Jaime Figueroa Valverde

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.


  • Proyecto FONDAP 2011, N° 15110027. Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación en Acuicultura Sustentable (INCAR) Interdisciplinary Center for Aquaculture Research (INCAR) 2013-2017. Investigador Principal, responsable de la Línea de Salud Animal de la UACH.
  • FONDECYT 1130069: Characterization of the genes related to invasivity and intracellular survival of P. salmonis: an in vitro study of new virulence markers in chilean isolates of the causal agent of SRS. Investigador Responsible (2013-2016).
  • INNOVA-CHILE, Concurso Bienes Públicos para la Competitividad 2012: “Programa de vigilancia epidemiológica y control de la piscirickettsiosis (SRS) para la competitividad de la salmonicultura chilena” Responsable, Sociedad ADL Diagnostic CHILE Ltda. Universidad Austral de Chile, Coejecutor (2012-2014).
  • Proyecto Postdoctorado Dra. D. Haussmann B.:


Relevant Publications

  • Vera T., Isla A., Cuevas A., Figueroa J. (2012) Un nuevo medio de cultivo líquido para el patógeno Piscirickettsia salmonis (A new liquid medium for the pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis). Arch Med Vet 44, 273-277.
  • Romero A., Figueroa J. (2012) Structurally conserved C-RFa revealed prolactin releasing activity in vitro and gene expression changes in pituitary of seasonally acclimatized carp. Biological Research 45: 183-191
  • Romero A., Manríquez R., Alvarez C., Gajardo C., Vásquez J., Kausel G., Monrás M., Olavarría V., Yáñez A., Enríquez R., Figueroa J. (2012) Prolactin-releasing peptide is a potent mediator of the innate immune response in leukocytes from Salmo salar. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 147 (2012) 170– 179
  • Yáñez A., Valenzuela K., Silva H., Retamales J., Romero A., Enríquez R., Figueroa J., Claude A., González J., Avendaño-Herrera R. and Cárcamo J. (2012) Broth medium for the successful culture of the fish pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis. Diseases of Aquatic organisms Vol. 97: 197-205.
  • Olavarría V., Figueroa J. and Mulero V. (2012) Prolactin-induced activation of phagocyte NADPH oxidase in the teleost fish gilthead seabream involves the phosphorylation of p47phox by protein kinase C. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 36 (2012) 216–221
  • Carpio, Y., Basabe, L., Acosta, J., Mendoza, A., Lisperger, A., Zamorano, E., González, M., Rivas, M., Contreras, S., Haussmann, D., Figueroa, J., Osorio, V.N., Asencio, G., Mancilla, J., Ritchie, G., Borroto, C., Estrada, M.P. (2011) Novel gene isolated from Caligus rogercresseyi: a promising target for vaccine development against sea lice. Vaccine.24:2810-2820.
  • Haussmann, D. and Figueroa, J. (2011) Glandular kallikrein in the innate immune system of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2011 Feb 15;139 (2-4):119-27. Epub 2010 Sep 22.
  • Manubens A, Salazar F, Haussmann D, Figueroa J, Del Campo M, Pinto JM, Huaquín L, Venegas A, Becker MI. (2010) Concholepas hemocyanin biosynthesis takes place in the hepatopancreas, with hemocytes being involved in its metabolism. Cell Tissue Res. 342 (3):423-35. Epub 2010 Nov 3
  • Olavarría, V., Gallardo, L., Figueroa, J. and Mulero, V. (2010) Molecular cloning and expression analysis of the salmon phagocyte NADPH oxidase subunits p47phox, p67phox and gp91phox. LPS induces p47phox phosphorylation and respiratory burst activation through PKC. Dev Comp Immunol. 34 (12):1242-1253. Epub 2010 Jul 16.
  • Olavarría VH, Sepulcre MP, Figueroa J, Mulero V. (2010) Prolactin-induced production of ROS and IL-1b in leukocytes from the bony fish gilthead seabream involves Jak2/Stat and NF-B signaling pathways1. J. Immunol. 185 (7):3873-83. Epub 2010 Sep 8.