Photo of Eduardo Cisternas

Biotechnology & medicine

Eduardo Cisternas

His computer programs are free, helping the democratization of access to science and technology programs

Year Honored


Latin America

Hails From

The lab materials, software, and other elements needed for the proper formation within scientific and technical careers make these choices more expensive than other careers options. One of those computer programs is even used to plan radiotherapy treatments for undergoing cancer treatments. Pursuing the democratization of access to these types of study programs and to help enable universities with minimal budgets, the physicist Eduardo Cisternas has developed matRad, the first version of this program which is free and open code. Thanks to his efforts, this young man has become a winner in the Latin American Innovators under 35 from the MIT Technology Review LATAM edition.

“A bunch of developing countries have no access to these programs in their public and low cost universities, so alumni must wait until their internships to be able to practice," Cisternas explains. But thanks to the versatility and free nature of matRad, the program is already being used by research groups of universities all around the world. Also, he points out that “this program can adapt to the different types of protocols that are in use inside the many countries it’s being employed by today."

The Chilean physicist is now developing his doctoral thesis on using A.I to fully automate the design process in the treatment of radiotherapy while attending the School of Medicine of Duke University (EUA). An advance of this nature would free hours of work for health professionals and accelerate the treatment process of cancer.

The ad honorem professor of the Pontifical University of Madrid (Spain), José Domingo Carrillo, member of the jury for the 2019 Latin American Innovators under 35, considers matRad a "one of a kind project that, in the future, could have multiple beneficial uses in education and in cancer research.” With regards to Cisternas, the expert greatly values his “humanitarian, visionary, and entrepreneurial scope and his impressive collection of scholarships and awards.”