Academics from 22 schools and institutes will receive funding from the Regular, Initiation and Postdoctoral Fondecyt to develop their research in different areas of knowledge, positioning the University as fourth nationally and first in the Valparaíso Region.
PUCV Communications.- The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) is once again among the Chilean Universities with the most projects awarded in the Regular Fondecyt Call of the National Agency for Research and Development (ANID), where with 32 initiatives, while in the Fondecyt for Initiation and Postdoctorate totaled 36 projects, which makes it the fourth nationally and the first regionally.
For the PUCV Vice Chancellor for Research, Creation and Innovation (VINCI), Ximena Besoain, this number of projects in the three categories and the increase in the award rate, which rose from 25.4% in 2022 to 37.1% in this version, they are a recognition of the work of the academics and the promotion of research that occurs within the University, where he pointed out “For our Vice-Rectory it is a great achievement, the result of the efforts of our researchers. It is gratifying to see that 68 new projects in different disciplines will be developed at our university, which will contribute to increasing our impact as a university in the area of science and knowledge.”
Regarding the awards, the most recent reported is that of the Fondecyt Regular category, which aims to promote scientific-technological-based research in various areas of knowledge, through the financing of individual research projects of excellence, oriented towards production. of knowledge. In this 2023 version, there are 32 initiatives by PUCV researchers corresponding to 22 academic units that will carry out their research work in this category, which represents a 68% increase in adjudication compared to the previous year.
Regarding the initiatives awarded this year in the Regular Fondecyt, the variety of knowledge areas in which the initiatives are being developed stands out, among which is that of the academic Laura Jordán from the Institute of Music, who with her project “Cultures of the cassette: technology, listening and participation”, points out that his work addresses the uses of the audio cassette both in the past and in the present, offering a virtuous entrance to multiple cultural practices, where music coexists with other sound forms, and where creation is not prerogative of people dedicated to art. She also points out that “The Music Institute is going through an important moment in research and this project confirms that momentum.”
On the other hand, the Faculty of Sciences is also present with 11 awarded projects, among which is the project “Recovery of the Dormant Genetic Competence System of Piscirickettsia salmonis as an Essential Tool for Genetic Research, and Development of a spoT/relA Mutant Via Streamlined Genetic Manipulations” by professor emeritus Sergio Marshall of the Institute of Biology who points out that in this research “We will try to clarify the molecular mechanisms that define the pathogenicity of the Piscirickettsia salmonis bacterium, today the sword of Damocles on national salmon farming, with the purpose of generating efficient control strategies”, while regarding the assessment of his academic unit to this award, he considers that it is seen “In a great way, even more so being an Emeritus Professor of the University, who continues to contribute to sustaining the prestige and excellence of the PUCV”.
Another project in the same area is that of the academic Fernando Torres, “Coupling Evolution, Epidemiology, Genetics, Statistics and Geography to Understand Hantavirus Transmission in Chile” which, according to his words, is focused on “determining the transmission of hantavirus in Chile between rodents and humans, by integrating explicit models of transmission, phylogenomics, and spatial distribution modeling of the Andes hantavirus. We hope to find that genome variability together with evolutionary and epidemiological tools will allow us to understand ANDV transmission in Chile and determine the hosts that spread the virus in nature and in humans. We believe that the information resulting from this research will be key to contributing to the design of optimal strategies for disease control.”
For his part, the PUCV Research Director and academic from the Institute of Biology, Luis Mercado, who also awarded a Regular Fondecyt with the research “Gill immunity under hypoxia conditions in Salmo salar” stated that this “is a project that focuses on the study of the gill immunity of Atlantic salmon under hypoxic conditions, aims to be a contribution to the salmonid aquaculture industry because hypoxia has become the main cause of mortality in the industry, surpassing the effect of pathogens”.
While the academic from the Institute of Geography, Matías Carvajal, who develops the project “Tsunami size variability in successive megathrust earthquakes: Understanding the cause from historical, geological and geophysical evidence, and numerical modeling” commented on what they are looking for with this research and, he pointed out “We want to understand why some earthquakes generate small tsunamis while others of similar magnitude generate much larger tsunamis along subduction zones like the Chilean one. To answer this question we will use historical, geological and geophysical evidence, and computational models.”
Five projects were awarded from the School of Law, among which is that of Professor Johann Benfeld, with his research “Institutional facts and assessment of judicial evidence in accordance with sound criticism” where he states that “the main objective of the research is expose the theoretical and practical consequences that the recognition of the institutional dimension of the facts on the occasion of their proof and evaluation has for a theory of the evaluation of judicial evidence”.