Maria de los Ángeles Rol.
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Personalized chronobiology: the future of Health Care
Circadian system functioning can be impaired by exposure to inappropriate environmental cues and unhealthy behaviours, leading to chronodisruption (CD). This circadian alteration may play a central role in the expression and development of several diseases, such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes, insomnia, cognitive and affective disorders, immunosuppression and accelerated aging, among others. However, despite its importance, measuring CD is still an unresolved challenge, and thus, scientists are demanding objective tools to be able to quantify sleep and circadian function under free living conditions.
Basic human physiology monitoring under controlled conditions provides a huge amount of data that can be used to phenotype candidate circadian and sleep disruption biomarkers. This way, we can obtain new scorings to be used in clinical practice and also identify people who would benefit (or not) from a given intervention. Our innovative wearable devices and algorithms are designed to involve users in changing their life style in order to improve circadian robustness and, thereby, their health and well-being in a personalized way.
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PhD (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and Lecturer at the University of Murcia (Department of Physiology). My current research as CronoLab co-director is mainly focused on circadian rhythm impairment (or chronodisruption) with the aim of identifying its causes and minimizing its potential impact on health (as it is a risk factor for several life-threatening conditions).
The results of this research have been published in 90 peer-review articles, books and book chapters. I have collaborated in 38 research projects/contracts and, together with the rest of the CronoLab members, I have received 11 research awards in several congresses and foundations, as well as co-authored 3 patents and 6 Intellectual Property Registrations. I have founded two spin-off companies devoted to circadian consulting in humans: Chronobiotech S. L. (2010-2012) and Kronohealth S. L. (2017-). Currently, I participate in a CIBER consortium focused on healthy aging research, as well as in a campaign on social networks (SueñOn®) for improving sleep in hospital environments.