Arturo Alvarez-Buylla

University of California, San Francisco


Primary Section: 24, Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Secondary Section: 22, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Membership Type: Member (elected 2021)

Biosketch

Arturo Alvarez-Buylla is a developmental neurobiologist recognized for his work on the mechanisms of birth, migration, and integration of new neurons in the adult brain. More specifically, his laboratory characterized the postnatal brain germinal niches and identified the adult neural stem cells (NSCs). They found that adult NSCs correspond to a subpopulation of astrocytes specialized for the production of different types of neurons depending on their location. The Alvarez-Buylla laboratory also discovered new pathways and mechanisms for neuronal migration and developed new strategies for the reintroduction of local circuit nerve cells in the cerebral cortex. His work reveals the glial nature of neural stem cells and suggests new mechanisms for induction of brain plasticity and brain repair. Alvarez-Buylla was born in Mexico City, where he grew up and obtained an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Research at the Autonomous National University. He then obtained a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the Rockefeller University in New York, and within this institution, Alvarez-Buylla established his own laboratory and began his research on the mechanisms of adult neurogenesis in mammals. He moved to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2000, where he is a Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery and The Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research. He is a member of The Royal Academy of Science in Spain, the Latin American Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences (USA).

Research Interests

The Alvarez-Buylla laboratory is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which neural stem cells, in the walls of the forebrain ventricles and in the hippocampus of the adult brain, produce new neurons and glial cells.  They are investigating how neural stem cells differ in the types of neurons they produce depending on their locations within this ventricular niche.  They are asking whether neuronal and glial birth and addition continue in the postnatal human brain.  In other work, the laboratory is interested in the functional contribution of new neurons, produced by endogenous stem cells or introduced by transplantation, to plasticity and repair.

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