Academic Training

- Scientific Baccalauréat, Universidad Austral de Chile, 1980
- Masters, Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile, 1985
- Ph.D., Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile, 1995
* Thesis carried out in Hamburg, Germany with a DAAD grant.

 

Scientific Interests

Our research into the hypothalamas-hypophysiary axis in fish is long-standing. We have spent over 15 years studying Cyprinus carpio and the changes generated by several hormone systems, such as prolactin, growth hormone and somatolactin. We have complemented this research with expression studies for these hypophysiary hormones and the effects of aquatic pollution in rivers around Valdivia. With respect to the latter, we collaborate in two Belgian projects.
The diverse functions attributed to the hormone prolactin, in fish, has been our main interest. Within the framework of a current Fondecyt Project, we share our knowledge gained from studies in C. carpio with the Atlantic salmon productive sector. Thus, we are currently studying the modulatory role of prolactin in the salmon immune system as a means of identifying a process that may reduce the use of antibiotics in the regional salmon industry. This study is being performed in collaboration with companies NOVARTIS and Aquagestión.
We have also developed other collaborative research lines. We work closely with the Centre for Artificial Insemination (Dr. Manuel Ortiz) in a study of paternity and parental genetic analysis of horses and more recently in cattle, using microsatellites and diverse molecular biology techniques, with the aim of improving the genetics and diagnosis of hereditary pathologies.
We also maintain close contact with the pathology laboratory of the Facultad de Medicina (Dr. Carlos Figueroa) of the Universidad Austral, Valdivia, in an investigation of the application of molecular biology techniques to human pathologies.
 

Relevant Publications

- Flores, C., Muñoz; D., Soto, M., Kausel, G., Romero, A. and Figueroa, J. (2006) Copeptin, derived from isotocin precursor, is a probable prolactin releasing factor in carp. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 2006 Nov 2; [Epub ahead of print] on line.


- Montefusco-Siegmund, R.A. Romero, A. Kausel, G. Muller, M. Fujimoto, M. and Figueroa, J. (2006) Cloning of the Prepro c-RFa Gene and Brain Localization of the Active Peptide in Salmo salar. Cell and Tissue Research 325 (2): 277-285.


- Figueroa, J., Fernández, K., Haussmann D., Richards, G., Barra, V. and Kausel, G. (2002) Glandular Kallikrein in the teleost Cyprinus carpio: Tissue distribution, posible involvement in prolactin processing and effect of 17 –estradiol in vivo. Gen. comp. Endocinology 128: 135-142


- Figueroa, J., Molina, A., Alvarez, M., Villanueva, J., Reyes, A., León, G. and Krauskopf, M. (1994) Prolactin Gene expresion and changes of Prolactin Pituitary level during the acclimatization of the carp, Cyprinus carpio. Comp Biochem. Physiology. Vol. 108, Nº4: 551-560.


- Morley, S., Schönrock, C., Heierhorst, J., Figueroa, J., Lederis, K. and Richter, D. (1990) Vasotocin genes of the teleost fish Catostomus commersoni: gene structure, exon-intron boundary and hormone precursor organization. Biochemmistry Vol. 29: 2506-2511.


- Heierhorst, J., Morley, S., Figueroa, J., Krentler, C., Lederis, K. and Richter, D. (1989) Vasotocin and Isotocin precursors from white sucker, Catostomus commersoni: Cloning and sequence analysis of the cDNAs. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. (USA). Vol.86: 5242-5246.



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Phone: 221107 / Fax: 221107
Email: jefigueroa@uach.cl
Campus Isla Teja / Valdivia

- Hypophysiary hormones and peptides as modulators of the immune system in salmon
- Cell markers in salmon for evaluation of immune condition

- Dr. Gudrun Kausel

Postgraduate Students:
- Marcos Paredes
- Víctor Olavarria
- Denise Haussmann

Undergraduate Students:
- Lorena Ojeda
- Alexei Cuevas
- Felipe Slebe
- Nicolás Ojeda

Technical Personnel:
- Claudia Millar
- Tamara Vera

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