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Line 3: Genetics and development of the Nervous System.

Researchers in this line study the development and function of the nervous system using economically viable, genetically tractable, model systems in genetics (zebrafish, Drosophila, C. elegans) to investigate mechanisms that allow highly conserved neuropeptides and receptors to trigger different behaviors as well as the circadian control of neuroendocrine peptide networks; Mechanisms by which environment (inanition, nutrition, stress) and microbiota influence phenotype, behavior and their heritability; Mechanisms by which the neural immune interface in the olfactory epithelia regulate neurogenesis.

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Kathleen Whitlock / fono:(56) 32 2995510 /
John Ewer / fono:(56) 32 2508143 /
Andrea Calixto / fono: (56) 2 23289224 /
Angelina Palacios / fono:(56) 32 2508191 /

Associate Researchers.

Postdoctoral Researchers.

Javier Alvarez / fono:(56) 32 2508191 /
Justin Flaven / fono:(56) 32 2508191 /
Cristian Calfún / fono:(56) 32 2508103 /

PhD Students.

María Fernanda Palominos / fono:(56) 32 2508053 / mfpalominos at
Margreg Gabaldón / fono:(56) 2 23289224 / carolaing.gabaldon at
Marcela Legue / fono: (56) 2 23289224 / marcelegue at
Arles Urrutia / fono: (56) 2 23289224/ arlesurrutia at
Valeria Silva / fono:(56) 32 2508103 /
Theodor Höpcke / fono:(56) 32 2508103 /
Javier Cavieres / fono:(56) 32 2508103 /
Catalina Berrios / fono:(56) 32 2508103 /
Liliana Bustos / fono:(56) 32 2508103 /
Eugene Mbar Tine / fono:(56) 32 2508103 /

  • Palominos, M. and Whitlock, K.E. (2021). The olfactory organ is populated by neutrophils and macrophages during early development. Front. Cell Dev. Biol., 18 January 2021 |
  • Ceriani, R., Calfun, C and Whitlock, K.E. (2020). phoenixin(smim20), a gene coding for a novel reproductive ligand, is expressed in the brain of developing and adult zebrafish. Gene Expression Patterns, Gene Expr Patterns. Dec 29;39:119164. doi: 10.1016/j.gep.2020.119164.

  • Torres-Paz, J., Tine, E. M., and Whitlock, K.E. (2020). Dissecting the neural divide: A continuous neurectoderm gives rise to both the olfactory placode and olfactory bulb. International Journal of Developmental Biology, Aug 25. doi: 10.1387/ijdb.200097

  • Whitlock, K.E, Postlethwait, J., and Ewer, E. (2019) Neuroendocrinology of reproduction: Is gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) dispensable? Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, Feb 22. pii: S0091-3022(19)30008-1. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2019.02.002.

  • Palominos MF, Verdugo L, Gabaldon C, Pollak B, Ortíz-Severín J, Varas MA, Chávez FP, Calixto A. (2017). Transgenerational Diapause as an Avoidance Strategy against Bacterial Pathogens in Caenorhabditis elegans. MBio. 2017 Oct 10;8(5). pii: e01234-17. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01234-17.
  • Selcho M, Millán C, Palacios-Muñoz A, Ruf F, Ubillo L, Chen J, Bergmann G, Ito C, Silva V, Wegener C, Ewer J.(2017). Central and peripheral clocks are coupled by a neuropeptide pathway in Drosophila. Nat Commun. 8:15563. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15563
  • Cortes-Campos C, Letelier J, Ceriani R and Whitlock KE (2015). Zebrafish adult-derived hypothalamic neurospheres generate gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. Biol Open. 4(9):1077-86.
  • Torres-Paz J and Whitlock KE (2014). Olfactory sensory system develops from coordinated movements within the neural plate. Dev Dyn. 2014 Dec;243(12):1619-31.
  • Diao F, Mena W, Shi J, Park D, Diao F, Taghert P, Ewer J and White BH (2016). The Splice Isoforms of the Drosophila Ecdysis Triggering Hormone Receptor have developmentally distinct roles. Genetics. 202(1): 175-189.
  • Calfún C, Domínguez C, Pérez-Acle T, Whitlock KE. (2016) Changes in Olfactory Receptor Expression Are Correlated With Odor Exposure During Early Development in the zebrafish (Danio rerio). Chem Senses. 1861(5):439-48.
  • Diao F, Ironfield H, Luan H, Diao F, Shropshire WC, Ewer J, Marr E, Potter CJ, Landgraf M and White BH (2015). Plug-and-Play Genetic Access to Drosophila Cell Types using Exchangeable Exon Cassettes. Cell Rep. 10(8): 1410- 1421.
  • Mena W, Diegelmann S, Wegener C, Ewer J. (2016) Stereotyped responses of Drosophila peptidergic neuronal ensemble depend on downstream neuromodulators. Elife. 2016 Dec 15;5. pii: e19686. doi: 10.7554/eLife.19686.
  • Salazar C, Valdivia G, Ardiles AO, Ewer J, Palacios AG. (2016). Genetic variants associated with neurodegenerative Alzheimer disease in natural model. Biological Research. 49(1):14. Special Issue.
  • Calixto A (2015). Life without food and the implications for neurodegeneration. Advances in Genetics, Volume 92. Kelley M, Yochem J, Krieg M, Calixto A, Heiman MG, Kuzmanov A, Meli V, Chalfie M, Goodman MB, Shaham S, Frand A, Fay DS (2015). FBN-1, a fibrillin-related protein, is required for resistance of the epidermis to mechanical deformation during C. elegans embryogenesis. eLife Mar 23;4.

Ongoing projects.

Instituto Milenio-CINV

Año: 2016-2021
Concurso: Proyectos Institutos Milenio 2009 – ICM09-022-P
Financiamiento:  Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y Turismo de Chile
Investigador Principal: Ramón Latorre
Otros Investigadores: Juan Carlos Sáez, Alan Neely, Ana María Cárdenas, John Ewer, Kathleen Whitlock, Adrián Palacios, Tomás Pérez-Acle, David Naranjo, Fernando González-Nilo, Oliver Schmachtenberg, Agustín Martínez, Patricio Orio, Andrés Chávez, Pablo Moya, Andrea Calixto, Carlos González.
Otras Universidades o Instituciones: Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia de Valparaíso, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Universidad Andrés Bello, Fundación Ciencia y Vida.


Año: abril 2017 – abril 2020
Concurso: Fondecyt Regular 2017 – # 1171240
Financiamiento: Conicyt
Investigador Principal: Agustín Martínez
Otros Investigadores: John Ewer


Años: marzo 2016 – marzo  2020
Concurso: Fondecyt Regular 2016 – # 1160076
Financiamiento: Conicyt
Investigador Principal: Kathleen Whitlock
Otros Investigadores: John Ewer


Año: marzo 2014 – marzo 2018
Concurso: Fondecyt Regular 2014 – # 1141278
Financiamiento: Conicyt
Investigador Principal: John Ewer
Otros Investigadores: Kathleen Whitlock

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