NEW REGULAR FONDECYT PROJECTS AWARDED TO ACADEMICS

THE RESULT POSITIONED OUR INSTITUTION AMONG THE 9 UNIVERSITIES IN THE COUNTRY WITH MORE RESEARCH INITIATIVES APPROVED IN THIS CONICYT’S ANNUAL ACTIVITY.



February 25, 2016

Seventeen academics from our University were awarded resources for the execution of an equal number of research projects relevant to the 2016 Regular National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (Fondecyt) contest.

In this way our Academic Institution stands out among the nine universities in the country with the largest scientific initiatives approved in this annual call.

Academic Vice President, Gilda Carrasco, emphasized the result reached by the Corporation and congratulated especially those who made their debut in this category of the Conicyt contest.

“Congratulations to the young researchers who obtained Regular Fondecyt at the first opportunity. You should also consider that every time this contest is more competitive and it is very valuable to have these new resources,” she said.

Scientists

The professors who obtained the support of Conicyt for the generation of new knowledge are: Carolina Torres and Samuel Ortega, from the Department of Agricultural Sciences; Monica Carrasco and Juan Tapia, from the Department of Health Sciences; Jordi Delgado and Sebastian Salinero, from the Department of Law and Social Sciences; Carlos Baier, Javier Muñoz and Marco Rivera, from the Department of Engineering.

in Addition, Carolina Iturra, Marcelo Leiva, Edgar Vogel, Ramón Castillo and Ismael Gallardo, from the Department of Psychology; Enrique González, from the Institute of Biological Sciences; Mariano Pertino, from the Institute of Chemistry of Natural Resources; and Alvaro Liendo, from the Institute of Mathematics and Physics.

Research Director, Iván Palomo, said that the approval of projects is an award for all the work done by these academics, with research and publications.

“That our Institution is awarded 17 projects, competing with larger universities in the country, is for us a good number. While it is true that we always expect more, for us, in this moment, is an encouraging result,” he said.

Recognition

Professor Javier Muñoz said that he will explore new ways to connect photovoltaic solar energy directly to the distribution network of medium voltage, which will allow minimizing the operation costs.

Likewise, academic Mariano Pertino stated that he will study the synthesis and biological activity of various natural quinones, (pigments), to chemically modify and enhance the activity they have on cancer tumor cells.

Professor Edgar Vogel stated that his initiative called “Empirical Evaluation of a Model of Automatic Associative Learning” will use advanced scientific equipment for studying mechanisms of learning, and it is a project of basic experimental psychology.

Ismael Gallardo, meanwhile, will work on two psychological phenomena: prejudice, which is a negative attitude toward a person who belongs to a group different from your own. And the cognitive dissonance “which is the negative feeling generated in every person when they hold simultaneously in their heads positive or negative aspects of the same event. For example, when someone thinks that smoking is a bad thing, but it does. The resulting discomfort is dissonance,” he said.

Marco Rivera said that the principal aim of his project is to contribute to the country's energy development through the study of flexible strategies of power management for clusters of micro-networks and generation systems, on the basis of structures of modular converters.

For his part, Ramón Castillo based his work on cognitive psychology and explores how to facilitate the transition to response patterns that are more efficient in the solution of problems. “The information may preliminary be used for the education of children and adults or to facilitate processes of change in psychotherapy”, he said.

Professor Sebastian Salinero assured that his project proposes to assess if the new regime of alternative sentences to jailing has improved the expectations of social reintegration, which poses a regulatory legal analysis and a comparison of different types of criminal policy.

Likewise, Marcelo Leiva will test a unified model of psychosocial impact using data from natural disasters, and unemployment, in the provinces of Cauquenes and Copiapo. “We will continue solving scientific problems associated with the psychological and social impact of events”, he noted.

Professor Monica Carrasco said that her research seeks to understand how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis starts and progresses, for which she will use models of stem cells induced from healthy and sick patients, which will allow understanding mechanisms of this disease at the cellular and neuronal level.

Carolina Iturra explained that her project seeks to characterize the educational practices of primary and high school teachers, as to how reading comprehension works in the classroom, and to propose an improved process. “Its purpose and utility is to have descriptions that favor the knowledge that we have regarding the teacher-student interaction”, she said.

Complex University

The Research director emphasized that the new Conicyt funding will allow carrying out more experiments of excellence.

“That way, the coming publications are also going to follow that same path. And all of this points towards the development of a complex university. And one like that requires more research, post-degrees, especially PhDs. And the generation of new knowledge, projects, and publications, are critical,” said Palomo.



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