Francisco B Ortega

Francisco B Ortega

  Guarantor Researcher
Research Guarantors
  • Department
    Department of Physical Education and Sports
  • Academic title
    Profesor Titular de Universidad (Senior Lecturer)
  • Research group
  • Universidad de Granada

Ortega FB has applied and competed for nearly all the scholarships and grants provided by the Spanish Research and Education system, succeeding in most of them as described in this summary. In the last year of his degree (2001/2), Ortega got a starting-up research grant (Beca de Colaboración, MEC) at the Faculty of Medicine, Granada. Immediately after his graduation in Sport Sciences, the applicant started his PhD Thesis in the program of Exercise Physiology at the School of Medicine. The beginning of his PhD studies was supported by the Government with 2 consecutive grants from the National Sport Council (Consejo Superior de Deportes, CSD) and in 2005 the applicant got the National training grant for PhD students (Beca FPU, MEC). The applicant did 2 research stays at Karolinska Institutet as a PhD student (4-5 months each), where he officially started a separate PhD Thesis. He earned two independent PhDs, first PhD in Exercise Physiology at Faculty of Medicine/ Department of Physiology (University of Granada, Spain) (2002-2008), and second PhD in Medical Sciences at NOVUM/ Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

In 2009, he got the National post-doc grant (beca post-doctoral del MEC) to stay at Karolinska Institutet for 2 years + 1 year research contract at Karolinska Institute (accumulating 3 years postdoc). During these 3 years living in Sweden, he did 3 short research stays at the University of South Carolina with the world-famous epidemiologist Prof. Steven Blair. In March 2012, FB Ortega was ranked as number 1 in the application for the Ramón y Cajal, area of Clinical Medicine and Epidemiology, which allowed him to come back to the University of Granada where he currently works as Profesor Titular de Universidad (Senior Lecturer). In 2013, he funded the PROFITH research group (, where he is Co-Director.

The applicant has participated in 25 research projects, 4 of them international projects. FB Ortega is the Principal Investigator of two R+D RETOS projects (call 2013 & 2016) and is the co-leader in 2 Workpackages in a recently funded H2020 EU project.

The quantity and quality of his research activity has been recognized with 14 scientific awards (see below), highlighting the Award to the best young scientific trajectory from the University of Granada and the one to the best young research career in Andalucía (Premio Tercer Milenio, Junta de Andalucía).

Dr. Ortega is worldwide known as expert on physical fitness, cognition and brain in young people. His research is focused on objective assessment of physical activity using accelerometry as well as on the effects of exercise on physical and mental health outcomes, and cognition and brain.

Currently, Ortega is the most cited author at University of Granada with the highest number of citations in the Health Science area (click HERE). In fact, despite his young age (38 years), Francisco B. Ortega is one of the most cited authors at the University of Granada with the highest number of citations in all times and including all research areas (out of more than 1350 researchers).


FB. Ortega has received more than twenty research awards along his career. The most outstanding 10 are the following:

  • 2006, 2008 &2011. Three consecutive awards to one of my first publications as one of the most internationally cited papers in a long term, received from the Spanish Society of Cardiology, Spain
  • 2007 The work “Fuerza jóven de Andalucía en España” was awarded by the Andalusian Sports Institute (IAD) as the “Best Scientific work in 2006”. Authors: Ortega FB, et al.
  • 2011 The work «Improving physical fitness through education» was awarded by the Ilustre Colegio Oficial de Licenciados en Educación Física de Andalucía (COLEF) as the best innovative Project in physical activity and sport sciences. Authors: Ardoy DN, Fernandez-Rodriguez JM, Chillon P, Artero EG, Espana-Romero V, Jimenez-Pavon D, Ruiz JR, Castillo MJ, Ortega FB.
  • 2012 Second award by the the Spanish Society of Sports Sciences for Young Researchers. Author: Ortega FB.
  • 2013 Award to the best tesis in Medicine in 2008 by the University of Granada.
  • 2013 Prize to the Best scientific trajectory of young scientists, received from the University of Granada.
  • 2014 “Third Millenium” Award to the Best Young Scientist in Andalucía (including all research areas) granted by the Andalusian Government, Spain
  • 2017 Award to Most Cited Author in 2016, granted by the University of Granada-Caja Rural.
  • 2019 Award to Most Cited Papers in 2018, granted by the Journal named Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
  • 2020 “UGR – Caja Rural” Award for Frequently Cited Researchers or Publications in Nature/Science. Unanimously decided. Author: Ortega FB et al. Date: 2020.

Highlighted publications

  1. Henriksson H, Henriksson P, Tynelius P, Ekstedt M, Berglind D, Labayen I, Ruiz JR, Lavie CJ, Ortega FB. Cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and obesity in adolescence and later chronic disability due to cardiovascular disease: a cohort study of 1 million men. Eur Heart J 2020;41(15):1503-10.
  2. Henriksson P, Henriksson H, Tynelius P, Berglind D, Lof M, Lee IM, Shiroma EJ, Ortega FB. Fitness and Body Mass Index During Adolescence and Disability Later in Life: A Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med 2019;170(4):230-39.
  3. Lavie CJ, Ortega FB.Body composition – more to fat than first meets the eye. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2018 Oct;14(10):569-570. Impact factor: 20.3. Nature Reviews Endocrinology is one of the top journals in the field of Endocrinology. Editorial.
  4. Ortega FB, Lavie CJ, Blair SN. Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease. Circ Res 2016;118(11):1752-70.
  5. Ortega FB, Sui XM, Lavie CJ, Blair SN. Body Mass Index, the Most Widely Used But Also Widely Criticized Index: Would a Criterion Standard Measure of Total Body Fat Be a Better Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality? Mayo Clin Proc 2016;91(4):443-55.
  6. Ortega FB, Lee D-CC, Katzmarzyk PT, Ruiz JR, Sui X, Church TS, Blair SN. The intriguing metabolically healthy but obese phenotype: cardiovascular prognosis and role of fitness. Eur Heart J 2013;34:389-97.
  7. Ortega FB, Silventoinen K, Tynelius P, Rasmussen F. Muscular strength in male adolescents and premature death: cohort study of one million participants. BMJ-British Medical Journal 2012;345.
  8. Ortega FB, Ruiz JR, Castillo MJ, Sjostrom M. Physical fitness in childhood and adolescence: a powerful marker of health. Int J Obes (Lond) 2008;32(1):1-11.
  9. Esteban-Cornejo I, Mora-Gonzalez J, Cadenas-Sanchez C, Contreras-Rodriguez O, Verdejo-Roman J, Henriksson P, Migueles JH, Rodriguez-Ayllon M, Molina-Garcia P, Suo C, Hillman CH, Kramer AF, Erickson KI, Catena A, Verdejo-Garcia A, Ortega FB. Fitness, cortical thickness and surface area in overweight/obese children: The mediating role of body composition and relationship with intelligence. Neuroimage 2018;186:771-81.
  10. Esteban-Cornejo I, Cadenas-Sanchez C, Contreras-Rodriguez O, Verdejo-Roman J, Mora-Gonzalez J, Migueles JH, Henriksson P, Davis CL, Verdejo-Garcia A, Catena A, Ortega FB. A whole brain volumetric approach in overweight/obese children: Examining the association with different physical fitness components and academic performance. The ActiveBrains project. Neuroimage 2017;159:346-54.

Todas sus publicaciones en UCEENS

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Web financiada por la Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Conocimiento, Investigación y Universidades, Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER), proyecto SOMM17/6107/UG

Web financiada por la Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Conocimiento, Investigación y Universidades, Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER), proyecto SOMM17/6107/UGR