Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology of Cancer

 Research group

Group Leader

Miquel Porta Serra

We conduct integrative scientific research on human pancreatic cancer at all causal and mechanistic levels, from genomics to clinical medicine to the social and physical environment. Our aim is to achieve an optimal integration of professional cultures, scientific knowledge, methodologies and techniques from epidemiology and public health, clinical medicine and the biological sciences. We are a team that has worked across disciplines for more than three decades, one of the pioneer groups in Europe on clinical and molecular epidemiology. Cancer is a complex set of processes that result from the accumulation of genetic, epigenetic and other alterations during the lifecourse. Thus, integrative studies on the causes of cancer are a natural meeting point between molecular biology and epidemiology. We are also a world-recognized research group on the biomonitoring of internal body concentrations of environmental chemical agents (‘internal contamination’) in representative samples of the general population.


Immaculada Collet Diví (Technician)

Magda Gasull Panadès (Technician)

Marc Domínguez Herrera (Technician)

José Antonio Pumarega Rodríguez (Technician)

Yolanda Rovira Pons (Research Assistant)

Main Publications

• Klein AP, Wolpin BM, Risch HA, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ, Mocci E, Zhang MF (...), Porta M, Real FX, Rothman N (...), Kraft P, Li D, Chanock S, Obazee O, Petersen GM, Amundadottir LT. Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies five new susceptibility loci for pancreatic cancer. Nature Communications 2018; 9: 556. IF 12.353. D1.

• NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC). Zhou B, Bentham J, Di Cesare M, Bixby H, Danaei G, Hajifathalian K, (…) Gasull M, (...) Porta M, (...) Neuhauser HK, Sorić M, Starc G, Sundström J, Woodward M, Ezzati M. Contributions of mean and shape of blood pressure distribution to worldwide trends and variations in raised blood pressure: a pooled analysis of 1018 population-based measurement studies with 88.6 million participants. International Journal of Epidemiology 2018; 47: 872-883i. IF 8.36. Q1.

• Lee DH, Porta M, Lind L, Lind PM, Jacobs DR Jr. Neurotoxic chemicals in adipose tissue: A role in puzzling findings on obesity and dementia. Neurology 2018; 90: 176-182. IF 7.609. D1.

• Matejcic M, Lesueur F, Biessy C, Renault AL, Mebirouk N, Yammine S (...),  Duell EJ, Porta M, Sánchez MJ, (...), Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Riboli E, Vineis P, Romieu I, Gunter M, Chajès V. Circulating plasma phospholipid fatty acids and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large European cohort. International Journal of Cancer 2018; 143: 2437-2448. IF 7.36. Q1.

• Gasull M, Pumarega JA, Kiviranta H, Rantakokko P, Raaschou-Nielsen O, Bergdahl IA, Sandanger TM, Goñi F, Cirera L, Donat-Vargas C, Alguacil J (…), González CA, Weiderpass E, Bueno-de-Mesquita B, Duell EJ, Vineis P, Porta M. Methodological issues in a prospective study on plasma concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and pancreatic cancer risk within the EPIC cohort. Environ Res 2018; 169: 417-433. IF 4.732. D1.

• Hernández-Quevedo C, López-Valcárcel BG, Porta M. Short-Term Adverse Effects of Austerity Policies on Mortality Rates: What Could Their Real Magnitude Be? (Editorial). Am J Public Health 2018; 108(8): 983-985. IF 4.38. D1.

• Gasull M, Castell C, Pallarès N, Miret C, Pumarega J, Téllez-Plaza M, López T, Salas-Salvadó J, Lee DH, Goday A, Porta M. Blood concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and unhealthy metabolic phenotypes in normal-weight, overweight and obese individuals. Am J Epidemiol 2018; 187: 494-506. IF 4.322. D1.

Ongoing Research Projects

• Influencia de las concentraciones de compuestos tóxicos persistentes sobre la mortalidad, la incidencia de trastornos crónicos y la expresión de miARN en población general

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI17/00088)

- Period: from 2018 to 2020

- Principal investigator: Porta Serra, Miquel

• Concentraciones sanguíneas de compuestos organoclorados, estilo de vida y riesgo de cáncer de páncreas en la cohorte EPIC

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI13/00020)

- Period: from 2014 to 2018

- Principal investigator: Porta Serra, Miquel


Participation in Research Networks

• CIBERESP: Epidemiología y salud pública

- Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (CB06/02/0034)

- Principal investigator: Porta Serra, Miquel


Group’s Recognitions

• Officially recognised as a consolidated research group by the Generalitat de Catalunya: Epidemiologia Clínica i Molecular del Càncer. 2017-2020

- Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (SGR 439)

- Principal investigator: Porta Serra, Miquel



• Members of the Group have acted as Advisors and External Reviewers to the World Health Organization (Avoding Early Environmental Exposures); CaixaBank (Postgraduate Fellowships); Environment and Health Fund, Israel; Cancer TMOI of the French National Alliance for Life and Health Sciences (AVIESAN) & French National Cancer Institute (INCa); National Science Centre (Narodowe Centrum Nauki - NCN), Poland; Kuwait University; Escola de Salut Pública de Menorca; DEMCat (TermCat and Acadèmia de Ciències Mèdiques i de la Salut de Catalunya i Balears). They have also been invited to give keynote lectures and seminars at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, New York; Columbia University, Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan, New York; City University of New York (CUNY), Center for the Biology of Natural Systems (CBNS), Queens College, New York; CUNY School of Public Health; Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; Kuwait University, Faculty of Medicine; University of Ottawa, School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Ottawa; University of Bergen, Department of Global Health and Primary Care, National Research School in Population Based Epidemiology; Universidad Miguel Hernández, Programa de Doctorado en Salud Pública; Pompeu Fabra University and Autonomous University of Barcelona, Máster Universitario en Salud Pública.






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08003 Barcelona

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