Carlos E. Alvarez, Ph.D. :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Carlos E. Alvarez, PhD

Carlos E. Alvarez, PhD

Contact Information

The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Childrens Drive
Columbus, OH 43205 [ map ]
PH: (614) 355-3600
FX: (614) 722-2817
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Carlos E. Alvarez, PhD, is a Principal Investigator in the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. His lab's biomedical research program is focused on two areas: dog and human genetics, and signal transduction. His studies have been funded by NIH, DoD, Canine Health Foundation and Morris Animal Foundation.

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  • Male

Languages Spoken:

  • English
  • Spanish

Research Interests

Research Center:

Areas of Interest:

  • We study cell signaling and disease genetics with the goal of identifying new therapeutic approaches. (1) G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are prominent drug targets because they are the most numerous transmembrane receptors. Hundreds of human GPCRs signal via direct interactions with small numbers of trimeric G proteins, G protein kinases, and arrestins. We and others recently identified a new subfamily of “alpha” arrestins. One focus of the lab is to understand the roles of alpha arrestins in GPCR signaling. Alpha arrestins have evolutionarily-conserved PPXY (“PY”) motifs in their C-terminal tails. We are studying how alpha arrestin PY motifs are used to recruit WW domain proteins, including Nedd4 family E3 ubiquitin ligases and scaffold proteins, to activated plasma membrane proteins. (2) We also seek to find novel biochemical pathways that are altered in diseases of complex genetics. To that end, we are using integrative genomics to identify disease-associated variation in humans and dogs. Dogs have experienced strong selection and population bottlenecks during and after breed creation. This resulted in vastly reduced genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity within breeds, making them an ideal vertebrate model in which to understand diseases of complex genetics. A major aim of our group is to define genetic variation that is specific to dog breeds or breed groups: DNA structural and copy number variation (SV, CNV), single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), haplotypes, and mutations. Depending on the specific traits of interest, we integrate genetics with different types of clinical and molecular phenotypes (including, gene and micro RNA expression). Our clinical and veterinary collaborations are in the areas of oncology, metabolism, neurology, and development.

Education and Training

Graduate School

  • Harvard University
    Date Completed: 06/30/1997


  • The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
    Date Completed: 10/01/2002


  • University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
    Date Completed: 03/01/2003

Professional Experience


  • Associate Professor, Tenure Track, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine


  • Graduate Faculty (P Status), Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine


  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics Program


  • Graduate Faculty (P Status), Integrated Biomedical Science Graduate Program, The Ohio State University College of Medicine


  • Principal Investigator, Center for Molecular and Human Genetics, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital


  • Assistant Professor, Tenure Track, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine


  • Lab Head Molecular Biology, Neurosciences and Ophthalmology, Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research (Novartis Pharma AG), Basel, Switzerland


  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Psychiatry Department, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA


  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Molecular Biology Department, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA


  • Martic-Kehl M, Festing MFW, Alvarez CE, Schubiger PA. 2016. Introduction to Animal Models for Human Cancer: Discovery and Development of Novel Therapeutics. In Methods and Principles in Medicinal Chemistry. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Fenger JM, Rowell JL, Zapata I, London CA, Kisseberth WC, Alvarez CE. 2016. Dog models of naturally occurring cancer; in Animal Models for Human Cancer: Discovery and Development of Novel Therapeutics. In Methods and Principles in Medicinal Chemisty. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Zapata I, Serpell JA, Alvarez CE. 2016. Genetic mapping of canine fear and aggression.  BMC Genomics. Vol. Epub, no. August: e20.
  • Clemente-Vicario,Francisco; Alvarez,Carlos,E; Rowell,Jennie,L; Roy,Satavisha; London,Cheryl,A; Kisseberth,William,C; Lorch,Gwendolen. 2015. Human Genetic Relevance and Potent Antitumor Activity of Heat Shock Protein 90 Inhibition in Canine Lung Adenocarcinoma Cell Lines.  PLOS ONE. Vol. 10, no. 11. (November): ee0142007.
  • Clemente-Vicario, F, Alvarez, CE, Rowell, JL, Roy, S, London, CA, Kissenberth, WAC, Lorch G. 2015. Human Genetic Relevanace and Potent Antitumor Activity of Heat Shock Protein 90 Inhibition in Canine Lung Adenocarcinoma Cell Lines.  PLoS One. Vol. 11, no. 10. (November): ee0142007.
  • Alvarez,Carlos,E. 2014. Naturally Occurring Cancers in Dogs: Insights for Translational Genetics and Medicine.  ILAR JOURNAL. Vol. 55, no. 1. (January): 16-45.
  • Yasmeen,R; Meyers,J,M; Alvarez,C,E; Thomas,J,L; Bonnegarde-Bernard,A; Alder,H; Papenfuss,T,L; Benson,D,M; Boyaka,P,N; Ziouzenkova,O. 2013. Aldehyde dehydrogenase-1a1 induces oncogene suppressor genes in B cell populations.  BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-MOLECULAR CELL RESEARCH. Vol. 1833, no. 12. (December): 3218-3227.
  • Shea,Fortune,F; Rowell,Jennie,L; Li,Yechaowei; Chang,Tien-Hsien; Alvarez,Carlos,E. 2012. Mammalian Alpha Arrestins Link Activated Seven Transmembrane Receptors to Nedd4 Family E3 Ubiquitin Ligases and Interact with Beta Arrestins.  PLOS ONE. Vol. 7, no. 12. (December): ee50557.
  • Vucic,Emily,A; Thu,Kelsie,L; Robison,Keith; Rybaczyk,Leszek,A; Chari,Raj; Alvarez,Carlos,E; Lam,Wan,L. 2012. Translating cancer 'omics' to improved outcomes.  Genome Research. Vol. 22, no. 2. (February): 188-95.
  • Alvarez, C. E., Akey, J. M. 2011. Copy Number Variation in the Domestic Dog.  Mammalian Genome. Vol. 23, no. 1-2. (December): 144-63.
  • Rowell,Jennie,L; McCarthy,Donna,O; Alvarez,Carlos,E. 2011. Dog models of naturally occurring cancer.  Trends in Molecular Medicine. Vol. 17, no. 7. (July): 380-388.
  • Cottrell,Catherine,E; Bir,Natalie; Varga,Elizabeth; Alvarez,Carlos,E; Bouyain,Samuel; Zernzach,Randall; Thrush,Devon,L; Evans,Johnna; Trimarchi,Michael; Butter,Eric,M; Cunningham,David; Gastier-Foster,Julie,M; McBride,Kim,L; Herman,Gail,E. 2011. Contactin 4 as an Autism Susceptibility Locus.  AUTISM RESEARCH. Vol. 4, no. 3. (June): 189-199.
  • Enfield,Katey,SS; Stewart,Greg,L; Pikor,Larissa,A; Alvarez,Carlos,E; Lam,Stephen; Lam,Wan,L; Chari,Raj. 2011. MicroRNA Gene Dosage Alterations and Drug Response in Lung Cancer.  Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. Vol. (n/a), no. doi:10.1155/2011/474632. (January): e474632.
  • Cottrell, C. E., Bir, N., Varga, E., Alvarez, C. E., Bouyain, S., Zernzach, R., Lamb Thrush, D., Trimarchi, M., Cunningham, D., Gastier-Foster, J. M., McBride, K., Herman, G. E. 2011. Contactin 4 as an Autism Susceptibility Locus.  Autism Research.
  • Gibb,Ewan,A; Enfield,Katey,SS; Tsui,Ivy,FL; Chari,Raj; Lam,Stephen; Alvarez,Carlos,E; Lam,Wan,L. 2011. Deciphering squamous cell carcinoma using multidimensional genomic approaches.  Journal of skin cancer. Vol. 2011, no. doi:10.1155/2011/541405 [Epub 2010 Dec 27]. (January): 541405-?.
  • Montanaro,Federica; Allen,Hugh,D; Mendell,Jerry,R; Kaspar,Rita,Wen; Flanigan,Kevin,M; Kissel,John,T; Pestronk,Alan; Weiss,Robert,B; Ray,Will; Alvarez,Carlos,E. 2010. Letter by Yilmaz et al Regarding Article, "Analysis of Dystrophin Deletion Mutations Predicts Age of Cardiomyopathy Onset in Becker Muscular Dystrophy" Response.  CIRCULATION-CARDIOVASCULAR GENETICS. Vol. 3, no. 2. (April): E2-E2.
  • Chari,Raj; Thu,Kelsie,L; Wilson,Ian,M; Lockwood,William,W; Lonergan,Kim,M; Coe,Bradley,P; Malloff,Chad,A; Gazdar,Adi,F; Lam,Stephen; Garnis,Cathie; MacAulay,Calum,E; Alvarez,Carlos,E; Lam,Wan,L. 2010. Integrating the multiple dimensions of genomic and epigenomic landscapes of cancer.  CANCER AND METASTASIS REVIEWS. Vol. 29, no. 1. (March): 73-93.
  • Thu K. L., Pikor L. A., Kennett J. Y., Alvarez C. E., Lam W. L. 2010. Methylation analysis by DNA immunoprecipitation.  J Cell Physiol.. Vol. 222, no. 3. (January): 522-531.
  • Chen,Wei-Kang; Swartz,Joshua,D; Rush,Laura,J; Alvarez,Carlos,E. 2009. Mapping DNA structural variation in dogs.  GENOME RESEARCH. Vol. 19, no. 3. (March): 500-509.
  • Kaspar R. W., Allen H. D., Ray W. C., Alvarez C. E., Kissel J. T., Pestronk A., Weiss R. B.,Flanigan K. M., Mendell J. R., Montanaro F. 2009. Analysis of dystrophin deletion mutationspredicts age of cardiomyopathy onset in becker muscular dystrophy.  Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics. Vol. 2, no. 6. (January): 544-551.
  • Alvarez, C. E. 2008. On the Origins of Arrestin and Rhodopsin.  BMC Evol. Biol.. Vol. 8, no. January: e222.
  • Wilson,I,M; Davies,J,J; Weber,M; Brown,C,J; Alvarez,C,E; Macaulay,C; Schubeler,D; Lam,W,L. 2006. Epigenomics - Mapping the methylome.  Cell Cycle. Vol. 5, no. 2. (January): 155-158.
  • Alvarez, C. E., Sutcliffe, J. G. 2002. Hypocretin is an Early Member of the Incretin Gene Family.  Neurosci. Lett.. Vol. 324, no. 3. (January): 169-172.
  • Alvarez, C. E., Sutcliffe, J. G., Thomas, E. A. 2002. Novel Isoform of Insulin Receptor Substrate p53/p58 is Generated by Alternative Splicing in the CRIB/SH3-binding Region.  J. Biol. Chem.. Vol. 277, no. 27. (January): 24728-24734.
  • THOMAS,E,A; Foye,P,E; Alvarez,C,E; Usui,H; Sutcliffe,J,G. 2001. Insulin receptor substrate protein p53 localization in rats suggests mechanism for specific polyglutamine neurodegeneration.  NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS. Vol. 309, no. 3. (August): 145-148.
  • Wang,W; ZHANG,J,M; Alvarez,C; Llopart,A; Long,M. 2000. The origin of the Jingwei gene and the complex modular structure of its parental gene, yellow emperor, in Drosophila melanogaster.  MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION. Vol. 17, no. 9. (September): 1294-1301.
  • THOMAS,E,A; Alvarez,C,E; Sutcliffe,J,G. 2000. Evolutionarily distinct classes of S27 ribosomal proteins with differential mRNA expression in rat hypothalamus.  JOURNAL OF NEUROCHEMISTRY. Vol. 74, no. 6. (June): 2259-2267.
  • Wang, W., Zhang, J., Alvarez, C., Llopart, A., Long, M. 2000. The Origin of Jingwei and Complex Modular Structure of its Parental Gene, Yellow Emperor.  Mol. Biol. Evol.. Vol. 17, no. 9. (January): 1294-1301.
  • Alvarez,C,E; Robison,K; Gilbert,W. 1996. Novel Gq alpha isoform is a candidate transducer of rhodopsin signaling in a Drosophila testes-autonomous pacemaker.  PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Vol. 93, no. 22. (October): 12278-12282.
  • Silverman,D,H; Sayegh,M,H; Alvarez,C,E; Johnson,T,S; Milford,E,L; Karnovsky,M,L. 1990. HLA CLASS-II-RESTRICTED BINDING OF MURAMYL PEPTIDES TO LYMPHOCYTES-B OF NORMAL AND NARCOLEPTIC SUBJECTS.  Human Immunology. Vol. 27, no. 3. (March): 145-154.
  • Lutful Kabir FM, Alvarez CE, Bird RC. Canine Mammary Carcinomas: A Comparative Analysis of Altered Gene Expression.  Veterinary Sciences.
Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000