Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Dr. Octavio Monasterio obtained the professional title of Biochemist (1971) at the University of Chile after studying for five years at University of Concepción. His undergraduate thesis was on initiation of protein translation and was directed by Dr. Jorge E. Allende. He started his academic carrier at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Concepción (1972) and in 1977 he moved to the Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, to finally move in 1980 to the Faculty of Sciences, University of Chile where he has been until now. He obtained his Doctoral Degree at the University of Chile (1980) working on the kinetics mechanism of glucokinase under the direction of Dr. Hermann Niemeyer F. From 1980 to 1984 he was a Research Associate at Brandeis University, Boston, USA, in the laboratories of Dr. Sergei Timasheff (Protein Biophysics) and Alfred Redfield (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance). From 1986 until now his research was continuously funded by FONDECYT. In 1993 he was awarded with a grant from FONDEF for the creation of the “Centro de Equipo Mayor” with its own building. This Center has been successfully working for the support of academic and productive activities. In 2009 he was part of an European project for four years, as the only non European participant, in an International Consortium denominated DIVINOCELL, for the search of new antibacterial molecules. His present research is aimed to understand the molecular basis of the relationship between structure and function of tubulins and FtsZ proteins as components of the eukaryotic and prokaryotic cytoskeleton, respectively. The knowledge of molecular bases of recognition between FtsZ, ligands and other proteins of the bacterial divisome is crucial for the design of new inhibitors of tubulin and FtsZ polymerization, like future antitumor drugs and bacterial antibiotics, respectively. With other scientists he founded the first undergraduate career of biotechnology in our country, called “Ingeniería en Biotecnología Molecular”, and more recently the Molecular Biotechnology PhD Program at University of Chile. He has also directed several graduate programs at University of Chile: Biochemistry (1988-1992 and 1996-2000); Molecular and Cellular Biology (1992-1996); Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Neurosciences (1996-2001) and Microbiology (2007-).  He has mentored the thesis of many undergraduate and graduate students that now are doing research in academic and/or applied fields at national and international prestigious institutions. Finally, he has been President of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Society (1991-1992); Sociedad de Biología de Chile (2005-2006) and the Latin American Protein Society (LAPS) (2010-2013). This last Society is recognized by the American Protein Society.