Dr Maximiliano Figueroa, Coordinator of session and Exhibitor in the society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2017 annual meeting

Dr Maximiliano Figueroa, Coordinator of session and Exhibitor in the society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2017 annual meeting

Dr Maximiliano Figueroa (36) obtained the professional title of Biochemist in 2005 at the University of Concepción. During his undergraduate thesis, directed by Dr Marta Bunster, I've had a first approach with protein structures, developing an in silico docking model of phycobiliproteins, fluorescent proteins present in algae and cyanobacterias, to create an antenna which explained, structurally, the light conduction in this system. In 2005 he started his PhD in Biological Science at the University of Concepción, under the co-direction of Dr José Martínez-Oyanedel and Dr Juan Olate. During his PhD thesis, Dr Figueroa worked in understand structurally the many functions of the protein Ric-8. He managed to propose the first structural model for this protein, supported by biophysical data. To accomplish this purpose, he stayed few months in the laboratory of Patricia Babbitt, University of California at San Francisco. Dr Figueroa finished his PhD in 2010, and his thesis was recognized as one of the most outstanding PhD thesis of 2010 by “Red Cruz del Sur”, a Chilean universities network. The same year he started a postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Molecular Biomimetics and Protein Engineering, leaded by Dr Joseph Martial and Dr Cécile Van de Weerdt (GIGA-R Center, Université de Liège, Belgium). During his postdoctoal training, Dr Figueroa worked in two main projects: developing protein model systems to study mass transport in protein crystallization under micro-gravity conditions, and design and characterization of artificial proteins with (b/a)8 fold, named Octarellins. This postdoctoral training was funding by two academic excellence fellowships, Wallonie-Bruxelles International organization and Belgian Science Policy, and by the European Space Agency. During his postdoc, he could crystallize and determine for the first time the x-ray structure of an artificial protein of more than 200 amino acids. Moreover, he managed to establish collaboration regarding structural biology fields with Dr Philippe Minard and Dr Dominique Durand (Université de Paris Sud, France), Dr Dominique Maes and Dr Mike Sleutel (Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium), Dr Jens Meiler (Vanderbilt University, USA), and Dr André Matagne (Université de Liège, Belgium). The scientific contributions of Dr Figueroa have been published in recognized journals of the field of structural biology, and he has been invited to give lectures in Europe, Chile and Japan. In 2016 Dr Figueroa is engaged by Universidad de Concepción, where he is currently assistant professor to boost the structural biology field in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr Figueroa has teaching responsibilities in under and post graduate courses, participating in Biochemistry, Protein Engineering, and Biophysics courses.