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Rodrigo Gutierrez


Rodrigo obtained his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2003 from Michigan State University. He then spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher in Systems Biology at New York University, USA before moving back to Chile in 2006 as an Assistant Professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He is currently Full Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.

Rodrigo has received several awards and honors during his career, including the Fogarty International Center Fellowship, Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the Chilean Society of Biology and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Early Career Scientist award.

Rodrigo’s interdisciplinary research combines bioinformatics, genomics and systems approaches to understand nitrogen nutrient signaling and responses, particularly how nitrate regulates plant growth and development. He has published more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Science, PNAS, Plant Physiol, and The Plant Journal.

Rodrigo has served on a number of different committees at the national and international level. He is one of the founders of the Chilean Society of Plant Biologists and first elected president. He has served in the Systems Biology Subcommittee and as Chilean representative for the Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee. He serves on the Global Plant Council as both a Board Member and representative of the Chilean Society of Plant Biologists.


Canales J, Contreras-Lopez O, Alvarez JM and Gutiérrez RA. Nitrate induction of root hair density is mediated by TGA1/TGA4 and CPC transcription factors in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. 2015: In press.

Puelma T, Araus V, Canales J, Vidal EA, Soto A, Gutiérrez RA. GENIUS: A web server to predict local gene networks and key genes for biological functions of interest. Bioinformatics. 2017;33:760–761.

Araus V, Vidal EA, Puelma T, Alamos S, Mieulet D, Guiderdoni E, Gutiérrez RA. Members of BTB Gene Family of Scaffold Proteins Suppress Nitrate Uptake and Nitrogen Use Efficiency. Plant Physiology. 2016;171:1523–1532.

Riveras E, Alvarez, JM, Oses C, Vidal EA, Vega A and Gutiérrez RA. The calcium ion is a second messenger in the nitrate signaling pathway of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology. 2015;169:1397–1404.

Alvarez JM, Riveras E, Gras DE, Vidal EA, Contreras-López O, Tamayo KP, Gómez I, Ruffel S, Lejay L, Jordana X, Gutiérrez RA. TGA1 and TGA4 transcription factors modulate nitrate response in Arabidopsis thaliana roots. The Plant Journal. 2015;80:1–13.

Vidal, EA., Moyano, TC., Riveras, E., Contreras-Lopez, O. and Gutiérrez, RA. Systems approaches map regulatory networks downstream of the auxin receptor AFB3 in the nitrate response of Arabidopsis thaliana roots. PNAS. 2013;110:12840–12845.

Gutiérrez RA. Systems Biology for Enhanced Plant Nitrogen Nutrition. Science. 2012;336:1673–1675.

Yusuke Saijo

Board Member

Ros Gleadow

Board member