Principal researchers

Rodrigo Soto

Rodrigo Soto is a tenured professor of the Physics Department of the University of Chile and director of the Millennium Nucleus Physics of Active Matter.
Doctor in Science, mention in Physics of the University of Chile, Rodrigo has more than 80 publications and, since 2016, his papers have been quoted 1.057 times in the following lines of investigation: statistical mechanics, fluid mechanics, granular matter, computational physics, and active matter. (Google Scholar).
His professional development includes a postdoctoral residence at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France, and visiting researcher works in the Universities of Oxford, England, Complutense of Madrid, Spain, and the École Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles de París (ESPCI, France).
He has formed more than 1.600 undergraduate and postgraduate students, 150 of them while he worked as visiting professor overseas. Since 2009, he has led seven investigation projects.
Author of the book “Kinetic Theory and Transport Phenomena (Master Series in Physics, Oxford University, 2016)”, Rodrigo Soto is currently in charge of a Fondecyt project (National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development, Chile). He is also the researcher responsible in Chile of the Laboratoire International Associé Matière: Structure et Dynamique (Francia) and the producer of the divulgation program Podcasts de Física.

María Luisa Cordero

Doctor in Fluid Mechanics from the École Polytechnique, France, María Luisa Cordero is assistant director and principal researcher of the Millennium Nucleus Physics of Active Matter.
Expert in LOC (lab on a chip), she builds microfluidic experimental setups to study the dynamics of water droplets confined in microchannels, so she can comprehend and predict their behavior when exposed to an external flow.
Assistant professor of the Physics Department of the University of Chile, she attended postdoctoral studies in the Aeronautics and Fluid Mechanics Department of the University of Sevilla, Spain, adding 18 publications and 297 quotes of her papers since 2016 (Google Scholar).
She currently leads a Fondecyt project (National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development, Chile) with a work about biological micromotors created with bacteria confined in water droplets. She also conducts multidisciplinary collaborations with chemical engineering researchers from the Metropolitan Technological University (UTEM, Chile), and from the École Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles (ESPCI, France).

Felipe Barra

Doctor in Science from the University of Brussels, Belgium and associate professor of the Department of Physics of the University of Chile, Felipe Barra is principal researcher of the
Millennium Nucleus Physics of Active Matter.
Graduate and master in Science, mention in Physics (University of Chile), also completed postdoctoral studies in the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. His investigation areas include the following: propagation of elastic waves in random media, chaotic systems showing non-equilibrium stationary states, and quantum description of thermodynamic systems, particularly
open systems, which are associated with the study of active matter.
He has 54 publications and 515 quotes of his papers since 2016 (Google Scholar). Besides, he has actively participated in national and international fortnight seminars and talks.
In the last five years, Felipe Barra has been leading ten investigation projects. He is currently, and until 2022, the principal researcher of a Fondecyt project (National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development) of the National Agency for Investigation and Development (ANID,Chile).

Juan Keymer

Holding a PhD in ecology and evolution from Princeton University, Juan Keymer is a principal investigator of the Millennium Nucleus Physics of Active Matter as well as an academic in the Department of Natural Sciences and Technology at the University of Aysén where he brings
cutting edge research to the extreme wilderness of Chilean Patagonia.
After postdoc training in cellular biophysics at Princeton University and NEC Labs, mixing theory and experiments, he started his own research group in the Department of Bionanoscience at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands.
Having laid the foundations of his interdisciplinary work applying nanotechnology and ecology to build synthetic on-chip ecosystems, he moved back to Chile to continue his efforts as an Assistant Professor at the P. Catholic University of Chile (2013-2020) and Adjunct Investigator of this Millennium Nucleus (2017-2020).
With experience working in three continents, he has mentored more than 25 students, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as several postdocs and has hosted junior and senior
researchers in his lab. He has led several research projects and co-authored 60 scientific articles and 6 book chapters. Since 2016 his work has been cited 1.400 times (Google Scholar).
In the laboratory, Juan tinkers at the interface of physics and biology in order to understand how cells organize into communities and tissues and what are the roles of space and adjacency relationships in determining such organization. He currently leads a Fondecyt project studying the collective intelligence of microbes.

Francisca Guzmán Lastra

Graduate from Science, mention in Physics and Fluid Dynamics doctor from the University of Chile (2012).
Francisca completed postdoctoral studies in Theoretical Physics, Soft Matter at the Heinrich-Heine Düsseldorf University, Germany. She worked as a professor at the Physics Department of the universities of Chile and Santiago and as visiting researcher at the École Supérieure de Physique et
Chimie Industrielles (ESPCI, France), where she performed a bacterial suspensions study.
Francisca Guzmán has eight publications and 101 quotes of her work since 2016 (Google Scholar). She has participated in more than a dozen seminars and international conferences. In 2018, Francisca was honored by the American Physical Society with the APS International Research Travel Award Program (EE.UU.) and, in 2019, with a research residency in Germany by the German Service of Academic Exchange (DAAD).
She is currently director of the Data Science career of the Interdisciplinary Studies Faculty of Universidad Mayor and principal researcher of the Millennium Nucleus Physics of Active Matter.

Néstor Sepúlveda

Doctor and Master in Science from the Université Paris VII, and master and graduate in Physics from the University of Chile, he was an associate researcher of the Millennium Nucleus Physics of Active Matter, from 2017 to 2020. Currently, he is a principal researcher of this center of excellence from 2021 to 2023.
Sepúlveda has 14 publications and, from 2016 by this time, he has 241 quotes of his papers about the main areas of his investigation like collective behavior, supersolids theory, statistical physics, biophysics, nonlinear physics, condensed matter, quantum mechanics, and granular matter (Google Scholar).
In the active matter area, he counts with 5 WOS publications: “Hyperuniform states generated by a critical friction field” (2019), “Universality of active wetting transitions” (2018), “Wetting transitions displayed by persistent active particles” (2017), “Extra-embryonic tissue spreading directs early embryo morphogenesis in killifish” (2017), and “Coarsening and clustering in run-and-tumble dynamics with short-range exclusion” (2016).