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Benjamin Suarez

Benjamin A. Suarez-Isla is professor of physiology and biophysics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile. He has made contributions in ion channel biophysics and marine toxin research and is the Director of a leading laboratory in this field. He has served as chairperson of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics and later as Director of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICBM; 2011-2014) the largest biomedical research institution in Chile. In that capacity he helped to organize interdisciplinary research groups at the ICBM in cancer and bioinformatics. In 2014 he led the efforts to organize a University-wide Interdisciplinary Research Network of researchers and specialists from biomedical, medical and social sciences. This integrated institutional platform has addressed the existing knowledge gaps on the aging process in Chile, improved collaboration with government services to better inform policy and has promoted international scientific collaboration. The Network has also contributed towards the organization of International Summer Schools in January 2015 and 2016 and organized public seminars. In 2015 the Network endorsed successful grant applications such as a 10-year Excellence Award for Aging Research and worked closely with Conicyt (National Research Funding Agency) and the National Service for the Elderly (Senama) to design and implement a new applied research program on aging.