Jonatan R Ruiz

Jonatan R Ruiz

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


Jonatan Ruiz is a Profesor Titular de Universidad (Tenure Professor) at the Faculty of Sport Sciences at the University of Granada (Spain). Jonatan has a Degree in Physical Education and a second Degree in Sport Sciences from the University of Granada (Spain). He also has a PhD in Exercise Physiology (University of Granada), and a second PhD in Medical Sciences (Karolinska Institutet). He started at the University of Granada in January 2011 with the Ramón y Cajal Research Fellow. His research focuses on physical activity and clinical epidemiology to study the impact of physical activity on energy metabolism and the development of cardiovascular diseases, particularly obesity and insulin resistance. Moreover, his research has unequivocally shown that regular physical activity has an important protective effect on cardiovascular health already in youth. Dr. Ruiz got the Prestigious Ramón y Cajal Research Fellow becoming the first Ramón y Cajal researcher with a Sport Science background in Spain, and his project was the best project application out of 6 given in the area of Clinical Medicine and Epidemiology. He has been the PhD supervisor of researchers who got prestigious postdoctoral contracts such as Ramón y Cajal, Marie Curie, Talent Hub, Juan de la Cierva, Ramón Areces or Martín Escudero. Jonatan is honorific member of the Spanish Young Academy.


Dr Ruiz has received several awards along his career and amongst them it could be highlighted the following:

  • ‘Nacional Fin de Carrera de Educación Universitaria’ Award, 2002.
  • Best Thesis in Biomedicine Award, 2007.
  • International Union of Nutritional Sciences Award, 2009.
  • IASO’s New Investigator Competition Award, 2010.
  • UGR Social Council Award for Young Researchers, 2011.
  • ‘Mejor investigador joven en Ciencias del Deporte’ Award by Asociación Española de Ciencias del Deporte, 2012.
  • ‘Joven Investigador de la Fundación AstraZeneca, área de Diabetes tipo 2 y Obesidad’ Award, en 2015.
  • ‘UGR – Caja Rural’ for Scientific Excellence. May 2017 & May 2018.
  • Special mention by Consistorio de Martos (Jaén) for scientific work in physical activity and health. June 2017.
  • ‘Plaza de España a la trayectoria científica de personalidades nacidas en el 1978’ Award. December 2018.

Jonatan is co-Director of the PROFITH CTS-977 research group. It is a relatively young research group (mean age: 33 years old) led by two former Ramón y Cajal researchers. In the last 5 years, the group was able to raise funds by more than 1M €. The scientific activity of the research group is outstanding due to its quantity (>100 publications in 2018) as well as quality (e.g. BMJ, Eur Heart J, JACC, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Circulation Research o Lancet Oncology). The research group has received an award for its contribution to the Sport Science research field in Spain (COLEF – Asturias, Nov 2018).

The mid-long-term goal of the group is to form a stable and highly competitive research team of young researchers capable of doing top-level research and contribute to create a healthier society through physical activity.

Highlighted publications

  1. Ruiz JR, Sui X, Lobelo F, Morrow JR Jr, Jackson AW, Sjöström M, Blair SN. Association between muscular strength and mortality in men. BMJ 2008; 337:a439.
  2. Ruiz JR, Gómez-Gallego F, Santiago C, Gonzalez-Freire M, Verde Z, Foster C, Lucia A. Is there an optimum endurance polygenic profile? J Physiol 2009; 1; 587(Pt 7):1527-34.
  3. Ruiz JR, Labayen I, Ortega FB, Legry V, Moreno LA, Dallongeville J, Martínez-Gómez D, Bokor S, Manios Y, Ciarapica D, Gottrand F, De Henauw S, Molnár D, Sjöström M, Meirhaeghe A; HELENA Study Group. Attenuation of the effect of the FTO rs9939609 polymorphism on total and central body fat by physical activity in adolescents: the HELENA study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010 Apr;164(4):328-33.
  4. Ruiz JR, Perales M, Pelaez M, Lopez C, Lucia A, Barakat R. Supervised exercise-based intervention to prevent excessive gestational weight gain: a randomized controlled trial. Mayo Clin Proc. 2013 Dec;88(12):1388-97.
  5. Ruiz JR, Cavero-Redondo I, Ortega FB, Welk GJ, Andersen LB, Martinez-Vizcaino V. Cardiorespiratory fitness cut points to avoid cardiovascular disease risk in children and adolescents; what level of fitness should raise a red flag? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2016 Dec;50(23):1451-1458.
  6. Castro-Piñero J, Perez-Bey A, Segura-Jiménez V, Aparicio VA, Gómez-Martínez S, Izquierdo-Gomez R, Marcos A, Ruiz JR; UP&DOWN Study Group. Cardiorespiratory Fitness Cutoff Points for Early Detection of Present and Future Cardiovascular Risk in Children: A 2-Year Follow-up Study. Mayo Clin Proc. 2017 Dec;92(12):1753-1762
  7. Acosta FM, Martinez-Tellez B, Sanchez-Delgado G, Migueles JH, Contreras-Gomez MA, Martinez-Avila WD, Merchan-Ramirez E, Alcantara JMA, Amaro-Gahete FJ, Llamas-Elvira JM, Ruiz JR. Association of objectively measured physical activity with brown adipose tissue volume and activity in young adults. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Aug 20. (Q1 Endocrinology and Metab).
  8. Ruiz JR, Martinez-Tellez B, Sanchez-Delgado G, Osuna-Prieto FJ, Rensen PCN, Boon MR. Role of Human Brown Fat in Obesity, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease: Strategies to Turn Up the Heat. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2018;61(2):232-245.
  9. Amaro-Gahete FJ, Sanchez-Delgado G, Ara I. Ruiz JR. Cardiorespiratory Fitness May Influence Metabolic Inflexibility During Exercise in Obese Persons. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2019 104 (12), 5780-5790.
  10. Sanchez-Delgado G, Acosta FM, Martinez-Tellez B, Finlayson G, Gibbons C, Labayen I, Llamas-Elvira JM, Gil A, Blundell JE, Ruiz JR. Brown Adipose Tissue Volume and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose Uptake Are Not Associated With Energy Intake in Young Human Adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2020;111(2):329-339

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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/UGR