Academic Training

- Dipl. Biology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany, 1983
- Dr. rer. nat., Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany, 1998
- Professor, Postdoctoral studies, study visits in:
University of Botswana, Botswana, Africa, Lecturer 1989-90,
Universite de Liege, Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et de Génie Génétique, Belgium, 1997, 2000, 2001 (postdoc), 2004, 2005, 2006
- National Research Center for Environment and Health – GSF, Department of Gene Expression, Munich, Germany, 2002, 2005 (invited scientist)
- Institut Jaques Monod, Université Paris, Paris, France, 2002, 2003


Scientific Interests

We are interested in specific factors of the hypothalamus-hypophysiary axis. In Salmo salar (Atlantic salmon), we are studying prolactin and its stimulatory role in the immune system and in Cyprinus carpio (common carp) we are characterizing hypothalamus-hypophysiary factors as early-response genes to environmental changes.
Our detailed studies include an investigation of the transcription factors making up nodes in the regulatory networks and that orchestrate the organism’s adaptive response. The tetraploid nature of carp permits a powerful comparative analysis of duplicated genes, highlighting key elements in regulatory regions. To clone genes, isolate proteins and characterize expression and function, we are using molecular biological, biochemical, cytochemical and cell culture methods, with a final evaluation of effects in the whole organism. We have analysed cis- and trans-regulatory elements in silico, using binding assays and delay in electrophoretic mobility (EMSA) in vitro and in vivo by chromatin immune precipitation (ChIP). We have identified a metal response element (MRE) in the promoter of the Pit1 gene, an indispensable transcription factor for the development and function of various cell lines in the pituitary gland. Our aim is to identify early-response markers for evaluation of xenobiotic effects on the aquatic environment and to complement routine biomonitoring schemes that include effects in zebra fish embryos.
In collaboration with the University of Liege, Belgium (Dr. Muller’s group), we are evaluating endocrine system disrupter activities in environmental waters with a highly sensitive cell test based on the transcription mediated by steroid receptors in human transformed mammary gland cell lines. We are also collaborating with the Department of Gene Expression (Dr. Meisterernst), National Research Center for Environment and Health, GSF, Munich, Germany.

Relevant Publications

- Kausel, G., Vera, T., Castro, L., Grothusen, H., Haussmann, D., Romero, A., Muller, M., Figueroa, J. (2007). Elemento de respuesta a estrógeno en el gen precursor de isotocina y a metales en el gen del factor de transcripcion Pit1 de carpa (Cyprinus carpio) muestran actividad de unión in vitro. 3º libro SETAC "Quimica y Toxicologia Ambiental en America Latina", in press.

- Flores, C.M., Muñoz, D., Kausel, G., Romero, A., Figueroa, J. (2006). Copeptin, derived from isotocin precursor, is a probable prolactin releasing factor in carp General and Comparative Endocrinology 150, 343-354.

- Kausel, G., Salazar, M., Castro, L., Vera, T., Romero, A., Muller, M., Figueroa, J., (2006). Modular changes of cis-regulatory elements from two functional Pit-1 genes in the duplicated genome of Cyprinus carpio. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 99, 905-921.

- Figueroa, J., San Martín, R., Flores, C., Grothusen, H., Kausel, G. (2005). Seasonal modulation of growth hormone mRNA and protein levels in carp pituitary - evidence for two expressed genes. Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology 175, 185-92.

- Gallardo, M., Kausel, G., Jimenez, A., Bacquet, C., Gonzalez, C., Figueroa, J., Köhler, N., Ojeda, R. (2004). Whole-genome duplications in South American desert rodents (Octodontidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 82, 443-451.

- Willemsen, P., Scippo, M.-L., Kausel, G., Figueroa, J., Maghuin-Rogister, G., Martial, J.A., Muller, M. (2004). Use of reporter cell lines for the detection of endocrine disrupter activities. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 378, 655-663.

- Kausel, G. (1991). Study of heavy metal tolerant flora in Botswana. Botswana Notes and Records 23, 159-174.

Photo Gallery

Inmunodetección del péptido liberador de prolactina c-RFa en el bulbo olfactorio de zebrafish, 48hpf Brucker Karpfen, la carpa en una jaula de pájaros es el símbolo de un pueblo en Bavaria, Alemania Curso “Estrategias Experimentales de Expresión Génica en Teleosteos”, Calfuco 2006

Phone: 221798, cel: 8-1377852 Fax: 63-221107
Campus Isla Teja / Valdivia

- Effect of environment on genetic expression

- Dr. Jaime Figueroa

Postgraduate Students:
- Marco Paredes
- Victor Olavarria
- Denise Haussmann

Undergraduate Students:
- Ariel Muñoz
- Horst Grothusen
- Alexei Cuevas
- Nicolas Ojeda
- Felipe Slebe
- Lorena Ojeda
- Mauricio Lopez
- Marcelo Aguilar

Research Assistants:
- Tamara Vera
- Claudia Miller

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