Our group have contributed to gain new insights in diabetes and obesity, two prevalent diseases with a significant societal and economic impact. In the field of diabetic complications, we provided evidence that retinal neurodegeneration antedates and participates in the development of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Based on this concept we have shown the effectiveness of several molecules and a spin-off (D-Sight) has been created based on this background. In addition, we have demonstrated that the presence and degree of DR is a powerful risk factor of cardiovascular disease and that retinal neurodegeneration is correlated with cognitive impairment and brain neurodegeneration. In the field of obesity, we have developed a genetic score aimed to predict the response to bariatric surgery. In addition, new insights on the pathogenesis of obesity have been provided, which resulted in the discovery of new therapeutic approaches, which resulted in the generation of another spin-off (EndoLipiD).

Group Leader
Rafael Simó Canonge

Principal Investigator (PI)
Cristina Hernández, Andreea Ciudin, Olga-Simó Servat, David M. Selva, Josep A. Villena

Patricia Bogdanov, Marta Garcia-Ramírez, María Llorián-Salvador, Angel M Ortiz, Betina Biagetti, Carlos Zafon, Rosa Burgos, Anna Casteràs, Alejandra Planas, Judit Amigó, Fiorella Palmas, Vanesa Flores

PhD Students
Hugo Ramos, Anna Deàs-Just, Laura Briansó-Llort

Lab Technicians
Lorena Ramos, Rosario Pardo, David Sabater, Jordi Huerta.

Nursing and Technical Staff
Marc Rivas, Mercè Abad, Mónica Sánchez, Ana Mª Ortiz de Urbina, Marta Comas










Ramos H, Bogdanov P, Huerta J, Deàs-Just A, Hernández C, Simó R.
Antioxidant Effects of DPP-4 Inhibitors in Early Stages of Experimental Diabetic Retinopathy
Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Jul 21;11(7):1418.
DOI: doi: 10.3390/antiox11071418
IF: 6.313

Little K, Llorián-Salvador M, Scullion S, Hernández C, Simó-Servat O, Del Marco A, Bosma E, Vargas-Soria M, Carranza-Naval MJ, Van Bergen T, Galbiati S, Viganò I, Musi CA, Schlingemann R, Feyen J, Borsello T, Zerbini G, Klaassen I, Garcia-Alloza M, Simó R, Stitt AW; RECOGNISED consortium
Common pathways in dementia and diabetic retinopathy: understanding the mechanisms of diabetes-related cognitive decline.
Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Jan;33(1):50-71
DOI: doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2021.10.008
IF: 12.015

Briansó-Llort L, Fuertes-Rioja L, Ramos-Perez L, Salcedo-Allende MT, Hernandez C, Simó R, Selva DM.
Transforming growth factor-beta 1: A new factor reducing hepatic SHBG production in liver fibrosis.
J Cell Physiol. 2022 Sep;237(9):3598-3613
DOI: doi: 10.1002/jcp.30818
IF: 6.384

López-Cano C, Ciudin A, Sánchez E, Tinahones FJ, Barbé F, Dalmases M, García-Ramírez M, Soto A, Gaeta AM, Pellitero S, Martí R, Hernández C, Simó R, Lecube A.
Liraglutide Improves Forced Vital Capacity in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: Data From the Randomized Crossover LIRALUNG Study
Diabetes. 2022 Feb 1;71(2):315-320.
DOI: doi: 10.2337/db21-0688
IF: 19.112

Bogdanov P, Ramos H, Valeri M, Deàs-Just A, Huerta J, Simó R, Hernández C.
Minimum Effective Dose of DPP-4 Inhibitors for Treating Early Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy in an Experimental Model.
Biomedicines. 2022 Feb 16;10(2):465.
DOI: doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10020465
IF: 6.081

Retinal and cognitive dysfunction in type 2 diabetes: unraveling the common pathways and identification of patients at risk of dementia (RECOGNISED)
Principal Investigator: Rafael Simó (Coordinator of the consortium)
Agency: EC-Horizon 2020. Grant Agreement 847749
Funding: 5,998,273 €
Period: 2019-2023

Study of safety and effectiveness of topical administration (eye drops) of sitagliptin for treating early stages of diabetic retinopathy (EyeSit@)
Principal Investigator: Rafael Simó
Agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Funding: 534,000 €
Period: 2021-2024

Unraveling the common mediators of retinal and brain diabetes-induced neurodegeneration (URBAN)
Principal Investigator: Rafael Simó
Agency: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO)
Funding: 242,000 €
Period: 2020-2023

New insights into inflammatory mediators in the pathogenesis of diabetic macular edema: therapeutic implications
Principal Investigator: Cristina Hernández
Agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Funding: 149,132 €
Period: 2020-2022

Role of sarcopenia in the evolution of morbidly obese patients who undergo bariàtric.
Principal Investigator: Andreea Ciudin
Agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Funding: 123,420 €
Period: 2021-2023

Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors for topical eye treatment of retinal neurodegenerative diseases.
Priority Number: PCT/EP2017/060234
Priority Date: 29/04/2016
Applicants: VHIR. Licensed to D-Sight (Spin-off of VHIR).

Péptido derivado de SOCS1 para su uso en complicaciones crónicas de la diabetes
Priority Number: P201430796
Priority Date: 28/05/2014
Applicants: 49% VHIR / 26% Fundación Jiménez Díaz / 25% Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Licensed to Azoth Investments

Sex-hormone-binding globulin for use as medicament
Priority Number: EP13382202.3
Priority Date: 30/05/2013
Applicants: VHIR. Licensed to EndoLipiD Therapeutics S.L. (Spin-off of VHIR)

Peptides for use in the topical treatment of retinal neurodegenerative diseases, in particular in early stages of diabetic retinopathy and other retinal diseases in which neurodegeneration plays an essential role
Priority Number: PCT/EP2014/053787
Priority Date: 01/03/2013
Applicants: VHIR. Licensed to Laboratorios Ferrer.

Antibodies or fragments thereof for use in the treatment of ocular diseases
Priority Number: PCT/EP2013/058836
Priority Date: 30/04/2012
Applicants: VHIR