Juan Alvarez, PhD

Dr. Alvarez is an Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and member of Penn’s Institutes for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Chronobiology and Sleep, and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Alvarez’s research focuses on the interplay between metabolic cycles, circadian oscillators, and islet maturation. This work involves single-cell and high-throughput experimental and computational approaches, with a view to rationally engineer mature stem cell-derived islet organoids as human models of islet development & physiology, and as a novel replacement therapy for insulin-dependent diabetics.

Dr. Alvarez completed an HHMI LSRF Research Fellowship with the Melton group at Harvard University, asking How circadian rhythms shape islet development and diabetes, using human organoids and mouse models. He received his PhD in biology from MIT, where he studied the modulation of lineage-specific cell differentiation by long non-coding RNAs, and his AB in molecular biology from Princeton University, where he studied the role of DNA self-catalytic depurination in site-specific mutagenesis. ​