Biochemist and Dr. René Vásquez, doctorate student in Aquaculture Sciences from Universidad Austral de Chile (with headquarters in Puerto Montt), and young INCAR and FONDAP researcher from UACh’s Biochemistry and Microbiology (RP3), was awarded the first stage of the sixth contest of Appreciation of Research in College (VIU in Spanish) from the Fund of Scientific and Technologic Development (Fondep), with the topic “Epigenetic Modulators for Aquaculture”.

The proposal carried out by Dr. René Manríquez, is based on looking new therapeutic alternatives, drugs, or natural supplements to fight the different diseases in aquaculture in a palliative way. In this regard, features of antiviral responses in salmonids were identified, which are inhibited by pathogen virus through epigenetic mechanisms. Therefore, it is important for the work group to identify molecules and/or natural supplements that, by being administrated through diet, can have the capacity of modificating epigenetically the immune response of fish.

Dr. René Manríquez pointed out that this project “will allow the continuity of the research developed during my doctorate thesis, which is also the kick start for ‘epigenetic diet’ research capable of contributing to the decrease of mortality generated in the aquaculture industry by pathogens like IPNV virus”.

Dr. José Luis Iriarte, director of the graduate students, headquarters in Puerto Montt, pointed out that “it adjusts completely to the objectives and graduation profile of the doctorate program, and, as such, we are proud of this accomplishment by the new generation of young researchers focused on relevant aquaculture issues. This is one achievement more by the students, which are being trained as researchers by UACh at an excellent scientific level for the Southern region”. Appreciation of Reseach in College Contest (VIU).
This fund focuses on the promotion of an innovative entrepreneurship culture in the university community, based on the appreciation of the research done in Chilean universities by undergraduate and postgraduate students.  For that, the program promotes the training needed to carry out new entrepreneurship, business, or companies based on the research done by those students according to their thesis.The program is focused on the students as producers of knowledge.