Arturo Alvarez-Buylla PhD

Professor of Neurological Surgery, Heather and Melanie Muss Endowed Chair

Principal Investigator, Brain Tumor Research Center

Alvarez-Buylla Laboratory

The Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF

Dr. Alvarez-Buylla has an international reputation for his work in developmental neuroscience and stem-cell neurobiology research. His principal research interests are in neurogenesis of the adult mammalian brain, the assembly of the brain, brain tumors and repair, and the ontogeny and phylogeny of behavior.  

His expertise encompasses the fields of developmental biology, developmental neuroscience, neurobiology, molecular and cellular neurobiology, and learning and plasticity. An innovator and inventor as well as a scientist, Dr. Alvarez-Buylla has designed a device for mounting tissue sections on histological slides, a digital stereotaxic apparatus for mice and song birds, a computer-based mapping system for tissue sections, and a fluorescent staining technique.

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1983: Licenciado in Biomedical Research, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
1982-1983: Graduate Courses, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
1988: PhD, Rockefeller University
1988-1989: Postdoctoral Research, Rockefeller University
1989-1991: Assistant Professor, Rockefeller University
1991-1995: Assistant Professor-Head of Laboratory, Rockefeller University
1995-2000: Associate Professor-Head of Laboratory, Rockefeller University

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

Society for Neuroscience
International Brain Research Organization
Society for Biochemistry
Academia de Ciencias de America Latina (ACAL)
International Society for Stem Cell Research

Selected Honors and Awards

1981-1982: Undergraduate International Fellowship - Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
1983: Medal Gavino Barreda- UNAM
1992: Robert L. Sinsheimer Award in Molecular Biology
2000: Jacob Javits Award
2002: Neuronal Plasticity Prize. Fondation IPSEN, France. (Shared with Dr. R. McKay and Dr. S. Weiss)
2003: Catedra Miguel Aleman, Meixco, D.F.
2004: The Givaudan-Roure 2004 Lecture and Award (Association for Chemoreception Sciences)
2006: Catedra Santiago Grisolía, Spain. Lecture and Award.
2006: "Académico Correspondiente Extranjero". Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales. Spain.
2007: Catedra Ramón y Cajal, Sociedad Española de Neurología, Spain.
2011: Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, Fundacíon Príncipe de Asturias, Spain. (Shared with Dr. Joseph Altman and Giacomo Rizzolatti)

Selected Recent Publications

Sanai N, Nguyen T, Ihrie RA, Mirzadeh Z, Tsai HH, Wong M, Gupta N, Berger MS, Huang E, Garcia-Verduo JM, Rowitch DH, and Alvarez-Buylla A. Corridors of migrating neurons in the human brain and their decline during infancy. Nature 2011; 478(7369):382-6.

Ihrie RA, Shah JK, Harwell CC, Levine JH, Guinto CD, Lezameta M, Kriegstein AR, and Alvarez-Buylla A. Persistent sonic hedgehog signaling in adult brain determines neural stem cell positional identity. Neuron 2011; 71(2):250-62.

Ihrie RA and Alvarez-Buylla A. Lake-front property: a unique germinal niche by the lateral ventricles of the adult brain. Neuron 2011; 70(4):674-86.

Martínez-Cerdeño V, Noctor SC, Espinosa A, Ariza J, Parker P, Orasji S, Daadi MM, Bankiewicz K, Alvarez-Buylla A, Kriegstein AR. Embryonic MGE precursor cells grafted into adult rat striatum integrate and ameliorate motor symptoms in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Cell Stem Cell 2010; 6(3):238-50.

Southwell DG, Froemke RC, Alvarez-Buylla A, Stryker MP, Gandhi SP. Cortical plasticity induced by inhibitory neurontransplantation. Science 2010; 327(5969):1145-8

Baraban SC, Southwell DG, Estrada RC, Jones DL, Sebe JY, Alfaro-Cervello C, García-Verdugo JM, Rubenstein JL, Alvarez-Buylla A. Reduction of seizures by transplantation of cortical GABAergic interneuron precursors into Kv1.1 mutant mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009. 106(36):1542-7.

Han YG, Kim HJ, Dlugosz AA, Ellison DW, Gilbertson RJ, Alvarez-Buylla A. Dual and opposing roles of primary cilia in medulloblastoma development. Nat Med 2009;15(9):1062-5.

Kriegstein A, Alvarez-Buylla A. The glial nature of embryonic and adult neural stem cells. Annu Rev Neurosci 2009; 32:149-184.

Lim DA, Huang Y-C, Swigut T, Mirick AL, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Wysocka J, Ernst P and Alvarez-Buylla A. Chromatin remodeling factor Mll1 is essential for neurogenesis from postnatal stem cells. Nature 2009; 458(7237):529-533.

Alcantara Llaguno S, Chen J, Kwon CH, Jackson EL, Li Y, Burns DK, Alvarez-Buylla A, Parada LF. Malignant astrocytomas originate from neural stem/progenitor cells in a somatic tumor suppressor mouse model. Cancer Cell 2009; 15(1):45-56.

Galvao R, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Alvarez-Buylla, A. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling does not stimulate subventricular zone neurogenesis in adult mice and rats. J Neurosci 2008; 28(50):13368-13383.

Alvarez-Buylla A, Kohwi M, Nguyen TM, Merkle FT. The heterogeneity of adult neural stem cells and the emerging complexity of their niche. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol 2008; 73:357-365.

Mirzadeh Z, Merkle FT, Soriano-Navarro M, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Alvarez-Buylla A. Neural stem cells confer unique pinwheel architecture to the ventricular surface in neurogenic regions of the adult brain. Cell Stem Cell 2008; 3(3):265-78

Schüller U, Heine VM, Mao J, Kho AT, Dillon AK, Han YG, Huillard E, Sun T, Ligon AH, Qian Y, Ma Q, Alvarez-Buylla A, McMahon AP, Rowitch DH, Ligon KL. Acquisition of granule neuron precursor identity is a critical determinant of progenitor cell competence to form Shh-induced medulloblastoma. Cancer Cell 2008; 14(2):123-34.

Han YG, Spassky N, Romaguera-Ros M, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Aguilar A, Schneider-Maunoury S, Alvarez-Buylla A. Hedgehog signaling and primary cilia are required for the formation of adult neural stem cells. Nat Neurosci 2008; 11(3):277-84.

Jackson EL, Alvarez-Buylla A. Characterization of Adult Neural Stem Cells and Their Relation to Brain Tumors. Cells Tissues Organs 2008; 188(1-2):212-24

Silber J, Lim DA, Petritsch C, Persson AI, Maunakea AK, Yu M, Vandenberg SR, Ginzinger DG, James CD, Costello JF, Bergers G, Weiss WA, Alvarez-Buylla A, Hodgson JG. miR-124 and miR-137 inhibit proliferation of glioblastoma multiforme cells and induce differentiation of brain tumor stem cells. BMC Med 2008 ;6:14.

Ihrie RA, Alvarez-Buylla A. Cells in the astroglial lineage are neural stem cells. Cell Tissue Res 2008; 331(1):179-91.

Richardson RM, Barbaro NM, Alvarez-Buylla A, Baraban SC. Developing cell transplantation for temporal lobe epilepsy. Neurosurg Focus 2008; 24(3-4):E17.

Sanai N, Berger MS, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Alvarez-Buylla A. Comment on "Human neuroblasts migrate to the olfactory bulb via a lateral ventricular extension". Science 2007;318(5849):393.

Jackson EL, Alvarez-Buylla A. Characterization of adult neural stem cells and their relation to brain tumors [Review]. Cells Tissues Organs 2008; 188(1-2):212-24.

Merkle FT, Mirzadeh Z, Alvarez-Buylla A. Mosaic organization of neural stem cells in the adult brain. Science 2007; 317(5836):381-4.

Kohwi M, Petryniak MA, Long JE, Ekker M, Obata K, Yanagawa Y, Rubenstein JL, Alvarez-Buylla A. A subpopulation of olfactory bulb GABAergic interneurons is derived from Emx1- and Dlx5/6-expressing progenitors. J Neurosci 2007; 27(26):6878-91.

Long JE, Garel S, Alvarez-Dolado M, Yoshikawa K, Osumi N, Alvarez-Buylla A, Rubenstein JL. Dlx-dependent and -independent regulation of olfactory bulb interneuron differentiation. J Neurosci 2007; 27(12):3230-43.

Lim DA, Huang YC, Alvarez-Buylla A. The adult neural stem cell niche: lessons for future neural cell replacement strategies. Neurosurg Clin N Am 2007; 18(1):81-92.

Menn B, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Yaschine C, Gonzalez-Perez O, Rowitch D, Alvarez-Buylla A. Origin of oligodendrocytes in the subventricular zone of the adult brain. J Neurosci 2006; 26(30):7907-18.

Jackson EL, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Gil-Perotin S, Roy M, Quinones-Hinojosa A, VandenBerg S, Alvarez-Buylla A. PDGFR alpha-positive B cells are neural stem cells in the adult SVZ that form glioma-like growths in response to increased PDGF signaling. Neuron 2006; 51(2):187-99.

Sawamoto K, Wichterle H, Gonzalez-Perez O, Cholfin JA, Yamada M, Spassky N, Murcia NS, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Marin O, Rubenstein JL, Tessier-Lavigne M, Okano H, Alvarez-Buylla A. New neurons follow the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the adult brain. Science 2006; 311(5761):629-32.

Lim DA, Suárez-Fariñas M, Naef F, Hacker CR, Menn B, Takebayashi H, Magnasco M, Patil N, Alvarez-Buylla A. In vivo transcriptional profile analysis reveals RNA splicing and chromatin remodeling as prominent processes for adult neurogenesis. Mol Cell Neurosci 2006; 31(1):131-48.

Quiñones-Hinojosa A, Sanai N, Soriano-Navarro M, Gonzalez-Perez O, Mirzadeh Z, Gil-Perotin S, Romero-Rodriguez R, Berger MS, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Alvarez-Buylla A. Cellular composition and cytoarchitecture of the adult human subventricular zone: a niche of neural stem cells. J Comp Neurol 2006; 494(3):415-34.

Sanai N, Alvarez-Buylla A, Berger MS. Neural stem cells and the origin of gliomas. N Engl J Med 2005; 353(8):811-22.

Sanai N, Tramontin AD, Barbaro NM, Gupta N, Kunwar S, Lawton MT, McDermott MW, Parsa AT, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Berger MS, and Alvarez-Buylla A. Unique periventricular niche in adult human brain contains astrocytic stem cells but no evidence of chain migration. Nature 2004; 427:740-44

Merkle FT, Tramontin AD, Garcia-Verdugo JM and Alvarez-Buylla A. Radial glia give rise to adult neural stem cells in the subventricular zone. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2004; 101: 17525-32