Fundación’s students are awarded a renowned CONICYT Scholarship


In a ceremony led by Chile’s President, Michelle Bachelet, Mauricio Arenas and Francisco Ossandón, both biochemists and PhD candidates under the supervison of David Holmes and Raquel Quatrini, were awarded the Foreign Internship Scholarship for Doctoral Students given by CONICYT (Chile’s Science and Technology Commission).

Their work is being carried out at the Center for Bioinformatics and Genome Biology of the Fundacion and is supported by a Microsoft Research Award.

Mauricio Arenas, will collaborate with the group of Dr. Ehmke Pohl at University of Durham in England. The main objective of this collaboration is to crystalize and characterize the structure of the protein Fur (Ferric Uptake Regulator) of the microorganism Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, which is of great interest to the mining industry.  Dr. Pohl has vast experience in protein crystallography and has succeeded in crystallizing the protein FUR of other microorganisms.

Francisco Ossandon, who works on correcting the annotation of bacterial genomes using AlterORF (, will collaborate closely with Dr. Bruno Sobral at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute where he will analyze the genomes of pathogenic microorganisms aiming to improve their annotation as well as finding new information for the “PATRIC” project -a bioinformatics database that aims to facilitate the discovery of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics for diseases caused by human pathogens.