María Ignacia Bustamante Araya was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1997. She obtained her bachelor's and master's degree in dentistry in 2022 at the Universidad de los Andes, Chile. She was the Class President for the six years of her dentistry career and was recognized in her graduation by the Outstanding Student Award for Service Work and Union Collaboration by the Colegiode Cirujanos Dentistas de Chile A.G., a professional organization made by dental surgeons. 


During her final year of dentistry, she wrote her dental thesis that focused on the use of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) to assess the efficacy and complications of Microscrew-Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion (MARPE) under the supervision of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgen, Pablo Romero Romano. Also, she completed a clinical internship at KU Leuven, where she treated patients in the student clinic and assisted residents in the specialty clinic of UZ Leuven Campus St. Rafael. Between 2022 and 2023 she worked as a general dentist and assisted in bucal surgeries in Chile. 


Currently, María Ignacia is enrolled in the Postgraduate studies in Advanced Medical Imaging at KU Leuven, and working on her thesis under the supervision of prof. Reinhilde Jacobs and prof. Walter Coudyzer.