San Jose, Costa Rica

University of Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica

For the association football club, see Club de Futbol Universidad de Costa Rica.The University of Costa Rica is a public university in the Republic of Costa Rica, in Central America. Its main campus, Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio, is located in San Pedro Montes de Oca, in the province of San José. It is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious institution of higher learning in Costa Rica, originally established as the Universidad de Santo Tomás in 1843. It is also the most important research university in the country, and Central America. Approximately 39,000 students attend UCR throughout the year.Within the Webometrics ranking, the UCR ranks at #580 worldwide, and at #21 in Latin America. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 26, 2017

Establishment Labs, a global medical device company focused on aesthetic technologies with a strong emphasis on product development and innovation, announced today the expansion of its leadership team with the addition of Alberto Quesada as Vice President of Quality Assurance & Regulatory Affairs. “We are pleased to add a senior executive with Alberto’s deep expertise during this exciting stage of our growth. His background and track record of achievement within high-profile healthcare companies, such as Boston Scientific and Allergan, will add great value as we expand,” said Juan José Chacón-Quirós, CEO and founder of Establishment Labs. “Alberto’s drive for organizational excellence and standard of quality aligns perfectly with our goal of becoming a global leader in aesthetic and reconstructive devices technology, while improving patient safety through product innovation." Alberto Quesada brings more than two decades of experience in quality assurance, quality control, and regulatory affairs to Establishment Labs. He will lead all activities related to the design, manufacture and distribution of quality products with the highest industry standard, as well as compliance with the company’s Quality Management System and applicable regulations. In addition, Mr. Quesada will lead all regulatory aspects of the business to support appropriate and timely introduction of products as well as a continuous state of compliance with markets’ regulatory requirements. "The current regulatory framework requires not only a best-in-class product but a methodical approach to continuously improve quality at all levels,” stated Mr. Quesada. “Our plan is to deepen our competitive advantages by building a stronger set of capabilities in our Quality Management System." Prior to joining Establishment Labs, Mr. Quesada served as a Quality Director and later as a Management Representative at Boston Scientific in Costa Rica. Previously, he spent nearly a decade with Allergan Corporation, where he served in senior quality management roles. He also held roles at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Kativo Chemical Industries and GTE Sylvania. Mr. Quesada received his MBA from Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED), Costa Rica and his undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Costa Rica. About Establishment Labs Establishment Labs is a global, privately held, medical technology company with a strong emphasis on innovation that designs, develops, manufactures and markets an innovative product portfolio. Its CE-marked Motiva Implants® line of silicone breast implants ( utilizes ultra-high purity medical-grade silicone and is subject to the strictest quality assurance testing throughout the manufacturing process. Motiva Implants® are sold in more than 60 countries worldwide. Puregraft®'s FDA cleared and CE-Marked technology provides plastic surgeons with purified fat for reinjection on the sterile field and is used in hospitals and clinics around the world. Divina® is a proprietary 3D imaging technology for full integration in consultation and surgical planning of unique solutions for breast aesthetics and reconstruction.  All manufacturing facilities are fully compliant with both FDA and ISO applicable standards.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-03a-2014 | Award Amount: 6.92M | Year: 2015

This proposal SFS-03a-2014-aligned focuses to minimize the risk of introduction/impact of emerging pests threatening EU agriculture and forestry. The targets are: 1) Xylella fastidiosa and its vectors in olive, grapevine, citrus, stone fruit, ornamentals and landscape trees of high socio-economic importance; 2) Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum and its vectors affecting a number of strategic crops such as potato, tomato and carrot; and 3) Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus (anomorph. Chalara fraxinea) and Phytophtora spp. seriously affecting broadleaf and conifer species in forest ecosystems. Targeted pests, their vectors and the host response will be explored using innovative approaches (NGS, transcriptomic). Diseases surveillance and epidemiology given by current methods will integrate improved survey protocols and remote sensing. Innovative IPM will include studies of microbiome to develop sustainable solutions in line with the EU plant health legislation. New knowledge gained with POnTE will result in an outcome-based pest prevention and management work plan to: a) implement area-wide pest risk assessments; b) prevent the entry and develop surveillance and early detection tools (diagnostic kits, lab-on-chip, new biomarkers); c) mitigate the spread and reduce the socio-economic impact; d) IPM based on disease resistance, disease-free seeds, cultural practices and physical environmentally-friendly treatments; e) support knowledge-based decision-making policies at EU level. The proposal fosters and promotes a multi-actor approach and transnational research collaborations among 25 Partners at the forefront of research in plant protection, agro-engineering and economics. It involves key industries/SMEs that develop diagnostic kits and services, agrochemical and seed companies, stakeholder groups. End-users will participate in the development of the project and immediately implement the practical solutions derived from the outcomes to solve these serious emerging diseases.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-09-2016 | Award Amount: 7.06M | Year: 2016

XF-ACTORS aims to establish a multidisciplinary research program to answer the urgent need to improve prevention, early detection and control of Xylella fastidiosa (Xf). Recently, Xf was introduced into Italy, where it is causing severe damage to olive crops, and in France, where so far it is limited to ornamental plants and some landscape trees. The overall goal of the research program is to assess Xf potential to spread throughout EU territory, while maximizing its impact through a multifactor approach, based on a seamless integration amongst the 29 partners involved. Proposed actions will be complementary to those carried out under the Project POnTE - 635646, thus ensuring an unbroken continuity with currently ongoing efforts. Specific objectives have been outlined following a step-by-step route, from preventing its introduction into pest-free areas to the establishment of successful eradication strategies in infected zones. Preventive measures against Xf will be strengthened by implementing EU certification programs and developing a plan for establishing a EU Clean Plant Network. EU policy makers will be supported through the development of pest risk assessment tools, focused on current outbreaks and forecasting potentially threatened regions. Surveillance will be properly implemented, supporting the development of early detection tools for field use, remote sensing technology and predictive modelling. Critical information on the pathogen biology, epidemiological traits and hosts under threat, will be gathered with the guidance of the American research groups with long-established research. At the same time, the insect-bacteria interactions will be determined, for developing strategic control measures. The final overall objective is a comprehensive integrated management strategy for diseases associated with Xf, applicable both IPM and organic farming systems, to prevent Xf spread, control its economic, environmental/social impact, when an outbreak would occur.

Gutierrez J.M.,University of Costa Rica
Toxicon | Year: 2016

During 45 years, the Instituto Clodomiro Picado (ICP, University of Costa Rica) has developed an ambitious scientific, technological, productive, and social program aimed at providing a better understanding of snakes and their venoms, contributing to the development, production and distribution of antivenoms, improving the prevention and management of snakebite envenomings, and strengthening human resources in science and technology. Among other topics, its research agenda has focused on the local tissue alterations induced by viperid snake venoms, i.e. myonecrosis, hemorrhage, dermonecrosis, extracellular matrix degradation, lymphatic vessel damage, and inflammation. In addition, the preclinical efficacy of antivenoms has been thoroughly investigated, together with the technological development of novel antivenoms. ICP's project has been based on a philosophical frame characterized by: (a) An integrated approach for confronting the problem of snakebites, involving research, production, extension activities, and teaching; (b) a cooperative and team work perspective in the pursuit of scientific, technological, productive, and social goals; (c) a search for excellence and continuous improvement in the quality of its activities; and (d) a vision of solidarity and compassion, based on the realization that snakebite envenomings mostly affect impoverished vulnerable populations in the rural settings of developing countries. A key aspect in this program has been the consolidation of international partnerships with groups of all continents, within a frame of academic and social cooperation, some of which are described in this review. © 2015 The Author.

Gutierrez J.M.,University of Costa Rica
Toxicon | Year: 2012

Snakebite envenomings constitute a serious and neglected public health problem. Despite the fact that effective treatment exists, i.e. administration of animal-derived antivenoms, the availability and accessibility of these life-saving immunobiologicals is deficitary in various parts of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and some regions of Asia. This article discusses some of the problems that need to be circumvented in order to improve the availability and accessibility of antivenoms. The conglomerate of antivenom manufacturers is highly heterogeneous in terms of technological base, qualification of staff, implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and volume of production. Therefore, improvements in antivenom quality and availability should be based on strategies tailored to the situation of each region or country; in this context, three different scenarios are discussed. Accessibility of antivenoms demands concerted efforts at multiple levels, including raising the awareness of public health authorities on the relevance of the problem, implementing innovative antivenom purchasing schemes, strengthening national distribution channels on the basis of robust epidemiological information, improving the cold chain and the provision of health services in remote rural settings, supporting the correct use of antivenoms, and promoting the involvement of local community organizations in various aspects of prevention and management. These tasks should be envisaged in terms of synergistic, interprogrammatic and intersectorial interventions, with the participation of many players. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Arguedas J.A.,University of Costa Rica
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

When treating elevated blood pressure (BP), doctors often want to know what blood pressure target they should try to achieve. The standard blood pressure target in clinical practice for some time has been less than 140 - 160/90 - 100 mmHg for the general population of people with elevated blood pressure. Several clinical guidelines published in recent years have recommended lower targets (less than 130/80 mmHg) for people with diabetes mellitus. It is not known whether attempting to achieve targets lower than the standard target reduces mortality and morbidity in those with elevated blood pressure and diabetes. To determine if 'lower' BP targets (any target less than 130/85 mmHg) are associated with reduction in mortality and morbidity compared with 'standard' BP targets (less than 140 - 160/90 - 100 mmHg) in people with diabetes. We searched the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE) and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for related reviews. We conducted electronic searches of the Hypertension Group Specialised Register (January 1946 - October 2013), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2013, Issue 9), MEDLINE (January 1946 - October 2013), EMBASE (January 1974 - October 2013) and The most recent search was performed on October 4, 2013.Other search sources were the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP), and reference lists of all papers and relevant reviews. Randomized controlled trials comparing people with diabetes randomized to lower or to standard BP targets as previously defined, and providing data on any of the primary outcomes below. Two review authors independently assessed and established the included trials and data entry. Primary outcomes were total mortality; total serious adverse events; myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure and end-stage renal disease. Secondary outcomes were achieved mean systolic and diastolic BP, and withdrawals due to adverse effects. We found five randomized trials, recruiting a total of 7314 participants and with a mean follow-up of 4.5 years. Only one trial (ACCORD) compared outcomes associated with 'lower' (< 120 mmHg) or 'standard' (< 140 mmHg) systolic blood pressure targets in 4734 participants. Despite achieving a significantly lower BP (119.3/64.4 mmHg vs 133.5/70.5 mmHg, P < 0.0001), and using more antihypertensive medications, the only significant benefit in the group assigned to 'lower' systolic blood pressure (SBP) was a reduction in the incidence of stroke: risk ratio (RR) 0.58, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.39 to 0.88, P = 0.009, absolute risk reduction 1.1%. The effect of SBP targets on mortality was compatible with both a reduction and increase in risk: RR 1.05 CI 0.84 to 1.30, low quality evidence. Trying to achieve the 'lower' SBP target was associated with a significant increase in the number of other serious adverse events: RR 2.58, 95% CI 1.70 to 3.91, P < 0.00001, absolute risk increase 2.0%.Four trials (ABCD-H, ABCD-N, ABCD-2V, and a subgroup of HOT) specifically compared clinical outcomes associated with 'lower' versus 'standard' targets for diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in people with diabetes. The total number of participants included in the DBP target analysis was 2580. Participants assigned to 'lower' DBP had a significantly lower achieved BP: 128/76 mmHg vs 135/83 mmHg, P < 0.0001. There was a trend towards reduction in total mortality in the group assigned to the 'lower' DBP target (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.53 to 1.01), mainly due to a trend to lower non-cardiovascular mortality. There was no difference in stroke (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.42 to 1.05), in myocardial infarction (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.40) or in congestive heart failure (RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.92), low quality evidence. End-stage renal failure and total serious adverse events were not reported in any of the trials. A sensitivity analysis of trials comparing DBP targets < 80 mmHg (as suggested in clinical guidelines) versus < 90 mmHg showed similar results. There was a high risk of selection bias for every outcome analyzed in favor of the 'lower' target in the trials included for the analysis of DBP targets. At the present time, evidence from randomized trials does not support blood pressure targets lower than the standard targets in people with elevated blood pressure and diabetes. More randomized controlled trials are needed, with future trials reporting total mortality, total serious adverse events as well as cardiovascular and renal events.

Eberhard W.G.,University of Costa Rica
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2011

Because of scaling trends in physiology and morphology, very small animals are expected to suffer especially strong selection to reduce the cost of the central nervous system, which may make them more likely to sacrifice behavioural capacities to economize on nervous tissue. This 'size-limitation' hypothesis predicts reduced behavioural capabilities in smaller animals. I tested this hypothesis by comparing web construction behaviour of young nymphs and adults of a very small orb-weaving spider, Anapisona simoni (young nymphs ∼0.005mg, adults ∼0.8mg), with those of relatives up to 10 4 times larger. In these comparisons I took advantage of the special opportunities offered by orb webs to study fine behavioural details during web construction, because the webs represent precise records of large numbers of behavioural decisions. Combining these results with those of a previous study, the size-limitation hypothesis was not supported: very small spiders failed to show three predicted trends, and they showed four other trends that were in directions opposite to those predicted by the hypothesis. Two additional intraweb comparisons (at least one of which was probably biased against equal performance by the smallest species) gave a mix of support and lack of support for the predictions, while only one interspecific difference supported the predictions. Other studies have shown that small spiders have relatively large central nervous systems for their body sizes, suggesting that they may maintain behavioural capabilities comparable to those of larger orb weavers by paying the material and metabolic costs of building and maintaining large volumes of nervous tissue. These considerations may have general consequences for the probability of evolving small body sizes and egg sizes in spiders and other animals. © 2011.

West-Eberhard M.J.,University of Costa Rica
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2014

Darwinian sexual selection can now be seen in the broader context of social selection, or social competition for resources (under sexual selection, mates or fertilization success). The social-interaction aspects of sexually selected traits give them special evolutionary properties of interest for neurobiological studies of stimulus-response systems because they can account for highly complex systems with little information content other than stimulatory effectiveness per se. But these special properties have a long history of being forgotten when other factors dominate the analysis of male-female interactions, such as the mistaken belief that differential responsiveness to signals produced by competing rivals ("female choice") requires an esthetic sense; that species recognition explains all species-specific sexual signals; and, more recently, that successful signals must reflect good survival genes; or that male-female conflict involves female resistance rather than stimulus evaluation. A "conflict paradox" results when male-female conflict is seen as driven by natural selection, whose costs should often move the hypothesized "sexually antagonistic co-evolution" of sensory-response systems toward the powerful domain of sexually synergistic co-evolution under sexual selection. Special properties of sexual selection apply to other forms of social competition as well, showing the wisdom of Darwin's setting it apart from natural selection as an explanation of many otherwise puzzling and extreme traits. © 2014.

Boulay J.N.,University of Costa Rica
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2014

Porites corals are foundation species on Pacific reefs but a confused taxonomy hinders understanding of their ecosystem function and responses to climate change. Here, we show that what has been considered a single species in the eastern tropical Pacific, Porites lobata, includes a morphologically similar yet ecologically distinct species, Porites evermanni. While P. lobata reproduces mainly sexually, P. evermanni dominates in areas where triggerfish prey on bioeroding mussels living within the coral skeleton, thereby generating asexual coral fragments. These fragments proliferate in marginal habitat not colonized by P. lobata. The two Porites species also show a differential bleaching response despite hosting the same dominant symbiont subclade. Thus, hidden diversity within these reef-builders has until now obscured differences in trophic interactions, reproductive dynamics and bleaching susceptibility, indicative of differential responses when confronted with future climate change.

The invention relates to a method for producing injectable pharmaceutical formulations of blood-derived protein materials, including the steps of fractioning the source material in a polymer/salt aqueous two-phase system in the presence of phenol, purifying the top phase of the system by means of precipitation with caprylic acid and purifying the bottom phase by means of thermocoagulation, increasing the purity of the materials in both phases through chromatography, removing viral particles by means of the nanofiltration of both preparations, and formulating, stabilizing, and packaging the resulting materials.

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