Bioanalysis young investigator: Alexander Medina-Remón.
ABSTRACT Supervisor's supporting comments Alex Medina joined my research group, Natural Antioxidants, in January 2006 to start his PhD program. He has been working intensively and efficiently on several projects; initially for his thesis he developed a new bioanalytical methodology to quantify phenols in urine (Medina-Remón A et al. 2009) to correlate with the hypertension prevention in the PREDIMED study ( www.predimed.org ). Thanks to this new bioanalytical method, we are currently starting collaboration projects with different research centers. In addition, he has been working on other research projects on tomatoes, grapes, citric fruits and wine. Medina is helpful whenever needed and efficient. He has shown himself to be responsible, well-prepared, intelligent, organized and to have very good teaching skills. Moreover, he is patient and able to solve problems calmly, but at the same time, he is enthusiastic about what he does and can transmit this enthusiasm to his colleagues. He is really a thoughtful scientist. I have now contracted him as a Postdoctoral researcher. His responsibilities include leading several master's students and he is writing several papers on the health effects of polyphenols using his method.
Bioanalysis young investigator | news & analysis
Bioanalysis (2011) 3(14), 1563–1565
10.4155/BIO.11.143 © 2011 Future Science Ltd
Q What drove you to choose a career
in bioana lysis?
During my highschool program in Cuba I
started to be interested in science, especially in
bioanalysis in the nutrition field, which led me
to study Food Science and Technology at the
University of Havana and eventually finish my
degree at the University of Barcelona. While
studying in Barcelona I had the opportunity to
join the antioxidant research group as a PhD
student, where I acquired my analytical skills
and my enthusiasm for research.
Q Describe the main highlights of your
bioanalytical research & its importance to
the bioanalytical community both now &
in the future
I have developed and validated a new Folin-
Ciocalteu method to determine total poly-
phenols in urine samples as a biomarker of
poly phenol-rich food intake, using Oasis
mixed-mode anion-exchange and reversed-
phase solvent, 96-well plate cartridges for SPE.
This method is cheaper, more environmentally
friendly and simpler than the method described
before. The method is especially adapted to
analyzing large batches of samples at the same
time; the 96-well plates accommodate much
larger sample volumes, with the potential for
proportionally greater sensitivity. Validation
was based on the results of a prospective ran-
domized, crossover trial study with different
intervention periods and was corroborated with
a free-living population.
This methodology, with the high throughput
of 96-well microtiter plates and reader, could
potentially be used by the analytical community
to detect total polyphenols in urine samples as a
biomarker of total polyphenol intake. Nutritional
markers have several advantages over dietary data
obtained by food frequency questionnaires for
epidemiologic and clinical assays. The measured
polyphenols could be correlated, especially with
average systolic and diastolic blood pressure
and/or with the prevalence of hypertension or
other chronic diseases in different populations.
Supervisor’s supporting comments
Alex Medina joined my research group, Natural
Antioxidants, in January 2006 to start his PhD
program. He has been working intensively and
efficiently on several projects; initially for his
thesis he developed a new bioanalytical
methodology to quantify phenols in urine (Medina-
Remón A et al. 2009) to correlate with the
hypertension prevention in the PREDIMED study
(www.predimed.org). Thanks to this new
bioanalytical method, we are currently starting
collaboration projects with different research centers. In addition, he has been working on other research projects
on tomatoes, grapes, citric fruits and wine. Medina is helpful whenever needed and efficient. He has shown himself
to be responsible, well-prepared, intelligent, organized and to have very good teaching skills. Moreover, he is patient
and able to solve problems calmly, but at the same time, he is enthusiastic about what he does and can transmit
this enthusiasm to his colleagues. He is really a thoughtful scientist. I have now contracted him as a Postdoctoral
researcher. His responsibilities include leading several master’s students and he is writing several papers on the
health effects of polyphenols using his method.
Nominated by: Rosa Maria Lamuela Raventós, Nutrition & Food Science Department, XaRTA, INSA, Pharmacy School, University of Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII s/n
Barcelona, Spain; Tel: +34 934 034 843; Fax: +34 934 035 931; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nutrition & Food Science
Clinical Nutrition &
Nutrition & Food Science Department, XaRTA, INSA. Pharmacy School, University of
Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII s/n Barcelona, Spain
Tel.: +34 934 024 508
Fax: +34 934 035 931
future science group
news & analysis | Bioanalysis young investigator
Bioanalysis (2011) 3(14)
Q Where do you see your career in
bioana lysis taking you?
Polyphenols play an important role in the pre-
vention of chronic diseases; they may operate
as biomarkers and can also have a significant
physiological or functional impact on the body.
Learning recently developed assay techniques
in food and biofluids in my postgraduate work
has been fascinating. In the coming years I plan
to continue learning new techniques to iden-
tify other compounds present in the human
body, and thus hopefully obtain new insight
into the principal mechanisms of hypertension,
cancer or neurological diseases. In this way,
new nutriceutical products can be designed
to prevent the development of diseases with
high mortality and morbidity rates. The most
prevalent lifestyle-related health problems in
both economically emerging and developed
countries require a greater understanding of
biochemical processes as well as patient infor-
mation for their successful treatment. Given
the increased life expectancy and declining
birth rates in some countries such as Spain, the
scientific community is faced with new chal-
lenges, including the international dissemina-
tion of a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating
habits, as exemplified by the Mediterranean
diet, which is associated with a lower rate of
disease. With the support of other research
groups, I hope to have a future in bioanalyti-
cal chemistry where I can put into practice my
acquired knowledge, continue my training and
increase my skills.
Q How do you envisage the field of
bioanalysis evolving in the future?
I think the development of new bioanalytical
techniques to detect pathological biomarkers
is necessary for the rapid identification of dis-
eases that cause a large number of deaths and
disabilities around the world. The combined
effort of the institutions, the scientific com-
munity and private companies can provide a
suitable means to halt or reduce chronic dis-
eases. The cheapening of the cost of analysis
and increased effectiveness of the teams will
open new opportunities for researchers. The
develop ment of new analytical techniques
has constituted a breakthrough in the study
of many emerging biochemical problems, and
current methods should continue to update
the instrumentation, providing more accessible
work tools for professionals in medicine and
other fields. The combined research of scien-
tists from different disciplines will lead to the
creation of new multidisciplinary projects and
result in scientific advances.
Financial & competing
The author express his gratitude for financial support
from CICYTs (AGL2010-22319-C03) and RETICS
RD06/0045/0003 from the Spanish Ministry of
Science and Innovation (MICINN). The CIBERobn
CB06/03 is an initiative from the Instituto de Salud
Carlos III, Spain. To Mapfre Foundation, research
grants for 2010: Health, Prevention, Environment
and Insurance. The author has no other relevant
affiliations or financial involvement with any organi-
zation or entity with a financial interest in or finan-
cial conflict with the subject matter or materials
discussed in the manuscript apart from those dis-
closed. No writing assistance was utilized in the
production of this manuscript.
Medina-Remón A, Barrionuevo-González A,
Zamora-Ros R et al. Rapid Folin–Ciocalteu
method using microtiter 96-well plate
cartridges for solid phase extraction to assess
urinary total phenolic compounds, as a
biomarker of total polyphenols intake.
Anal. Chim. Acta 634, 54–60 (2009).
Medina-Remón A, Zamora-Ros R,
Rotchés-Ribalta M et al. Total polyphenol
excretion and blood pressure in subjects at high
cardiovascular risk. Nutr. Metab.Cardiovasc.
Dis. 21(5), 323–331 (2010).
Vallverdú-Queralt A, Jáuregui O,
Medina-Remón A, Andrés-Lacueva C,
Lamuela-Raventós RM. Improved
characterization of tomato polyphenols using
liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization
linear ion trap quadrupole orbitrap mass
spectrometry and liquid chromatography/
electrospray ionization tandem mass
spectrometry. Rapid Comm. Mass Spec. 24,
Vallverdú-Queralt A, Medina-Remón A,
Andres-Lacueva C, Lamuela-Raventos RM.
Changes in phenolic profile and antioxidant
activity during production of diced tomatoes.
Food Chem. 126, 1700–1707 (2011).
Vallverdú-Queralt A, Medina-Remón A,
Martínez-Huélamo M, Jáuregui O, Andrés-
Lacueva C, Lamuela-Raventós RM. Phenolic
profile and hydrophilic antioxidant capacity as
chemotaxonomic markers of tomato varieties.
J. Agric. Food Chem. 59(8), 3994–4001 (2010).
future science group
Bioanalysis young investigator | news & analysis
Bioanalysis Young Investigator Award
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young bioanalysts have the opportunity to describe their work and
future aspirations. At the end of each year a winner will be selected by
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