My research program focuses on bacterial fish pathogenesis and host interaction, in particular how bacterial pathogens of fish infect and kill fish hosts, and how the host responds to infection. Infection initiates a dynamic cascade of events that culminates in altered gene expression patterns in both interacting organisms, leading to disease or pathogen clearance. Fish are the most diverse vertebrates on earth, as well as their immune system. Although teleosts are very diverse, they have common bacterial infectious diseases. The long-term goals of my research program are to 1) understand the molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis in aquatic organisms and provide insight into bacterial pathogenesis evolution; 2) understand how bacterial pathogens hijack the fish innate immune system; and 3) understand how to trigger a protective immune response against infectious diseases in fish.

Also, I am interested in several aspects of bacterial physiology, genetics, microbial biotechnology, fish immunity biology and bacteriophage biology.

Industrial Collaborators

Polyamyna INC; Phibro; Cooke Aquaculture; Golden Eagle Sablefish



  • Vasquez, I, Cao T., Chakraborty S., Gnanagobal H., O’Brien, N., Mock, J., Boyce, D., Westcott J. D., J. Santander*. 2020. Comparative Genomics of Vibrio anguillarum Isolated from Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) in Newfoundland Reveled Novel Chromosomal Organizations. MDPI Microorganisms 8(11), 1666.
  • Gendron R.L.*, H. Paradis, R. Ahmad, K. Kao, D. Boyce, W.V. Good, S. Kumar, I. Vasquez, T. Cao, A. Hossain, S. Chakraborty, K. Valderrama, J. Santander. 2020. CD10+ cells participate in pathogen response in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) eyes. Frontiers in Immunology. 11:576897. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.576897
  • Vasquez, I., T. Cao, A. Hossain, K. Valderrama, H. Gananagobnal, M. Dang, R. Leeuwis, M. Ness, B. Campbell, R.L. Gendron, K. Kao, J. Westcott, K. Gamperl, J. Santander*. 2020. Aeromonas salmonicida Infection Kinetics and Protective Immune Response to Vaccination in Sablefish (Anopoploma fimbria). Fish and Shellfish Immunol 104:557-566.
  • Soto-Dávila, M., K. Valderrama, S. Inkpen, J. Hall, M.L. Rise, J. Santander*. 2020. Effects of Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol) on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) primary macrophages during Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida infection. Frontiers in Immunology doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.03011.
  • Eslamloo, K.*, S. Kumar, A. Caballero-Solares, H. Gnanagobal, J. Santander, M. L. Rise*. 2020. Profiling the transcriptome response of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to formalin-killed Renibacterium salmoninarum. Fish Shellfish Immunol. 8: 937-949


  • Valderrama, K., Soto-Davila, M., Vasquez, I., Segovia, C., Dang, M., Santander, J*. 2019. Aeromonas salmonicida subspecies salmonicida infects Salmo salar erythrocytes. J. Fish. Dis. (in press)
  • Soto-Dávila, M, A. Hossain, M.L. Rise and J. Santander*. 2019. Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida Early Infection in Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) Primary Macrophages. Frontiers in Immunology 10:1237
  • Soto-Dávila M., A. Hossain, I. Vasquez, H. Gnanagobal, and J Santander*. 2019. Identification and Validation of Reliable Aeromonas salmonicida subspecies salmonicida Reference Genes for Differential Gene Expression Analyses. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 73:314-321.
  • Chakraborty S., C. Trung, H. Ganangobal, I. Vasquez, D. Boyce, J. Santander*. 2019. Vibrogen-2 Vaccine Trial in Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) Against Vibrio anguillarum. J. Fish Dis 0:1-8
  • Riquelme, N.A., M. F. Leon, J. Santander, and J. Robeson*. 2019. Productive infection and transduction by bacteriophage P1 in the species Salmonella bongori. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology (in press)


  • Segovia, C., R. Arias, A. Yañez, V. Maracaja-Coutinho, J. Santander*. 2018. Core non-coding RNA of Piscirickettsia salmonis. PlosOne 13(5): e0197206
  • Smith, N.C., S. L. Christian, R. G. Taylor, J. Santander, M. L. Rise*. 2018. Immune modulatory properties of 6-gingerol and resveratrol on Atlantic salmon macrophages. Molecular Immunology 95:10-1


  • Retamales, J., C. Segovia, R. Alvarado, P. Nuñez, J. Santander*. 2017. Draft Genome of Xanthomonas arboricola pv juglandis J303 Isolated From Infected Walnut Trees in Southern Chile. Genome Announcements 39(5): e01085-17.
  • Valderrama, K., M. Soto-Davila, J. Santander*. 2017. Draft Genome Sequence of the type strain Aeromonas salmonicida subspecie salmonicida ATCC 33658. Genome Announcements 5(40):e01064-17.
  • Ayala, M., C. Segovia, R. Rojas, C. Miranda and J. Santander*. 2017. Draft Genome Sequence of Epilithonimonas sp FP211-J200 Isolated from an Outbreak Episode in a Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Farm. Genome Announcements 5(37):e00819-17
  • Valderrama, K, Saravia M, Santander, J*. 2017. Phenotype of Aeromonas salmonicida sp. salmonicida cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate receptor protein (Crp) mutants and its virulence in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Journal of Fish Diseases. 7:1-8
  • Saravia, M., C. Segovia, K. Valderrama, J. Santander*. 2017. Colibacillosis in a New Zealand White Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Journal Infection Diseses in Developing Countries 11(2): 203-206. doi:10.3855/jidc.8807
  • Santander, J*, Vasquez, J.I., C. Segovia, M. Ayala, G. Turra, K. Hober, and J. Robeson. 2017. Complete Genome of Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis Bacteriophages fSE1C and fSE4S Isolated from Food Matrices in Chile. Standards in Genomic Sciences. 12:1 DOI: 10.1186/s40793-016-0218-y


  • Almarza, O., K. Valderrama, M. Ayala, C. Segovia and J. Santander*. 2016. A Functional Ferric Uptake Regulator (Fur) in the Fish Pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis. International Microbiology. 19:49-55.
  • Rojas, R., J. Santander, C. Miranda, J. Romero*. 2016. First report of Vibrio tubiashii associated to larval massive mortality a commercial in hatchery of scallop Argopecten purpuratus in Chile. Frontier in Microbiology 7:1473. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.01473
  • Retamales, J., I. Vasquez, L. Santos, C. Segovia, M. Ayala, R. Alvarado, P. Nuñez, J. Santander*. 2016. Complete Sequence of Biocontroling Bacteriophages of Xanthomonas arboricola pv juglandis. Genome Announcements 4(3):e00336-16
  • Martin, T., I. Diaz, J. Kilbourne, O. Almarza, C. Segovia, R. Curtiss III and J. Santander*. 2016. Influence of Lipopolysaccharide Outer-Core in The Intrinsic Resistance to Antimicrobial Peptides and Virulence in Edwardsiella ictaluri. Microbial Pathogenesis 93:204-212 doi:10.1016/j.micpath.2016.02.020