BS, Chemistry, Universidad Autonoma de Mexico; MS, Biochemistry, Universidad Autonoma de Mexico; PhD, Science/Immunology, University of Glasgow
Dr. Alvarez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Tulane University School of Medicine.
As a Core Scientist, he is manager of the Confocal Microscopy and Molecular Pathology Core which serves all TNPRC investigators and affiliated collaborators in their needs for high-resolution imaging and analysis. He has developed strategies to capture multicolor images of up to 6 colors, allowing for the routine detection of 3 to 6 antigens in tissues. He has developed protocols to detect cells producing immunological relevant signals such as cytokines and interleukins both by in situ hybridization and multiple color immunohistochemistry.
Primary Research Interests
Dr. Alvarez's research interest is focused in the neuropathogenesis of AIDS, specifically the role of macrophages in the brain. With Drs. Kenneth Williams and Marco Salemi, he is currently working on the trafficking of monocyte/macrophages in and out of the brain. Dr. Alvarez has developed novel strategies to label macrophages using Super Paramagnetic Iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs). This novel tracing of macrophages is nontoxic and very stable, and allows the study of long-live macrophages in the brain and how they traffic out of the CNS. The SPION technology is generating new paradigms of cellular traffic in the CNS vis a vis cells of the macrophage lineage leave the CNS and some carry SIV when they go.
Under the umbrella of cure research he is studying the effect of new drug treatments to eliminate brain perivascular macrophage reservoirs in SIV infection with Dr. Salemi and Dr. Williams. He has developed new deep-3-dimensional imaging techniques. They are able to image 300 um deep, this increases the sampling by a factor of fifty, allowing for the generation of crisp, clear 3D images. He is also collaborating with Dr. Deepak Kaushal on tuberculosis research and how co-infection of SIV and tuberculosis results in an exacerbated course of disease. A new developing interest is the localization of SIV by using radioactive probes imaging with PET/CT scanner. He has worked in confocal microscopy for more than 20 years and published one hundred and sixty-six papers, of which nineteen were selected for the cover of scientific journals.
Alvarez X, C, Kuroda MJ, Mohan M, and Lackner AA. Detecting the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Reservoir as Viral DNA and RNA in situ Simultaneously
as a Model to Monitor Viral Latency. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. Mar 2014, Vol. 30, No. 3. Doi: 10.1089 PMID: 24588575
Alvarez X, Micci L, Iriele RI, Paiardini M. CD4 Depletion in SIV-Infected Macaques Results in Macrophage and Microglia Infection with Rapid Turnover of Infected Cells. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Oct 30;10(10):e1004467. PMID: 25356757
Williams KC, Corey S, Westmoreland SV, Pauley D, Knight H, deBakker C, Alvarez X, Lackner AA. Perivascular macrophages are the primary cell type productively infected by SIV in the brain of macaques: Implications for the neuropathogenesis of AIDS. J Exp Med 2001 Apr;193(8)905-915
View complete list of Dr. Alvarez-Hernandez's publications.