- (Formerly) Full Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, CHILE
I have been the recipient of an Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY, fellowship for Ph.D. studies (1974-78) and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship (1986). My service and leadership in academic societies include: Chilean Society of Biology (1973); Chilean Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1973, President 1997-99); American Society for Microbiology (1974); Association for Politics and the Life Sciences, USA (1987); Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, TAPPI, USA (1988-2000); Third World Academy of Sciences (1993); Chilean Society of Microbiology (1996); International Academy of Wood Science (1996); Latin American Academy of Sciences (1999); Chilean Academy of Sciences (1999, Vice-President 2001-03); Pontifical Academy of Sciences (2000); The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and the Pontifical Council for Culture.
As an experimental scientist, during my career I did research in three fields: DNA replication, lignin biodegradation and life in extreme environments. In addition, throughout my career, I have always been interested in the origin of life on Earth and in the relation of science and religion.