Sebastián Reyes, PhD.

Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor

Immunogenomics Laboratory

PhD in Microbiology, Universidad de Santiago, Chile.

Líneas de Investigación

  • Sistema inmune de peces
  • Estrategias de inmunización y de alimentos funcionales que favorezcan el estado inmune del pez.

Immunogenomics Laboratory

The Immunogenomics Laboratory focuses his research on topics of comparative immunology with a strong emphasis on the dissection of components and mechanisms involved in fish immune responses, using macrophages and their interaction with pathogens as the main model. Understanding how the fish immune system functions in health and disease will broaden the intersection of immunology and high-throughput genomic technologies, which has provided an integrated overview of global changes triggered by the interaction between both organisms. We employ genomic, transcriptomic, and functional approaches for the evaluation of host-pathogens interactions. This knowledge is used to design suitable efficient solutions to enhance the immune status of the host, offering market opportunities from fundamental research. Our main achievements include the development of an alternative immunization strategy to enhance the immune response against fish intracellular pathogens, improving macrophage’s immune response directly affecting bacterial viability.


Sebastián Reyes Cerpa is Assistant Professor and member of the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics at Universidad Mayor. He received with maximum distinction (1st in his promotion) the Biochemistry Bachelor’s degree from Universidad de Santiago de Chile (2006). His research was focused on the characterization of the immune response against Neisseria gonorrhoaea in a murine model, where his main challenge was to unravel the poor immune response mounted by dendritic cells against this pathogen. Dr. Reyes has been awarded the “Juan Gómez Millas” and “Fundacion Dr. Alberto Zanlungo” for his outstanding academic achievements during his undergraduate studies.

Dr. Reyes-Cerpa obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology (1st Class Honors) from Universidad de Chile and Universidad de Santiago de Chile (2011) where his research was focused on describing the persistent viral infection of Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) in Atlantic salmon, characterizing the cytokine expression profile in fish with acute and chronic infection. During 2011, Dr. Reyes-Cerpa developed a research internship at the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) in the Fish Pathobiology Lab, where he worked on the humoral immune response of Atlantic salmon challenged with IPNV. The research led by Dr. Reyes-Cerpa begins with a wide screening strategy to characterize the immune process involved on host-pathogen interaction between salmonid and fish pathogen using high – throughput genomic technologies in order to determine which are the immune mechanisms that need to be enhanced to develop effective immunization strategies to improve fish health and providing a protective immune response. Dr. Reyes has received funding from the FONDECYT program and intramural funding from Universidad de Santiago de Chile and Universidad Mayor. Actually, Dr. Reyes-Cerpa belongs to the Chilean Association of Immunology and is a member of the Doctoral Academic Council of the Integrative Genomics PhD program at Universidad Mayor. He is also a member of the Biotechnology Bachelor’s curriculum committee at Universidad Mayor. He has directed 6 bachelor´s thesis and has published 13 peer-review publications including book chapters and scientific journals, all devoted to Immunology and Microbiology.

Selected publications

1.Pérez-Stuardo D, Morales-Reyes J, Tapia S, Ahumada DE, Espinoza A, Soto-Herrera V, Brianson B, Ibaceta V, Sandino AM, Spencer E, Vallejos-Vidal E, Reyes-López FE, Valdés J, Reyes-Cerpa S. (2019) Non-lysosomal Activation in Macrophages of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) After Infection with Piscirickettsia salmonis. Frontiers in Immunology. Mar 19;10:434. Impact factor: 5,511. Publicado

2.Reyes-Cerpa S, Vallejos-Vidal E, Gonzalez-Bown MJ, Morales-Reyes J, Pérez-Stuardo D, Vargas D, Imarai M, Cifuentes V, Spencer E, Sandino AM*, Reyes-López FE*. (2018) Effect of yeast (Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous) and plant (Saint John's wort, lemon balm, and rosemary) extract based functional diets on antioxidant and immune status of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) subjected to crowding stress. Fish Shellfish Immunol. Mar;74:250-259. Impact factor: 3,185. Publicado.

3.Maisey K, Montero R, Corripio-Miyar Y, Toro-Ascuy D, Valenzuela B, Reyes-Cerpa S, Sandino AM, Zou J, Wang T, Secombes CJ, Imarai M*. (2016). Isolation and characterization of salmonid CD4+ T cells. Journal of Immunology May 15;196(10):4150-63. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1500439. Impact factor: 4,539. Publicado.

4.Reyes-López FE, Romeo JS, Vallejos-Vidal E, Reyes-Cerpa S, Sandino AM, Tort L, Mackenzie S, Imarai M*. (2015). Differential immune gene expression profiles in susceptible and resistant full-sibling families of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) challenged with infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV). Dev Comp Immunol. Nov;53(1):210-21. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2015.06.017. Impact Factor: 2,913. Publicado.

5.Reyes-Cerpa S., Reyes-López FE., Toro-Ascuy D., Montero R., Maisey K., Acuña-Castillo C., Sunyer JO., Parra D., Sandino AM., Imarai M*. (2014) Induction of anti-inflammatory cytokine expression by IPNV persistent infection. Fish and Shellfish Immunology Dec;41(2):172-182. Doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2014.08.029. Impact factor: 3,185. Publicado.



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