Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


ATHLOS project incorporates two groups from the UAM Medical School:

The World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Services Research and Training


Integrated within the Department of Psychiatry at the UAM Medical School, it collaborates with Europe’s leading institutions through its membership in different research consortiums and networks. It is currently participating in the following European projects: Emerging mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries (EMERALD), in which the team leads the dissemination work package; PATHWAYS – PArticipation To Healthy Workplaces And inclusive Strategies in the Work Sector; and Mental health training through research network in Europe (MARATONE), leading the work package of mental health epidemiology across the life span. Participants in this project are currently conducting a longitudinal study in a nationally representative sample of the Spanish population that analyses the health status of the ageing population, assessing possible determinants of healthy ageing and exploring the relationships between health status, well-being, and its determinants. The team incorporates the COURAGE in Europe baseline and wave 1 datasets into the project.

Members of the team


Dr Jose Luis Ayuso MateosPhD in Psychiatry Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry +34 914972716 joseluis.ayuso@uam.es

José Luis Ayuso-Mateos (M), psychiatrist, is Chairman and Director of the Dep. of Psychiatry of the UAM, and clinically affiliated with La Princesa University Hospital where he is the Clinical Coordinator of the Community Mental Health Services. He is a member of the International Advisory Group for the Revision of ICD-10/Mental and Behavioural Disorders, and of the ICD-10 Working Group on Mood and Anxiety Disorders. He is a recognized international expert in the field of nosology, epidemiology and treatment of affective disorders with wide experience in the design, assessment and validation of quality of life and disability instruments. He has participated and has been a member of the steering group of the Collaborative Research on Ageing in Europe (COURAGE in Europe) project.

Project Staff


Félix Caballero, PhD (M) – Postdoctoral researcher. He is mathematician and has a PhD in Applied Statistics. His research fields at present are: biostatistics, multivariate analysis, measurement, and the relationship between health status and well-being in the ageing population. He has been working in the COURAGE in Europe project.

Laura Alejandra Rico (F) Psychologist and master degree in clinical and health psychology, is a pre-doctoral researcher. The topic of her dissertation is analysing the relationship between health, well-being and social factors in the ageing population. She has been working with COURAGE in Europe data and she is collaborating in the data collection of the COURAGE project in Spain.

María Miret Journalist and master degree in communications and health, is a member of the National Association of Health Informers (ANIS) of health journalists and Communications officers in Spain. She is working in dissemination activities of the Athlos project.

Cardiovascular and nutritional Epidemiology Group (CNEG)


The Cardiovascular and Nutritional Epidemiology group (CNEG) is part of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the Medical School of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). Over the last 20 years, the CNEG has made important contributions to our understanding of the natural history of cardiovascular disease, health-related quality of life and functional limitations in older adults. Specifically the group has focused on the role of diet (e.g, Mediterranean dietary patterns, coffee, alcohol), the whole spectrum of physical activity (from sedentary behavior and light activity to intense activity) and body composition on the risk and prognosis of ischemic heart disease, stroke, quality of life, and basic or instrumental activities of daily living. This research has been conducted with population-based cohorts of older adults established by the CNEG in Spain (e.g, the UAM-cohort of older adults, and the ENRICA-seniors cohort) and through collaborative work with the investigators of the Nurses and Health Professionals Follow-up studies (Harvard University), the EPIC-cohort study in Europe, and networks of researchers throughout Europe (the EURIKA project). The CENG is currently participating in the FRAILOMIC project, an EU initiative (funded by the 7FP) to investigate the contributions of omic-based markers to the assessment of risk, diagnosis and prognosis of the frailty syndrome in the elderly.

Members of the team

Fernando Rodríguez Artalejo, MD, PhD (M) Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health School of Medicine Universidad Autónoma de Madrid C/Arzobispo Morcillo, sn 28029 Madrid (Spain) fernando.artalejo@uam.es

Full Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and coordinator of the CNEG. He has published over 300 papers in peerreviewed journals (WOK h-index: 42) on the topics of the ATHLOS project.


Esther López García (F) Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and coordinator of the CNEG. She has extensive experience in establishing and following cohorts of older adults, with her main focus being the study of the association of nutrition, obesity and hypertension with quality of life, disability and cardiovascular disease.

Esther García-Esquinas, MD, PhD (F) Postdoctoral scientist School of Medicine Universidad Autónoma de Madrid C/Arzobispo Morcillo, sn 28029 Madrid (Spain) esthergge@gmail.com

Postdoctoral researcher, trained at the National Center for Epidemiology (Spain) and the Department of Environmental Health Science at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (USA). She has substantial experience studying the effects of the exposure to heavy metals and second-hand tobacco on cancer, which will be now extended to the field of healthy aging.

The Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) is a public university offering graduate and postgraduate degrees at its 63 departments and eight research institutes. The UAM has nearly 34,000 students, a teaching and research staff totalling 2500 people, and close to 1000 administrative and service personnel. The UAM Medical School is Spain’s leading teaching institution in the health sciences.