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Line 3: Genetics and development of the Nervous System.

3- Researchers in this line study the development of the nervous sytem using olfaction as a model and more specifically, how environmental factors can modify gene expression, demonstrating that during early development, environmental odorants alter the genetic expression of olfactory receptors. Moreover, the group also studies the genes involved in Kallmann syndrome, which is directly related to olfactory development, consisting on a heritable disease affecting the hypothalamus, which is not able to produce the hormone GnRH, responsible for the liberation of sexual hormones. The group discovered that adult stem cells have the ability to generate endocrine cells, essential during puberty. Another group of researchers within this line focus on understanding how circadian clock imposes a daily rhythmicity to the indivual´s behavior, affecting both its behavior and its physiology. This group has recently discovered how the main clock neurons communicate with neurons that control the animal development, a very relevant finding to understand of how the circadian clock communicates with the rest of the body. Techniques used in this group include in vitro and in vivo imaging as well as cellular and molecular techniques, using both the zebra fish and the drosophila as model systems.

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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 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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