Dr. Ilona I. Concha is Full Professor at the Universidad Austral de Chile. She obtained the Biology degree from Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile in 1981. She performed her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology working on Small Nuclear RNAs in sperm cells under the direction of Dr. Luis Burzio. After finishing her Ph.D., Dr. Concha performed several postdoctoral research stays at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA and joined Drs. David Golde´s and Juan Carlos Vera´s group. She participated in elucidating the transport system for glucose and ascorbic acid in several cell types. For years her group has been interested in the fascinating model of cell differentiation in the seminiferous tubule. In this environment, male germ cells proliferate and differentiate in close relation with Sertoli cells. She has been interested in the metabolic aspects of transport systems, facilitative hexose transporters (GLUTs) and sodium-ascorbic acid co-transporters (SVCTs), and cytokines that increase the uptake of hexose and vitamin C and thus influence proliferation, differentiation and survival of these cells. She has also been interested in studying the physiological context of vitamin C transporters in nervous tissue. Her more recent attention has been focused on glycogen content and glycogen regulation in the seminiferous tubule.
She has also performed research stays at University of Notre Dame, USA, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, and Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona, Spain. Over the years at the Universidad Austral de Chile she mentored numerous undergraduate and PhD students, published original research articles in prestigious journals, presented at several national and international meetings and is member of national and international societies. She has also been actively involved in teaching as well as in academic administration duties. At the Universidad Austral de Chile she has been Vice-President, Director of Research and Development, President of the Central Commission for Academic Evaluation, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Science and Director of the Institute of Biochemistry. She has also been President of the Sociedad Chilena de Reproducción y Desarrollo, Vice-President and now President of the Sociedad de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular de Chile, Director of Biology 3 study group from FONDECYT, Evaluator and President of Biology II CONICYT Fellowships, Associate Editor of Biological Research, member of the IUBMB Fellowships Committee and IUBMB Executive Committee Member on Congresses and Focused Meetings among many others.