Dr. Mario Chiong Biography

Dr Mario Chiong did his undergraduate studies at the University of Chile, where he obtained the title of Biochemist in 1987. After being hired at the University of Chile in 1988 as Instructor, he move to the private industry during 1994-2001 working in R&D in marine toxins and in food science. After returning to the University of Chile in 2002, he obtained his Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology from the same institution in 2009, investigating the role of the transcription factor TonEBP in the cardiomyocyte death triggered by osmotic stress. Mario Chiong currently holds a position as Associate Professor of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences since 2015.

His research line is the study of signal transduction and metabolism in cardiovascular diseases, particularly in vascular smooth muscle cells and cardiomyocytes. This research line has been supported by 10 FONDECYT grants (2 as principal investigator and 8 as co-investigator), 2 FONDAP grants as Associate investigator (Center for Molecular Studies of the Cell – CEMC and Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases – ACCDiS), 1 Ring project in Science and Technology as Associate Investigator, and 1 FONDEF proyect as Associate Investigator. He has 108 publications in ISI journals (total citation: 8,062, h index 33). In the last 5 years (2012-2017) he has published 41 papers, with a total of 6,153 citations, h index 27. He has trained 14 undergraduate, 6 masters and 4 PhD students as well as 2 post-doctoral fellows.

Dr. Chiong is Ad hoc reviewer in more than 20 international journals such as Basic ClinPharmacol, BiochemBiophys Res Commun, BiochemPharmacol, Cell Death & Dis, Cell Prolif, Circulation, ClinSci, Curr Pharm Biotech, Gene, J MolEndocrinol, Mol Cell Endocrinol, Oral Dis, Oxid Med Cell Longev, Pharmacogenomics, CurrMol Med, Plos One, Pharmacol&Toxicol, Rev Chil Cardiol and Biol Res. He also serves as grant reviewer for FONDECYT (Chile), FONDEF (Chile), Chilean Society of Cardiology and Bioscience for the Future (UK).

Dr. Chiong participates in undergraduate teaching to Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry students at the University of Chile. He is co-organizer with Andrew Quest and Vicente Torres and lecturer in 1 transversal post-graduate courses of the University of Chile (Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology Course), lecturer in 6 post-graduate courses of the University of Chile (Basic Concepts in Cell Signaling, Cell Signaling in Biomedicine; Molecular Biology in Biomedicine; Pharmacology; Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, and Cell Biology).

Some of his administrative duties include having served as president & secretary of the Biosafety Committee of the North Campus (Faculty of Odontology and Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences), member of the PhD in Biochemistry Committee at the University of Chile, and Vice director of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Research lines

The main objective of our laboratory is to study the molecular mechanisms involved in vascular remodeling. This phenomenon is associated with the genesis and development of hypertension, arterial stenosis, atherosclerosis among other vascular diseases.We investigate the mechanisms by which cell metabolism and its regulation by several stimuli, including incretins (GLP-1), insulin, PDGF-BB, myokines, autophagy, mitochondrial dynamics and reticulocyte-mitochondrial interaction are able to modulate vascular remodeling. In particular, we studied the regulation of dedifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells from a contractile phenotype to a dedifferentiated, proliferative and migratory phenotype.

Selected references

  1. Torres G, Morales PE, García-Miguel M, Norambuena-Soto I, Cartes-Saavedra B, Vidal-Peña G, Moncada-Ruff D, Sanhueza-Olivares F, San Martín A, Chiong M.Glucagon-like peptide-1 inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell dedifferentiation through mitochondrial dynamics regulation.BiochemPharmacol. 2016 Mar 15;104:52-61.
  2. Morales PE, Torres G, Sotomayor-Flores C, Peña-Oyarzún D, Rivera-Mejías P, Paredes F, Chiong M.GLP-1 promotes mitochondrial metabolism in vascular smooth muscle cells by enhancing endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria coupling.BiochemBiophys Res Commun. 2014 Mar 28;446(1):410-6.