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Rodrigo Pacheco, PhD


In 1995 Rodrigo Pacheco began his undergraduate studies at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry in 1999. He received an award for the highest academic marks in his graduating class. After performing thesis work about the mechanism of action of urushiols allergens with Dr. Alfredo De Ioannes at Biosonda SA, he was awarded his title of Biochemist by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 2001.

Dr. Pacheco performed his PhD work in the Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology with Dr. Rafael Franco at the Universidad de Barcelona in collaboration with Dr. Teresa Gallart from the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona. His thesis work was about the role of glutamate and adenosine deaminases as modulators of human dendritic cells and their relevance for CD4+ T-cell function. He obtained his PhD degree in 2006 and his thesis was honored as a high impact thesis by the Universidad de Barcelona.

In 2006 Dr. Pacheco moved back to Chile and began his postdoctoral training in the Laboratory of Immunology in the biological sciences department at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. During this period, he studied the role of Fc-gamma receptors in dendritic cells and their involvement in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and in the host-pathogen interaction during Salmonella typhimurium infection.

In late 2008 Dr. Pacheco started as head of the Laboratory of Neuroimmunology in the Fundación Ciencia & Vida. His line of research is geared toward deciphering dopamine-mediated mechanisms involved in neuro-immune interaction. Currently, the Laboratory of Neuroimmunology is studying the involvement of dopamine-mediated neuro-immune communications in the context of autoimmunity, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and behavior.