CIESAL researcher wins Chilean Bipolar Disorder Society Research Project contest


Professor Marcelo Arancibia Meza, a CIESAL researcher leading a team of professionals from the Universidad de Valparaíso and the Universidad de Chile, has been awarded first place in the first psychiatry resident research fund contest by the Chilean Bipolar Disorder Society (SOCHITAB).

The contest seeks to promote scientific research in our country, providing a small initial contribution for professionals who are at the start of their careers to support their research projects, as a way of encouraging and highlighting ideas which grow out of healthcare practice in our country.

The three finalists showcased their projects during the SOCHITAB 2022 International Seminar which took place in September of this year, presenting their work to a large audience of more than 300 people.

Dr Arancibia’s winning project was chosen by a jury made up of prominent international speakers. It aims to identify and analyse potential biological traces left by child abuse of any kind in adults suffering from bipolar disorders. The study is entitled “Analysis of the potential role of epigenetic modifications in the OXTR and FKBP5 genes as mediators between child abuse and social cognition in adults with type I bipolar affective disorder.”

The researchers posit that these traces may involve molecular modifications around DNA that alter gene expression, which, ultimately, would be related to alterations in social cognition during adulthood. The genes involved play a role in the neurobiology of stress and social cognition, specifically in aspects such as empathy and theory of mind.

Ulises Ríos, Pablo Moya, Javier Morán (Universidad de Valparaíso) and María Leonor Bustamante (Universidad de Chile) were the other members of this multidisciplinary project.

We would like to congratulate Dr Arancibia and wish him success with his project.