the Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular System research group, of which I am the coordinator in collaboration with companies from the food and pharmaceutical sectors. Since 2018, I am also a member of the NanoBIG research group (Nanoparticles Bioimaging Group) led by Dr. Daniel Jaque from the Faculty of Sciences (UAM). In this group, my role is to collaborate in the search for new applications of nanoparticles for the diagnosis and/or treatment of cardiometabolic diseases.

What will you do at the ICMM?

At the ICMM, I will work within the research groups of Dr. Beatriz Juárez and Dr. Ana Espinosa de los Monteros. My task will involve participating in the synthesis and study of the properties of nanoparticles with the aim of inducing lipolysis in an adipocyte cell line through hyperthermia. We will use nanoparticles with surface modifications that will be included in phospholipid matrices following the established procedures in the receiving group.

We will also conduct studies to determine the appropriate proportion of nanoparticles that generate the greatest effectiveness in increasing temperature, depending on the parameters of the laser or applied magnetic field. The thermally most efficient nanoparticles will be used in studies of adipocyte cell cultures to obtain viability and cytotoxicity ranges. Additionally, we will conduct studies of cellular internalization to understand the culture conditions that ensure better NP uptake.

I have high expectations for my stay at the ICMM. I believe it is an excellent opportunity to learn new techniques related to the synthesis and study of NP properties and their potential applications in the field of Biomedicine. Moreover, I am convinced that this stay will be a starting point for establishing future collaborations with the responsible researchers, which could contribute to the development of research projects with great applicability and a high multidisciplinary character.

Why did you choose the ICMM?

I have chosen this center for its prestige in the field of Materials and because the researchers with whom I will be conducting my stay are experts in the synthesis, characterization, and optimization of optical properties of nanoparticles for different applications in nanomedicine and technology. They are also specialized in the study of hyperthermic systems and the optimization of nanostructures with the ability to measure temperature changes in biological media as a possible diagnostic and/or therapeutic method for different types of diseases, such as ophthalmological and tumor-related conditions.

Additionally, their laboratories have the necessary material resources and infrastructure to carry out this proposal, including a laboratory for the synthesis and preparation of nanomaterials, an optics laboratory for their characterization, a laboratory for hyperthermia using laser excitation in the near-infrared range (680-808 nm) and alternate magnetic field, and a cell culture room with a laminar flow cabinet. The ICMM also has the necessary analytical characterization services for nanoparticles (ICP, ATR, NMR, etc.) and support services on the Cantoblanco campus, such as focal microscopy, electron microscopy, and histological analysis (CNB-CSIC, CBM-CSIC, SidI, Segainvex).

And on a personal note, any hobbies?

I consider myself a calm and family-oriented person. Among my favorite hobbies are reading and my favorite sport, padel (a racquet sport).