Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado (Stowers Institute)

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado (Stowers Institute)

Butler Seminar Series

Event Date/Location

February 7, 2018 -
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Thomas Laboratory 003


  • Picture of Alejandro Sanchez

    Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Ph.D.

    Stowers Institute for Medical Research
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, PhD, joined the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in 2011. Sánchez Alvarado received a BS in molecular biology and chemistry from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and a PhD in pharmacology and cell biophysics from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Cincinnati, OH. He performed postdoctoral and independent research at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Embryology in Baltimore, MD. In 2002, he joined the faculty of the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City where he held the H.A. & Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Chair. In 2005, he was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

    Sánchez Alvarado is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the Latin American Academy of Sciences, a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences USA, a Fellow of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, and a recipient of a National Institutes of Health MERIT award and the EE Just Medal for Scientific Achievement. He has served on numerous scientific advisory committees and boards including the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health, and presently serves on the Board of Directors of American Century Investments.


Stem cell population dynamics, tissue homeostasis and regeneration

Despite the importance of regeneration and tissue homeostatic processes to human biology and health, relatively little is known about how these adult processes are controlled. Numerous issues remain unaddressed including: How organ systems maintain their form and function while in a state of cell flux; How animals control and coordinate the size and cell number of multiple organ systems; How developmental genes re-express in the adult during tissue homeostasis. Answering any of these issues would set a baseline from which to gain an understanding of  regenerative properties in multicellular organisms, particularly after injury. We have chosen the freshwater planarian Schmidtesa mediterranea as a research organism to address these fundamental biological problems. The speed and robustness of both tissue homeostasis and regeneration, as well as the abundance of pluripotent stem cells in S. mediterranea and experimental accessibility provide unique opportunities to address these problems at molecular and cellular levels. Here we will discuss the role of the planarian stem cells in homeostasis and regeneration as well as some of the factors and behaviors displayed by these cells as they carry out their restorative functions


Free and open to the university community and the public.


Jamie Barr & Allison Hall, Department of Molecular Biology