Andrew F. G. Quest

Andrew Quest did his undergraduate studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zuerich, Switzerland where he received a Masters degree in Biochemistry (1983). He obtained his Ph.D. degree from the same institution in 1988 investigating the role of compartmentalized energy replenishment systems (creatine kinases) in vertebrate phototransduction.

From there he moved to the laboratory of Dr. Ben Shapiro (Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA) to study mechanisms and specifically lipid modifications responsible for targeting a cytosolic creatine kinase isoform to the tail compartment of sea urchin sperm (1988-1990).

Driven by an increasing interest in signal transduction processes and specifically lipid second messengers, he then pursued a second post-doctoral training period in Dr. Robert M. Bell’s laboratory (Department of Biochemistry, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA) investigating lipid-dependent regulation of Protein Kinase C (1990-1994). From there he moved to back to Switzerland as an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Biochemistry, University of Lausanne (1994-1999), where he continued studying mechanisms involved in the regulation of specific Protein Kinase C isoforms and their role in cell transformation. At the same time a line of investigation focusing on the role of membrane microdomains (rafts, caveolae) in cellular signaling and cancer developed. Since then he moved to Chile to the Program of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICBM), University of Chile (1999 to date). Since then he has been working in the areas outlined under “Research Interests”.

Andrew Quest currently holds a position as Full Professor. Projects in his laboratory are funded by national programs (FONDECYT/FONDAP/PIA). He is one of the six principle investigators that founded the Center for Molecular Studies of the Cell (CEMC) in 2002 and was funded by the FONDAP program until 2012. The mission of this Center of excellence with a strong focus on various aspects of cellular signalling was to create an internationally competitive basic research environment in Chile that favored interactions with clinicians.

He is the current Director of CEMC, which continues to pursue similar scientific objectives, foster the training of advanced human resources by providing unique research opportunities for students at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate) as well as favorable conditions for the insertion of young academics into the Chilean research system. Additionally, he is director of the Network for Metabolic Stress Signalling (NEMESIS), a research initiative that seeks to evaluate molecular mechanisms underlying the development of chronic diseases in Chile (see website www.nemesis-ring.cl). Finally, he is principle investigator and scientific director (area cancer) of a new FONDAP center called ACCDiS (Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases) with six investigators that was recently funded to study mechaisms leading to the development of cardiovascular diseases and cancer (see www.ACCDiS.cl).