Researcher biography

I am a biologist with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Chile (2010). My main research questions are: how do organisms acquire their characteristics during development, and how can alterations in development lead to either 1) disease at an individual level, or 2) to the origin of evolutionary innovations at a phylogenetic level. As an ARC DECRA fellow (Australian Research Council, Discovery Early Career Researcher Award) I study brain development in different species, aiming to understand the main events in the formation and diversification of neuronal circuits, with an emphasis on the cerebral cortices and their connections between hemispheres.

An evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) approach in neuroscience offers critical insights not only on animal biology, behaviour and evolution, but importantly on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of brain wiring disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.