UFRO ranking THE

UFRO maintains leadership and shows results of excellence in the areas of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

Once again, the Universidad de La Frontera (UFRO) occupies an important position in the report published by the Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings 2017.

In the international register, the UFRO – a public, state and regional university – achieved to stay within a privileged place in Latin America and in Chile.

The Rector Sergio Bravo pointed out: "To be the best state University of the regions and to rank among the best 10 in Chile and among the top 35 in Latin America, this is a result that reflects the excellence with which the entire UFRO community is developing the work during years, achieving a prestigious and consolidated position in national and international quality measurements.”

He added, that this position also "values the institutional trajectory and the efforts that have been invested as a state and regional University which is committed to quality, especially when we included our indispensable commitment to excellence and precision in our work.”


In this version, the Times Higher Education rated 81 universities in Latin America, using the same criteria as the World University Rankings, but with special modifications to better reflect the qualities of Latin America´s institutions. This way, 13 separate performance indicators of the main tasks – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook – are used to evaluate the world-class educational institutions.

The director of Academic Quality, Dr. Martha Ramírez, pointed out that "the international recognition of the THE to our Institution, for the second consecutive year, is a confirmation of the quality of our processes and results, and also allows us to know how we are doing at the national and international level in the dimensions analyzed and to identify opportunities for improvement.”

"This ranking is one of the most prestigious, nationally and internationally, because it expresses the levels of complexity of university institutions. The position we achieved this year, is the result of an institutional development policy that focuses on complexity and quality as the guiding principles of the tasks and that, incidentally, are the most valued aspects by the entities which we are linked to as UFRO – such as Conicyt – in order to generate new projects, and that use this prestigious ranking as one of the conditions of eligibility to apply for a Becas-Chile Scholarship for postgraduate studies at the best universities in the world”, stressed the director of Analysis and Institutional Development, Dr. Ricardo Herrera.

The Director of International Affairs, Dr. Pamela Leal, highlights another aspect: "For the objective of internationalization of our University, to rank as one of the best State and Region Universities of Chile in this important ranking is a result that opens us more and new doors and benefits the entire UFRO Community in Chile and abroad".

Even though, this position continues to give prestige to the UFRO in the national and Latin American scenario and as a leader in the Araucanía Region, the Rector, Sergio Bravo, emphasized that this achievement also implies an even bigger motivation to advance in the challenges of the institution: "This ranking confirms that we are on the right track, but also encourages us with regard to the goals that we have set ourselves, and that involves the work of the entire University Community."


written byWritten by: Direction of Communications


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Dr. César Arriagada Escamilla of the Department of Forestry Science at the Faculty of Agricultural and Forestry Science has been studying the contamination of soils by heavy metals for almost 20 years.

In a new research, carried out thanks to a Fondecyt Regular Project, Dr. Arriagada seeks to analyze the transcriptome of plants, which are tolerant to heavy metal contamination and which, as a result of climate change (drought), are facing adverse conditions. The objective is to understand the functioning of the genes that are expressed under these conditions of contamination and water deficits, opening a number of research horizons.

"Along with researchers from the University of Waterloo,in Ontario, Canada,we are currently analyzing and decoding the genome of a bacterium which is highly resistant to arsenic", he says. For that purpose, the focus lies on the exploration of bacteria and fungi which promote the plant growth and activate tolerance mechanisms to these polluting elementsinplants.

"During the years, we have been broadening our research on contaminated soils by incorporating the global analysis of gene expression: tolerant plants and microorganisms associated with them in their rhizosphere; part of the soil that is immediate to the living roots and which is under the direct influence of them. This is why we are working with those bacteria and fungi that are adapted to such soil and extreme climatic conditions”, he adds.

The above is related to the isolation of microorganisms that may be potential inducers of stress tolerance in plants which are exposed to metal contamination and water deficits.

"We are isolating these types of microorganisms from the Atacama Desert –the Puchuncaví Valley, an extreme environment in the north of Chile, which has a high degree of heavy metal pollution – and from volcanic areas in the National Parks of Villarrica and Conguillio, another extreme environment", says the researcher.

Once the isolation is done, the idea is to continue with the molecular work and to identify which genes of the studied plants are evident. According to the researcher, the genes which will express themselves in terms of contamination are going to be directly related to the ones that express themselves in terms of stress problems due to water shortages.

“This is what we want to study, this is interesting, because from these results we can specifically define the mechanisms of tolerance provided by the fungi and bacteria and how they promote plant growth under these types of stress", says Dr. Arriagada.
In addition, these microorganisms do not only protect the plant, but also help it to obtain nutritional resources and water, so that this research is perfectly applicable to the conditions of agriculture and conventional forestry, which are exposed to increasing stress scenarios because of the climate change.

“It is a line of research that continues to grow and is becoming more and more consolidated. Each time, we have better responses from foreign scientists who see many potential for scientific development in our project. We always add an attractive component and this time, we address the drought as a result of the climate change from a completely different point of view compared to what has already been done, by using the gene characterization of the studied plants”, he concluded.


written byWritten by: Lorena Espinoza
Vice-Rectorate of Research and Postgraduate Programs


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Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Paraguay will be in Group A of the competition. The matches will take place in the Olympic Gym of our University, on August 7th, 8th and 9th.

The Olympic Champions from "Brazil" already know the rivals they will face at the Olympic Gym of the Universidad de La Frontera in the South American Championship of Male Adult Volleyball 2017.

They will come up against the selections of Colombia, Venezuela and Paraguay, who will compete in Group A, in the capital of the Araucanía Region, on August 7th, 8th and 9th.

This is what was established by the board of the Chilean Volleyball Federation (Fevochi). The South American Confederation of Volleyball (CSV) ratified this information, finishing the program of matches that will take place in Santiago and Temuco.

The Brazilian team is the biggest attraction of the Championship and will debut on August 7th against Paraguay, the same day, on which the team from Colombia will come up against Venezuela. Both matches will take place at the Olympic Gym of the Universidad de La Frontera.

On the second day, Brazil will be playing against Venezuela, and Colombia against Paraguay. The last day, Brazil will end the group stage in a match against Colombia, while Venezuela plays against Paraguay at the end of the preliminary round.


Jorge Pino, president of the Chilean Volleyball Federation (Fevochi), stressed the importance of this Championship, which will host the current Olympic Champion from Brazil. The team will participate with all of their stars.

"You can make something similar to what was done in 2015 at the Copa América in Soccer. This is the same, but in Volleyball and we will have the current Olympic Champion in Temuco during the first three days. This is world-class level", he explains.

Heis grateful for the effort and interest of Temuco, by the Municipality and the UFRO, and for accepting this challenge to help to decentralize the sport.

"The community of Temuco and the Araucanía Region should be aware of that they will be able to witness the best volleyball in the world at the Olympic Gym of the UFRO. We are sure that this tournament will generate a series of consequences for the sport and especially for the development and promotion of volleyball”, adds Jorge Pino.

During the next few weeks, the Chilean Volleyball Federation will announce the points of sale and the ticket-prices to witness the matches in the Olympic Gym of theUFRO and the Metropolitan Region


written byWritten by: Sergio Valenzuela
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Cardiovascular diseases, their characteristics and development processes, risk factors, preventive measures and related research, were part of the third day of the second cycle of the UFRO Scientific Café 2017.

They explained that, although this type of disease often presents gradual changes, it iseasy to Two well-known experts and researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad de La Frontera, the cardiologist Dr. Fernando Lanas and the medical technologist Dr. Nicolás Saavedra, participated in a kind of dialogue and reflection on the main causes of death in the world and in Chile: cardiovascular diseases.

Almost one hundred people – from the UFRO and externals– assisted, when the experts shared their experience regarding diseases associated with a heart condition from a clinical and molecular point of view. identify at the cellular level, but the patients only notice it, when the disease manifests itself.

"One of our topics in the Society of Cardiology is the question of how to transfer the information to the community, because we do a lot of research that has to do with very real situations in real life, and because the people are the ones who get sick.

Therefore, it is very important for us to be able to inform the people about what heart diseases are, what their causes are and how we can avoid them”, said Dr. Fernando Lanas, after being asked about his participation in the area of scientific dissemination.

Dr. Nicolás Saavedra also shared this opinion. “As researchers at the University, it is extremely important to participate in these possibilities of rapprochement with the community, because normally, we are only in contact with the scientific community, so we highly appreciate the invitation to get closer and reach people with what we are doing.”

Cardiovascular diseases are considered a public health problem and have a multiple etiology and prevalence of risk factors (hypertension, smoking, abdominal obesity, diabetes, etc.). Both researchers have explored this subject in different studies, with the common goal of contributing to the prevention and treatment.

Actually, this is one of the reasons why the Scientific Café is being developed. The idea is to let the community know about the scientific work that is developed in our country in benefit of the society.

In its second cycle, this Scientific Café, promoted and coordinated by Dr. Alex Seguel, is organized by the BIOREN-UFRO and the PAR Explora of CONICYT in the Araucanía Region, counting with the valuable support of the Vice-Rectorate of Research and Postgraduate Programs, the Vice-Rectorate of Undergraduate Programs, the Nucleus of Social Science and the Direction of Outreach and Community Engagement.


written byWritten by:Daphne Bormann
Faculty of Engineering & Science


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Thanks to funds of the Japanese government, through the International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Agency of Science and Technology (JST), a three billion Chilean pesos worth project was awarded to the Universidad de La Frontera, which will have a scientific, economic and social impact. The idea is to avoid red tide caused economic losses in the salmon industry by using a detection kit of easy use for the industry.

Monitoring, predicting and detecting red tide outbreaks in southern Chile, especially in areas of salmon farming for export, is the main objective of a group of Chilean scientists who have just joined a research team at the Kyoto University, the University of Okayama and the Japanese Research Institute of Fisheries Science.

Dr. MilkoJorquera, researcher at the UFRO and one of the managers of the initiative, said, that the Universidad de La Frontera is favored to be part of this sustainability project, worldwide and in Chile. Together with scientists of the Universidad de Los Lagos and the Universidad de Antofagasta, they form the Chilean counterpart of the initiative. The three entities will contribute to this mega-project by using their fields of expertise, seeking to complement the knowledge.

“We will not only cover the scientific and technological area, but also the industrial, economic and above all,the social one. This last point is vital, because all the advances and technologies that we can develop and apply can benefit those, who are impacted by the farming and export of salmon."


Chiaki Kobayashi of the JICA's Latin America Department, specifies that it is extremely important to contribute to the development of this industry and thanks to this project, the salmon industry in Chile can anticipate events, make decisions and have indicators to know how to act in case of a new outbreak of red tide or other pollutants.

"Food safety is relevant for us, and the development of a monitoring and forecasting kit is indispensable to visualize eventual outbreaks of red tide or other contaminants, so that companies can make decisions in advance, based on the information, and know how to proceed."

Dr. Jorquera adds that the study will include biological aspects and will investigate all microorganisms that are present, while establishing indicators to build the kit with parameters that could cover other threats to the salmon industry.

Chilean Counterpart

Dr. Fumito Maruyama of the Kyoto University will be in charge of the project, along with the JICA and the JST. In Chile, the Universidad de La Frontera will contribute with scientific knowledge and support, as well as providing highly complex equipment for analysis, through the Scientific and Technological Bioresource Nucleus (BIOREN-UFRO).

The Universidad de Los Lagos will support the studies, and according to Dr. Gonzalo Gajardo - researcher at his University - the focus will be on sample taking, initial processing and contributions to the metagenomics. The Universidad de Antofagasta, represented on this occasion by Dr. Carlos Riquelme, will participate in the area of microalgae-bacterial interaction. "We have a center that deals with this interaction, and it is very interesting to participate in this initiative. We hope to have results with an impact on science and R & D & I, and aspire to influence public policies in this area, based on the results of this mega-project."

Chile is the world´s second largest salmon exporting country and Japan is the second biggest importer, since their diet is based on the consumption of this animal, in large part. But the latest outbreak of red tide meant a loss of more than 800 million dollars for the Chilean industry, affecting large part of the production in the Los Lagos Region.


written by

Written by: Lorena Espinoza Arévalo
Vice-Rectorate of Research and Postgraduate Programs