capacitacion ingles 1

The participants of the English workshops have been awarded in a ceremony.

The Curriculum and Teaching Development Division and the Language Coordination Center (CODI) offered English workshops for UFRO teachers and directors in order to improve their English proficiency at the institutional level.

The closure of the programs “Introduction to English Language”, “Basic English” and “Advanced Conversation” took place at DIFEM (Direction of Comprehensive Training and Employability) auditorium, where the respective certificates for participation and consistency were given to the 24 professionals who participated in the program.

During the ceremony, the vice- rector of Undergraduate Affairs, Ana Moraga, pointed out that the university’s teachers who participated in these training activities for further skills are setting a good example. “When we started to strengthen CODI, we had the great challenge to motivate and convince the students of the importance that the command of a second language such as English, a language that permits to establish links in today´s globalized world, has.”

Therefore she added: “The teachers also play a fundamental role to encourage their students, because when they see the importance their teachers give to the command of a second language, it will have a bigger impact on them and they will be more motivated to learn English,” she said.

The CODI coordinator, Margot Godoy, specified that these workshops have been developed in a participative way. “The UFRO teachers and directors who participated in each level made mayor progress, since they were highly motivated and interested in learning. The command of a language requires permanent training and the idea is that the participants gradually incorporate English literature with the purpose of practicing what they learned in a practical context.”


Mabel Schulz, a teacher at the Preclinical Science Department at the Faculty of Medicine, expressed her satisfaction with what she learned in the workshop Introduction to English Language: “The techniques CODI uses are very good because the emphasis was not only on speaking but also on listening, writing and being able to express yourself. It was an entertaining workshop in which our teachers were very encouraging, a fact that helps to lose the fear of speaking.”

Paulina Hofer is an undergraduate teacher at the Faculty of Dentistry and participated in the Advanced Conversation workshop with the aim of increasing her vocabulary and updating her English language skills. She pointed out: “The schedule was a factor that made the participation for teachers easy. It was a dynamic workshop, since our teacher insisted on communicating with everyone and on giving our opinions and our points of view in order to improve our spoken English.”

The director of the Institutional Projects Monitoring Division, César Castillo, participated in the Basic English workshop. He was motivated to learn and is convinced that the English language is a useful tool for his field of performance. “At my workplace, I have to interact more and more frequently with English speaking persons and we have a newly created UFRO Policy of Internationalization, an agreement for the internationalization of our doctorates, and finally, a series of activities that force us to improve our language skills,” he stated.


escrito porWritten by: Vice-rectorate of Undergraduate Affairs

visita odontologia 1

The visit of the Association at the UFRO Faculty of Dentistry lasted three days, with a tight schedule full of work sessions, conferences and official visits, among others.

Dr. Maria Cristina Manzanares Céspedes, the Secretary General of the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE), visited the Universidad de La Frontera for a series of activities. Her visit is the start of the preparation for curriculum revision in Dentistry at our university.

The visit of the Association at the UFRO Faculty of Dentistry lasted three days, with a tight schedule full of work sessions, conferences and official visits, among others.

According to the dean of the Faculty, Dr. Ramón Fuentes, it is important to have a reference like the Association for Dental Education in Europe. This is why the university, together with the Chilean Dental Network which is a network of different universities, invited Dr. Manzanares to Chile. This way, her stay at the Universidad de La Frontera was the beginning of the curricular revision in Dentistry.

“The idea is to get an insight into the current dentistry teaching development by the secretary general of the European Association, what gives us clear and specific guidelines for the preparation we have to do this year, in order to being able to start the revision of the curriculum in dentistry next year,” Dr. Fuentes stated.

Therefore, Dr. Manzanares met with the managing team of the Dentistry School and the committee that will be in charge of the curriculum revision. She also visited some of the senior students in their final internship and held a speech about ´The Creation of a Training Program for Dentist Competencies in Europe´, in which she went through the beginnings, processes and the evolution of the work that has been done in this field in the European Community.

Her visit responds to the four objectives of the ADEE: collegiality, cooperation, collaboration and consensus. This way, she is making a big contribution to the work the UFRO Dentistry Program is going to start in 2019.

The director of the UFRO Dentistry School, Mónica Silva, has appreciated the visit and stated that it was productive and profitable. “I think that it could not have been better. She is an excellent academic, very transparent and generous with her knowledge. This opens doors, and regarding any question we have, we can count on her help, orientation and experience; so the visit has been really excellent,” she commented.

After the meetings, Dr. María Cristina Manzanares stated: “The team I met was very dynamic, interested and committed to creating a new curriculum and that is fascinating.”

Besides, she pointed out that in this first meeting, a very interesting dialogue has been created. “It has been an extraordinarily rich conversation, extraordinarily enriching for me and it placed value on the contribution with my personal experience, my academic experience and my experience as Secretary General of ADEE in the process the UFRO is realizing,” she added.

During her visit at our university, she also met with the rector, Sergio Bravo, the elected rector, Dr. Eduardo Hebel, and the vice-rector of Undergraduate Affairs, Ana Moraga.

Apart from that, she also participated as a speaker in the Workshop on Discussion and Dissemination of the Donation of Human Bodies to Universities for Morphology Teaching and Research that has been organized by the Faculty of Dentistry. After her visit at the UFRO, Dr. Manzanares went to Santiago in order to participate in activities together with the Chilean Dental Network.

escrito porWritten by: Soledad Millapán
Faculty of Dentistry


doctorados 2018 1

Portada UFRO 360

Portada UFRO 360

A total of 30 professionals graduated from the doctoral programs in different fields of knowledge.

Five years ago, the Universidad de La Frontera via the Vice-Rectorate of Research and Postgraduate Affairs started the tradition of public recognition of the Ph.D. graduates and the emphasis on their strengths and achievements.

In this year´s official ceremony, 30 professionals who have finished their Ph.D. studies at our university were awarded. In this regard, the Vice-rector of Research and Postgraduate Affairs, Dr. Eduardo Hebel, stated that this institution is proud of contributing to the training of advanced human capital for the region and the country.

“We are very pleased that we are able to recognize young men and women who made the decision of using the obtained tools for the creation of original knowledge that is relevant for Chilean society and humanity,” he stated.

Quality and continuity are two indispensable principles in Institutional Postgraduate Policies at the UFRO. The first is reflected in our program offer, since most of them are accredited by the National Accreditation Committee; and the second one is related to the vocation these programs have by interacting with the environment and answering to the demands of the most diverse sectors.


The doctoral programs at the UFRO have reached remarkable results, such as the international accreditation of two of them, which turns them into unique programs in Chile since they are the only ones with this distinction (Doctorate in Natural Resource Sciences and the Doctorate in Science with specialization in Applied Cellular and Molecular Biology). Besides, there are the national accreditations, which are more than the national average, and the cooperation agreements with prestigious foreign universities. Some of them have resulted in double Ph.D. degree and double Ph.D. graduation options.

Also the significant number of CONICYT (Chilean Commission for Scientific and Technological Research) scholarships has positioned the UFRO in fifth place in obtaining scholarships for doctoral program financing.


The graduates received a diploma from the authorities that accredits their Doctor´s Degree, and the best graduate of all doctoral programs has been awarded with a special recognition. This highest distinction went to Elías Figueroa Villalobos of the doctoral program in Sciences with specialization in Applied Cellular and Molecular Biology.

He was very pleased and humble to receive this recognition and the ones who know his impeccable trajectory as a postgraduate student identify him as a scientist who is committed to the dissemination of his results and has a great work capacity. He stood out because of his excellent study performance – his final degree is 6.9 (with 7 being the highest grade possible) – and a scientific productivity that holds a promising future for him.


01 Margarita Cancino

Margarita Cancino Andrade, UFRO Doctorate in Psychology

“The training I received at the UFRO and in the doctoral program was excellent. Thanks to my tutor, Lucio Rehbein, I was able to go to Tufts University in Boston, where I was able to perfect my research program, successfully execute it, and, based on that, to generate new publications which were the basis for winning a Postgraduate Fondecyt, the only one in psychology at the regional level, what has been an important challenge and is the result of the training I received here.”

02 Elias Figueroa

Elías Figueroa Villalobos, UFRO Doctorate in Sciences with specialization in Applied Cellular and Molecular Biology

“I feel very privileged to have received this important recognition by the university. My time at the doctoral program has been pleasant and made me grow. In second year, I had the chance to do a double graduation with the University of Sao Paulo and it has been a positive experience during which I was able to establish important networks thanks to which I still am collaborating intensively in several publications and projects with Dr. Ricardo Pinheiro. This opportunity has been a plus that made me grow as a researcher.”

03 jorge gonzalez

Jorge González Villagra, UFRO Doctorate in Natural Resource Sciences

“It has not been easy. It has been full of studying and effort, sacrifice and dedication; not only because of growing beyond myself, but also because of contributing to the region and the country. But I am very pleased by all I achieved. At the moment, I am working in the field of plant physiology and my research line is related to the long term effects of climate change on fruit production. Now, I hope to be able to transfer this new knowledge to the students and to use it for my academic career.”

04 Carla Chavarria

Carla Chavarría Rojas, UFRO Doctorate in Educational Sciences

“I receive this achievement with a lot of happiness. These have been years of personal and family sacrifices, but for me it is tremendously rewarding because of its academic meaning. You grow as a professional and from now on a new life starts, which I want to dedicate to my research field that is oriented on social responsibility and I want to include my knowledge in undergraduate studies and also connect it with vocational topics, which is a very innovative field and presents big exploratory potential.”

escrito porWritten by: Dirección de Comunicaciones
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Grupo Lab Micorrizas

The new center of the Faculty of Engineering and Science has been presented during an international seminar.

The recent work in research, training of human capital and community outreach that has been developed at the Mycorrhizae Laboratory of the Department of Chemical Sciences and Natural Resources at the Universidad de La Frontera led to the installation of a new space for science and technology: the Research Center for Micorrhizae and Agro-environmental Sustainability (CIMYSA).

It is put together by a multidisciplinary group of experts with acknowledged experience in soil microbiology, waste management, healthy food and mining technology, among others, and an outstanding participation in national and international projects, combined with a high scientific productivity. This way, CIMYSA aims at contributing to the knowledge on mycorrhizal symbiosis by approaching topics from the biological bases to its agro-environmental and industrial use.

Another aim is the training of highly skilled human capital that is capable of working on the search of innovative solutions for different problems that are affecting natural resources, with a local, regional and global approach.

The director, Dr. Pablo Cornejo, assures that this organization joins the efforts of national and international positioning. “We will turn into the main unit in Latin America that is dedicated to research on arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis and start a new era of outreach towards the productive sector, as it has been the case with the recent formation of the company MYCONATIVA by researchers of the center.” This is the aim: “We want to consolidate a center of excellence that increases its indicators and will be a strong pillar for scientific development in our Department, Faculty and University,” he added.

In its implementation, apart from contemplating academic activities linked to high-level scientific research and the training of advanced human capital of excellence, CIMYSA will also establish different outreach actions with the productive and promoting medium, as it is the case with the realization of the IV. International Seminar on Rhizosphere Organisms and their Biotechnological Applications. This event brought national and international researchers together at the UFRO and reflects this interaction.

One of the speakers at the international seminar was Dr. Alexander Valentine of Stellenbosch University (South Africa), who is doing an internship within the framework of the project MEC-CONICYT 80170023, as well as Dr. Yasna Tapia of Universidad de Chile who is the director of the Research Ring project ACM 17002, and the postdoctoral FONDECYT researchers Silambarasan Sivagnanam (UFRO) and Daniel Chávez (Universidad de Concepción) who are doing their research work together with CIMYSA.

The new center starts to work within the established work plan which is based on arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis for the development of innovative solutions in local agriculture, as well as on the training of advanced human capital, the generation of high-quality scientific production and a strong promotion of its activities.

CIMYSA collaborators: academics of the Department of Chemical Sciences and Natural Resources of the Faculty of Engineering and Science and BIOREN-UFRO, postdoctoral researchers with external financing (FONDECYT) and participants in the doctoral programs in Natural Resource Sciences and in Agri-food Sciences and Environment. Also researchers of INIA (Institute for Agricultural Research) are included, as well as a collaboration network with foreign researchers.

escrito porWritten by: Daphne Bormann
Faculty of Engineering and Science


orquideas VIU

Javier Vidal (Construction Engineering graduate) Héctor Herrera (Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sciences) and Daniela León (Ph.D. student in Sciences with specialization in Applied Cellular and Molecular Biology) are the three winners of these initiatives.

Natural fiber for construction, the production of value-added orchids and a cream formula for the treatment of melanomas are the three initiatives the Universidad de La Frontera is going to develop within the framework of the Second Stage of Valorization of Research at Universities projects of FONDEF (Chilean Fund for the Support of Scientific and Technological Development). The investment is over 72 million Chilean pesos worth.

Javier Vidal, Héctor Herrera y Daniela León are the three winners of these initiatives. Javier is a graduate in Construction Engineering; Héctor has a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sciences and Daniela is a Ph.D. student in Sciences with specialization in Applied Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Javier will be working on a wet alkaline method to manufacture prefabricated boards of insulating, fire-resistant, sustainable and bio-based material, made of residual natural fiber from the agricultural sector and with a thermal conductivity that is similar to the traditional materials on the Chilean market. “Nowadays, the market of thermal insulating materials is dominated by derivatives of petrochemicals and minerals which are non-renewable and have a great impact on the environment. This way, the manufacturing of insulation materials from residual natural fiber seems like a great opportunity,” he commented.

At the same time, Dr. Herrera wants to produce orchids with ornamental value by incorporating endemic mycorrhizal fungi. “The fungi promote the germination of different orchid species through co-cultivation techniques, so I could improve the germination rates and achieve the production of seedlings that are destined for ornamental purposes.”

The third project is about the creation of a cream for topical use during photodynamic therapy in skin cancer treatment. Daniela León is in charge of this project and the idea is to produce a cream for topical use based on the methyl aminolevulinate photosensitizer precursor. “My proposal is an improved formula that assures a greater long-term effectiveness in photodynamic therapy for dermatologic preneoplastic or neoplastic lesions of non-melanoma skin cancer in order to decrease the recurrence rate."


Second stage of the 7th VALORIZATION OF RESEARCH AT UNIVERSITIES CONTEST 2017 of the FONDEF-Program of CONICYT (Chilean Commission for Scientific and Technological Research).

VIU17P0192 Development of insulating boards based on residual natural fiber for their use in sustainable construction.
Amount: 24.000.000 Chilean pesos
VIU17P0185 Design of an orchid production system with added ornamental value by using endemic mycorrhizal fungi.
Amount: 24.000.000 Chilean pesos
VIU17P0139 Development of a cream for topic use with an improved formula that assures a greater effectiveness of photodynamic therapy in non-melanoma skin cancer treatment.
Amount: 24.000.000 Chilean pesos

escrito porWritten by: Lorena Espinoza
vice-rectorate of Research and Postgraduate Affairs