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Constanza Maldifassi

Postdoctoral Researcher
“Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia de Valparaíso”.
Research Area: 

PhD in Pharmacology. Universidad Autónoma Madrid, Spain. (2014).
Biochemist Degree. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile (2006)

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information:

E-mail: constanza.maldifassi at
Teléfono: (56)-(32)-2508022
Fax: (56)-(32)-234 4019 
Address: Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia de Valparaíso.
Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaíso.
Gran Bretaña 1111. Playa Ancha. Valparaíso. Chile.

Research Statement:

My current research is focused on understanding how Pannexin channel function is regulated by the α7 nicotinic receptor nAChR. This novel regulatory mechanism may play an important role in the different physiological and/or pathological processes mediated by Pannexin channels and α7 nAChR.
During the last years I have been working on investigating the structure function relationship in GABAA receptors. These receptors are the main inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in the brain and are targets for numerous clinically important drugs. This research generated multiple publications that help to understand the different modulatory sites present in this receptor type, and their relevance to anesthetic modulation.
Throughout my Doctoral thesis project I studied the mechanism of interaction between the α7 nAChR of macrophages and its partially duplicated isoform dupα7. Additionally, it was also investigated new signaling pathways implicated in the anti-inflammatory effect of nicotine mediated by activation of the α7 receptor in both human and murine macrophages. The results of this thesis have been published in several scientific journals and have been exposed in various scientific meetings.


  • ARNALICH, F., MALDIFASSI, M. C., CIRIA,E., QUESADA,A., CODOCEO, R., HERRUZO,R., GARCÍA-CERRADA,C., MONTOYA,F., VÁZQUEZ, J.J., LÓPEZ-COLLAZO, E. and MONTIELC.. Usefulness of cell-free plasma DNA to diagnose and predict mortality in patients with suspected acute mesenteric ischemia. Clin Chim Acta 411: 1269-1274, 2010.

    DE LUCAS-CERRILLO, A.M., MALDIFASSI, M.C.,ARNALICH, F., RENART, J., ATIENZA, G., SERANTES, R., CRUCES, J., SANCHEZ-PACHECO, A, ANDRES-MATEOS, E., and MONTIEL, C.Function of partially duplicated human α7 nicotinic receptor subunit CHRFAM7A Gene: Potential implications for the cholinergic anti-inflammatory response.J Biol Chem 286: 594-606, 2011.

    ARNALICH, F., MALDIFASSI, M.C., ATIENZA, G., CIRIA, E., QUESADA, A., CEDILLO, J.L., RENART, J., CODOCEO, R., HERRUZO, RAFAEL, and MONTIEL, C. Decreased vascular endothelial growth factor response to acute hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetic patients with hypoglycemic coma. Cytokine 57: 372-378, 2012.

    ARNALICH, F., MALDIFASSI,M.C., CIRIA,E., CODOCEO,R., RENART,J., FERNÁNDEZ-CAPITÁN, C., HERRUZO,R., GARCIA-RIO,F., LÓPEZ-COLLAZOE., and MONTIELC. Plasma levels of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA in patients with massive pulmonary embolism in the emergency department: a prospective cohort study. Crit Care 17: R90, 2013.

    CEDILLO, JL., ARNALICH, F., MARTÍN-SÁNCHEZ, C., QUESADA, A., RIOS, JJ., MALDIFASSI, M.C., ATIENZA, G., RENART, J., FERNÁNDEZ-CAPITÁN, C., GARCÍA-RIO, F., LÓPEZ-COLLAZO, E., and MONTIEL, C. Usefulness of α7 nicotinic receptor messenger RNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells as a marker for cholinergic antiinflammatory pathway activity in septic patients: results of a pilot study. J Infect Dis 211:146-55, 2014.

    MALDIFASSI, MC., ATIENZA,G., ARNALICH,F., LÓPEZCOLLAZO,E., CEDILLO,JL., MARTÍN-SÁNCHEZ, C., BORDAS, A., RENART, J., and MONTIEL, C. A new IRAK-M-mediated mechanism implicated in the anti-inflammatory effect of nicotine via α7 nicotinic receptors in human macrophages. Plos One 9:eE108397, 2014.

    MIDDENDORP, S.J., MALDIFASSI, M.C., BAUR, R., and SIGEL, E. Positive modulation of synaptic and extrasynaptic GABA-A receptors by SJM-3. Neuropharmacology 95:459-467, 2015.

    MALDIFASSI, M.C., BAUR, R., and SIGEL, E. Functional sites involved in modulation of the GABAA receptor channel by intravenous anesthetics. Neuropharmacology 105: 207-214, 2016.

    MALDIFASSI, M.C., BAUR, R., PIERCE, D., NOURMAHNAD, A., FORMAN, S.A., and SIGEL, E. Novel positive allosteric modulators of GABAA receptors with anesthetic activity. Sci Rep doi:10.1038/srep25943, 2016

    MALDIFASSI, M.C., BAUR, R., and SIGEL, E. Molecular mode of action of CGS9895 at GABAA receptors. J Neurochem doi:10.1111/jnc.13711, 2016.

    MALDIFASSI, M.C., WONGSAMITKUL, N., BAUR, R., and SIGEL, E. Xenopus Oocytes: Optimized methods for microinjection, removal of follicular cell layers and fast solution changes in electrophysiological experiments. Jove, doi:10.3791/55034, 2016.

    12. MALDIFASSI, M.C. and SIGEL, E. Functional sites for anesthetics in GABAA receptors. Editorial. Oncotarget doi:10.18632/oncotarget.14616, 2017.

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