Research group

Group Leader

Jose Enrique Martínez Rodríguez

The Neuroimmunology group was created in 2018 after initially being developed within the IMIM's Immunity and Infection group. The group is coordinated by Jose E. Martínez Rodriguez  and studies alterations of the immune system in neurological diseases using a translational approach centered on the patient's clinical features. The neuroimmunology group is particularly interested in multiple sclerosis (MS) as a paradigmatic illness within the autoimmune pathologies of the central nervous system.

The group's current areas of research focus on the following:

• The study of chronic herpes virus infections in MS (Epstein-Barr virus, Cytomegalovirus) and their imprint on the Natural Killer (NK) cell compartment, evaluating the potential development of biomarker predictors of activity and progression.

• The immunophenotypic and functional analysis of adaptive NK cell populations and their role in the immunopathology of MS.


• Phenotypic and functional study of subpopulations of T and B lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of MS patients, evaluating their relationship with clinical characteristics and treatments that modify the clinical course of the disease.

The group currently receives funding from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (ISCIII Health Research Fund), and is part of the Spanish Network of Multiple Sclerosis (REEM). In addition, the Neuroimmunology group has extensive experience in implementing phase II and III clinical trials using diverse immunomodulatory therapies on MS patients. The team comprises a principal investigator, three clinical researchers, and an advanced clinical practice nurse, who coordinates the clinical trials.



Elvira Munteis Olivas (Researcher)

Mireia Llop Trujillano (Technician)

Antia Moreira Villanueva (Technician)

Andrea Vera Barrón (Technician)

Ana Zabalza de Torres (Technician)


Main Publications

• Ois A, Zabalza A, Moreira A, Cuadrado E, Jiménez-Conde J, Giralt E, Rodríguez-Campello A, Soriano C, Roquer J. Long-term cardiovascular prognosis after transient ischemic attack: Associated predictors. Neurology 2018; 90(7): e553-e558. IF 7.609. D1.

• Spatola M, Sabater L, Planagumà J, Martínez-Hernández E, Armangué T, Prüss H, Iizuka T, Caparó RL, Antoine JC, Li R, Heaney N, Tubridy N, Munteis E, Rosenfeld MR, Graus F, Dalmau J. Encephalitis with mGluR5 antibodies: Symptoms and antibody effects. Neurology 2018; 90(22): e1964-e1972. IF 7.609. D1.

• Vivanco R, Wellenius G, Basagaña X, Cirach M, Gómez-González A, de Ceballos P, Zabalza A, Jiménez-Conde J, Soriano C, Giralt E, Alastuey A, Querol X, Sunyer J, Roquer J. Short-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution and ischemic stroke onset in Barcelona, Spain. Environ Res 2018; 162: 160-165. IF 4.732. D1.

• Alari E, Moreira A, Zabalza A, Álvarez-Lafuente R, Munteis E, Vera A, Arroyo R, Álvarez-Cermeño JC, Villar LM, López-Botet M, Martínez-Rodríguez JE. Low cytomegalovirus seroprevalence in early multiple sclerosis: A case for the "hygiene hypothesis"?. Eur J Neurol 2018; 25(7): 925-933. IF 4.621. Q1.

• Avellaneda-Gómez, C C, Serra-Martínez M, Rodríguez-Campello A, Ois A, Cuadrado E, Giralt E, Vivanco R, Jiménez-Conde J, Gómez-González A, de Ceballos P, Zabalza A, Mola M, Soriano C, Roquer J. Alcohol overuse and intracerebral hemorrhage: Characteristics and long-term outcome. Eur J Neurol 2018; 25(11): 1358-1364. IF 4.621. Q1.

• Quirant-Sánchez B, Hervás-García JV, Teniente-Serra A, Brieva L, Moral-Torres E, Cano A, Munteis E, Mansilla MJ, Presas-Rodríguez S, Navarro-Barriuso J, Ramo-Tello C, Martínez-Cáceres EM. Predicting therapeutic response to fingolimod treatment in multiple sclerosis patients. CNS Neurosci Ther 2018; 24(12): 1175-1184. IF 3.495. Q1.

Ongoing Research Projects

• Estudio del valor pronóstico en la Esclerosis Múltiple de un nuevo biomarcador asociado a la infección por citomegalovirus

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI14/00177)

- Period: from 2015 to 2018

- Principal investigator: Martínez Rodríguez, José Enrique

• Respuesta adaptativa mediada por células Natural Killer en la Esclerosis Múltiple

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI17/00254)

- Period: from 2018 to 2020

- Principal investigator: Martínez Rodríguez, José Enrique


Participation in Research Networks

• Red Española de Esclerosis Múltiple (REEM)

- Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria-ISCIII. Subprograma RETICS. RD16/0015/0011

- Principal investigator: López-Botet, Miguel


Clinical Trials Signed in 2018

• Multicenter, non-comparative extension of study AC-058B301, to investigate the long-term safety, tolerability, and control of disease of ponesimod 20 mg in subjects with relapsing multiple sclerosis.

- Register: AC-058B303

- Principal investigator: Martínez Rodríguez, José Enrique

• Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-arm, 36 weeks parallel-group study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of ORY-2001 in patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) and Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS)

- Register: CL02-ORY-2001MS

- Principal investigator: Martínez Rodríguez, José Enrique

• Estudio de extensión abierto, de brazo único y multicéntrico para evaluar la seguridad, tolerabilidad y eficacia a largo plazo de ofatumumab, en pacientes con esclerosis múltiple que cursa con brotes

- Register: COMB157G2399

- Principal investigator: Martínez Rodríguez, José Enrique










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