Bioinformatics and Genome Biology


The Bioinformatics and Genome Biology Lab carries out basic research in several areas of genome biology and bioinformatics. Current research focusses on the genomics of extremophile organisms including those that live in environments with ultra-low pH, high temperature, and high concentration of salt. Research questions include i) what are the thermodynamic limits of life? ii) how can an understanding of the extraordinary metabolisms of extremophiles suggest models for the emergence of life on Earth? and iii) how can extreme environments on Earth be used as surrogates to search for potential life-supporting habitats on exoplanets and moons (astrobiology)? Other research areas advance our understanding of the evolution of extremophiles and the metabolic potential and the ecophysiological interactions between acidophilic microorganisms involved in the industrial recovery of copper (bioleaching).


Research Head: David Holmes

Research Assistants: Eva Vergara • Diego Cortez • Gonzalo Neira


• Gloria Levicán (former Ph.D. student 2003). Associate Professor, Universidad de Santiago, Chile
• Raquel Quatrini (former Ph.D. student 2004). Lab Head, Fundación Ciencia & Vida, Chile
• Marlen Barreto (former Ph.D. student 2005). Assistant Professor, Universidad Autónoma de Chile
• Mariella Rivas (former Ph.D. student 2006). Associate Investigator, Universidad de Antofagasta, Chile
• Mario Esparza (former Ph.D. student 2009). Research Director, Universidad de Antofagasta, Chile
• Tomás Peréz-Acle (former Ph.D. student 2007). Lab Head, Fundación Ciencia & Vida, Chile
• Jorge Valdés (former Ph.D. student 2011). Associate Professor, Universidad Mayor, Chile
• Claudia Lefimil (former Ph.D. student 2012). Assistant Professor, Universidad de Chile
• Felipe Veloso (former Ph.D. student 2012). Scientific Advisor, Qualus Research, Chile
• Gonzalo Riadi (former Ph.D. student 2012). Assistant Professor, Universidad de Talca, Chile
• Hector Osorio (former Ph.D. student 2013). Postdoc, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
• Mauricio Arenas (former Ph.D. student 2013). Assistant Professor, Universidad de Talca, Chile
• Francisco Duarte (former Ph.D. student 2013). Research investigator, Hospital Regional de Rancagua, Chile
• Francisco Ossandón (former Ph.D. student 2014). Data Science Manager, Biome Makers Inc., Chile
• Juan Pablo Cárdenas (former Ph.D. student 2015). Assistant Professor, Universidad Mayor, Chile
• Carolina González (former Ph.D. student 2017). Postdoc, Universidad Mayor, Chile
• Roddy Jorquera (former Ph.D. student 2017). Postdoc, Fundación Arturo López Pérez, Chile


• Dr. Mario Esparza (Universidad de Antofagasta)
• Dr. Jorge Valdés (Universidad Mayor)
• Dr. Raquel Quatrini ( Fundación Ciencia & Vida)
• Dr. Roddy Jorquera (Fundación Arturo López Pérez)


• Dr. Mark Dopson (Linnaeus University, Sweden)
• Dr. Elizabeth Watkin (Curtin University, Australia)
• Dr. Bent Petersen (Technical University of Denmark)