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Chavez Lab

Principal Investigator

Headshot of Alejandro ChavezView Full Profile

Alejandro Chavez MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor Department of Pathology and Cell Biology

Summary

Our research group strives to push the boundaries of genetic engineering by developing new methods with which to modify and regulate eukaryotic genomes. We apply these tools ourselves or through collaboration to gain fundamental biological insights with a particular focus towards understanding neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Our work employs a variety of techniques ranging from oligo chip synthesis and library-based screening to iPS cell differentiation and live-cell imaging. We utilize a variety of model systems ranging from yeast to human cell culture to assure that the technologies we generate are applicable to a broad swath of the scientific community.

In collaboration with members of the motor neuron center, we are currently developing high-throughput methods for interrogating multiple neurodegenerative disease models in parallel. We plan to apply our system to explore the mechanisms through which neurodegenerative disease-associated proteins cause cellular toxicity.

Lab Members


Schuyler Melore

Research Technician
sm4497@cumc.columbia.edu


Paroma Mallick

Research Technician
pm3011@cumc.columbia.edu


Samuel Resnick

MD/Phd Student
sjr2179@cumc.columbia.edu


Debbie Hong

PhD student
sh3703@cumc.columbia.edu


Chavez lab:

https://chavezlab.com/



Select Publications

# denotes co-first author

#Yeo, N-C., *#Chavez, A., Lance-Byrne, A., Chan, Y., Menn, D., Milanova, D., Kuo, C-C., Guo, X., Sharma, S., Tung, A., Cecchi, R.J., Tuttle, M., Pradhan, S., Lim, E.T., Davidsohn, N., Ebrahimkhani, M.R., Collins, J.J., Lewis, N.E., *Kiani, S., *Church, G.M., An enhanced CRISPR repressor for targeted mammalian gene regulation. Nature Methods. 2018; doi: 10.1038/s41592-018-0048-5.

#Guo, X., *#Chavez, A., #Tung, A., Chan, Y., Kaas, C., Yin, Y., Cecchi, R., Garnier, S.L., Kelsic, E.D., Schubert, M., DiCarlo, J.E., Collins, J.J., *Church, G.M., High-throughput creation and functional profiling of DNA sequence variant libraries using CRISPR–Cas9 in yeast. Nature Biotechnology. 2018; doi:10.1038/nbt.4147.

*#Chavez, A., #Pruitt, B.W., Tuttle, M., Shapiro, R.S., Cecchi, R.J., Winston, J., Turczyk, B.M., Tung, M., Collins, J.J., and Church, G.M*. Precise Cas9 targeting enables genomic mutation prevention. bioRxiv. 2016

#Shapiro, R.S., #Chavez, A., Porter, C.B.M., Hamblin, M., Kaas, C.S., DiCarlo, J.E., Zeng, G., Xu, X., Revtovich, A.V., Kirienko, N.V., Wang, Y., *Church, G.M., and *Collins, J.J. A CRISPR Cas9-based gene drive platform for genetic interaction analysis in Candida albicans. Nature Microbiology. 2017; doi: 10.1038/s41564-017-0043-0.

#Chavez, A., #Tuttle, M., Pruitt, B.W., Ewen-Campen, B., Chari, R., Ter-Ovanesyan, D., Haque, S.J., Cecchi, R.J., Kowal, E.J., Buchthal, J., Housden, B.E., Perrimon, N., Collins, J.J., and Church, G. Comparison of Cas9 activators in multiple species. Nature Methods. 2016; 13:563-567: PMCID: PMC4927356

#Kiani, S., #Chavez, A., Tuttle, M., Hall, R.N., Chari, R., Ter-Ovanesyan, D., Qian, J., Pruitt, B.W., Beal, J., Vora, S., Buchthal, J., Kowal, E.J., Ebrahimkhani, M.R., Collins, J.J., Weiss, R., Church., G. Cas9 gRNA engineering for genome editing, activation and repression. Nature Methods. 2015; 12:1051-1054: PMCID: PMC4666719

#DiCarlo, J.E., #Chavez, A., Dietz, S.L., Esvelt, K.M., Church, G.M. Safeguarding CRISPR-Cas9 gene drives in yeast. Nature Biotechnology. 2015; 33:1250-1255: PMCID: PMC4675690

#Chavez, A., #Scheiman, J., #Vora, S., Pruitt, B.W., Tuttle, M., P R Iyer, E., Lin, S., Kiani, S., Guzman, C. D., Wiegand, D.J., Ter-Ovanesyan, D., Braff, J.L., Davidsohn, N., Housden, B.E., Perrimon, N., Weiss, R., Aach, J., Collins, J.J., and Church, G.M. Highly efficient Cas9-mediated transcriptional programming. Nature Methods. 2015; 12:326-328: PMCID: PMC4393883