Fr. José Funes, SJ was born in 1963, in Cordoba, Argentina. He completed his masters' degree in astronomy(licenciado en astronomía) at the National University of Cordoba in 1985, writing on the computational analysis of the photometry of eclipsing binary stars. In the same year, Funes entered the Society of Jesus.
He obtained a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1990 at the Universidad del Salvador in San Miguel, Argentina. In the same university he attained the masters in philosophy (licenciado en filosofía) in 1996. In this master thesis he discussed cosmology as a science from the point of view of scientific realism. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1995 after completing the bachelor's degree in sacred theology (S.T.B.) at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In 2000 he obtained his doctorate in astronomy at the University of Padua with the study of the kinematics of ionized gas in the inner regions of 25 disk galaxies.
He joined the Vatican Observatory Research Group as staff astronomer in March 2000 and was appointed Director of the Vatican Observatory in August 2006 by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
Fr. Funes specializes in extragalactic astronomy. His field of research includes the kinematics and dynamics of disk galaxies, the star formation in the local universe, and the relationship between gravitational interaction and galactic activity.