CGR Investigators

Associate Investigators

Capa 1

Miguel Allende

Dr. Allende did his undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile where he graduated in 1987. He then completed a PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Pennsylvania (graduated in 1994) and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1994-1998). He was awarded a faculty position at the Universidad de Chile in the School of Science in 2000.

Dr. Allende has obtained numerous competitive funds to carry out his research, including projects from FONDECYT, NIH, DFG, ICGEB, TWAS, International Copper Association, Fundación Andes, Iniciativa Científica Milenio, CORFO-INNOVA and FONDAP. He was a member of the Frontier Science group of the Chilean Academy of Sciences, and of the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Foundation for academic exchange with the USA, a member of the editorial board of several journals in his area and was President of the Cell Biology Society of Chile (2007-2008) and Director of the Biology 2 Study Group of FONDECYT (2007-2009).

Capa 2

Juliana Vianna
Deputy Director

Dr. Vianna is a Biologist from the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Minas Gerais, Brazil, with a Master in Ecology, Conservation and Wildlife Management from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. She received a PhD in Biological Sciences with a mention in Ecology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

From 2005 to 2010 she worked at the Faculty of Ecology and Natural Resources of the University Andrés Bello in Santiago,Chile, and from 2010 to present at the Department of Ecosystems and Environment, Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Additionally, she currently is in charge of the Master of Natural Resources at the Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering.

Capa 5

Mauricio Gonzalez

Dr. González was recruited at INTA – University of Chile in 1996 to address the study of the molecular and cellular bases that determine the response to micronutrient deficit and excess. In 2005, along with Dr. Veronica Cambiazo, Dr. González co-created the laboratory of Bioinformatics and Gene Expression (LBGE) at the INTA.  His laboratory focuses on the study of copper metabolism, in particular the analysis of the molecular mechanisms that account for the cellular homeostasis of the metal. He has implemented an experimental approach that takes advantage of the genome sequences from different biological models (mammalian, plant and bacterial) with special attention to the mechanisms that govern the expression of genes coding for components directly or indirectly related to the intracellular handling of copper.

For the last 10 years, as members of CRG, his research has focused on the functional genomics, gene regulatory networks, cooccurrence networks and ecology of microbial communities inhabiting the Atacama Desert soils. In order to find potentially mutualistic relationships between Atacama plants and bacteria, he has studied the microbiome that inhabits the soil immediately adjacent to the most abundant plant species.

Capa 3

Beatriz Diez

Dr. Beatriz Díez got a PhD in Biology at Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) – Institute of Marine Science (CMIMA-CSIC), Spain in 2001. During her PhD, she revealed the identity, diversity and distribution of completely new picoeukaryotes in marine environments using molecular methods. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Stockholm University between 2002 and 2005, and between 2006 and 2008 as an Assistant Professor studying the phylogeny, activity and ecological significance of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria in marine systems. From 2003 to 2005 she was also a docent at the University of Alicante, Spain.

From 2008-2010 she worked at CMIMA-CSIC in Barcelona (Spain) as an Assistant Professor and in 2010, she obtained a position as an Assistant Professor at Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, where since 2016 she is an Associate Professor. Her research focuses on the study of the structure, function, adaptations, and interactions of microbial and viral communities in marine and extreme environments. She studies the microbial ecological role, as well as their responses to changes and environmental disturbances and adaptations, using a combination of quantitative molecular, genomic, metaomics, and biogeochemical approaches. She is also a researcher of FONDAP Climate and Resilience Science Center (CR2), and of Antarctic Anillo “Long-Range Transport of Xenobiotics and Microorganisms”

Capa 4

Rodrigo Gutiérrez

Rodrigo A. Gutiérrez is a biochemist and MSc from P. Universidad Católica de Chle. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University. During his PhD, he pioneered the use of transcriptome technologies for genome-wide analysis of post-transcriptional mechanisms of control of gene expression. He did postdoctoral work at New York University where he pioneered Systems Biology approaches for understanding N-nutrient responses in plants.

Dr. Gutiérrez is Full Professor, the Deputy Director of the Millennium Institute for Integrative Biology and was Principal Investigator at the FONDAP Center for Genome Regulation. Dr. Gutiérrez discovered important mechanisms plants utilize to respond to changes in nitrogen (N) nutrient availability. Moreover, the adoption of holistic approaches allowed connecting processes that have been studied independently (e.g. plant nutrition and circadian rhythms/hormonal pathways). He has also used ecological phylogenomics and metabolomics approaches to uncover molecular mechanisms that allow plants to survive under the extreme conditions of the Atacama Desert.

Capa 6

Alejandro Maas

Dr. Maass studied Mathematical Engineering at the University of Chile, where he received the engineering degree in 1990, and hhe obtained the PhD degree in 1994 at the Institut de Mathématiques de Luminy of Aix-Marseille Université in Marseilles. His thesis was focused on the ergodic theory of cellular automata and local entropy theory in topological dynamics, supervised by François Blanchard. After, he moved to the U. of Maryland to work with Mike Boyle and Dan Rudolph in a postdoctoral position focused in the theory created by himself during his PhD to understand local complexity in ergodic theory.

In 1995 he joined the Department of Mathematical Engineering at the University of Chile as assistant professor. In 2000 he joined the newly created UMI-CNRS Center of Mathematical Modeling (CMM) of University of Chile, as an associated researcher. That same year he was promoted to full professor at the University of Chile. Since then, he has been conducting fundamental and applied research in ergodic theory, focused on symbolic and topological dynamics, and new scientific adventures in mathematical biology and bioinformatics. In 2002 he created the Laboratory of Bioinformatics and Mathematics of the Genome (LBMG) at CMM-UChile to provide computational and mathematical tools to solve real life biotechnological challenges from a mathematical perspective.

Capa 7

Verónica Cambiazo

Dr. Cambiazo received her PhD from the University of Chile in 1998. Her work focused on the role of a new regulator of microtubule cytoskeleton during Drosophila embryogenesis. She was a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at Laboratory of de Hormones and Cell Differentiation INSERM, France and was then appointed Assistant Professor at Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA) of the University of Chile in 1999 and Associate Professor in 2003.

In 2005, along with her colleague Dr. Mauricio González, she co-created the laboratory of Bioinformatics and Gene Expression (LBGE) at the INTA. Until 2015, her research group was focused on the morphogenetic events that take place at early stages of D. melanogaster embryogenesis. Most recently her research interests involve applied research in the study of the resistance mechanisms of Atlantic salmon to infections with Piscirickettsia salmonis. Her team developed a highly specific system for the detection of the pathogen in samples of infected fish (patent CL 3575-2014) and strategies for monitoring and classification of strains. As an associate researcher of the FONDAP Center for Genome Regulation, she studied the microbial communities in the soils of the Atacama Desert and in the analysis of the plant-microbiome interactions that take place in this extreme environment. In 2018 she co-founded the company Diagnofast SpA – a start-up of the University of Chile, which is oriented to the development and commercialization of rapid diagnostic services to detect and quantify microorganisms relevant to the agricultural, veterinary, and food industries.

Capa 8

Ariel Orellana

Dr. Orellana obtained his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (Cell and Molecular Biology) from Pontifical Universidad Católica de Chile. He was a postdoctoral fellow in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, supported by fellowships from the PEW Charitable Trust and the National Institute of Health (NIH). He was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad de Chile, where he then became an Associate Professor before moving to Universidad Andrés Bello. At Andrés Bello, he founded and directed the Center for Plant Biotechnology. Dr. Orellana´s research focuses on the biosynthesis of plant cell wall polysaccharides, with interest in genomics and proteomics in fruits and plant species living under extreme conditions.

Dr. Orellana has received a number of Awards and Honors during his career: “Outstanding Young Scientist” award by the Chilean Society of Biology (1996); President of the Chilean Society for Cell Biology (2001-2002); member of the “Frontiers in Science Program” by the Chilean Academy of Sciences (2004-2007). In 2011 He was appointed by the President as a member of the Higher Council for Science, and became President of the Council for the 2013-2014 period. In 2014 he was appointed VicePresident of Research and Doctoral Programs at Universidad Andrés Bello, a position that He held until August 2022.

Capa 9

Romina Pedreschi

Dr. Pedreschi is full professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. Her research is focused on: (i) understanding the mechanisms involved in organoleptic, nutritional and/or functional quality attributes of horticultural products through thorough phenotyping, plant/fruit omics and modelling, (ii) valorization of plant biodiversity in unique environments in terms of bioactives and bioprocess applications and (iii) plant/fruit biology in a changing environment.

Dr. Pedreschi obtained her professional title as Food Engineer from Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (Perú). She continued with her master’s degree in Food Science & Technology at Texas A&M University USA) and then continued with the doctoral program of Bioscience Engineering at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). She continued her post-doctoral training (2009-2012) at the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) – a joint research center of the European Commission working in the Food Quality and Safety Unit on development of advanced mass spectrometry based proteomic protocols for allergen detection.

In 2012, she joined the Food and Biobased Research Unit of Wageningen UR (The Netherlands) as senior researcher, where she led different national and international projects related postharvest physiology and technology and food science acting as link between academia and industry. She has successfully led grants related to fruit biology and postharvest physiology, functional genomics and data integration, and participates in international grants related to rescuing the biodiversity of plant species from the Andes.

Adjunct Investigators

Capa 10

Angélica Reyes

Capa 11

Martín Montecino

Capa 12

Alexandra Galetovic

Capa 13

Álvaro Glavic

Capa 14

Jacquelinne Acuña

Capa 15

Aurora Gaxiola

Capa 16

Mauricio Latorre

Capa 17

Liane Bassini

Capa 18

Martín Montecino

Capa 19

Valentina Durán

Capa 20

Claudio Meneses

Senior Investigators

Capa 21

Gloria Coruzzi
New York University

Capa 22

Rasmus Nielsen
University of California Berkeley

Capa 23

Marie France Sagot
French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA)

Capa 24

Colomban de Vargas
CNRS-Sorbonne Université