New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA


Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Department of Pathobiology

Immunology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania

Neurosciences Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania

Research Areas: Blood Brain Barrier, Blood Meningeal Barrier, Meninges, Blood Cerebrospinal fluid Barrier, Choroid Plexus, Ventricles, Ependyma, Neuroinflammation, Neuroimmunology, Multiple Sclerosis, Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis, Astrocytes,
PubMed Link
Contact Information:
380 South University Avenue

Research in the Alvarez lab is aiming to understand the biology of the Central Nervous System (CNS) barriers under homeostatic and inflammatory conditions. These barriers selectively restrict the molecular and cellular trafficking between the periphery and the CNS, but also serve as a signaling interface that actively regulates exchanges between both compartments. They are composed of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), the blood-meningeal barrier (BMB) and the blood cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCB).

Our previous work has demonstrated that these barriers and their surrounding microenvironment (i.e: glial cells via the Hedgehog pathway) are fundamental in regulating the development of inflammatory responses within the CNS. Our laboratory studies these barriers in the context of diseases like Multiple Sclerosis by experimentally integrating in vitro, in vivo, ex-vivo and in situ assays making use of human and animal systems. These efforts are strengthened by our interaction with local and external clinical centers, which aim to harmonize our scientific endeavors with the current understanding of human diseases.

Mayo Lior, Cunha Andre Pires Da, Madi Asaf, Beynon Vanessa, Yang Zhiping, Alvarez Jorge I, Prat Alexandre, Sobel Raymond A, Kobzik Lester, Lassmann Hans, Quintana Francisco J, Weiner Howard L IL-10-dependent Tr1 cells attenuate astrocyte activation and ameliorate chronic central nervous system inflammation. Brain : a journal of neurology 139: 1939-57, 2016.

Rothhammer Veit, Mascanfroni Ivan D, Bunse Lukas, Takenaka Maisa C, Kenison Jessica E, Mayo Lior, Chao Chun-Cheih, Patel Bonny, Yan Raymond, Blain Manon, Alvarez Jorge I, Kébir Hania, Anandasabapathy Niroshana, Izquierdo Guillermo, Jung Steffen, Obholzer Nikolaus, Pochet Nathalie, Clish Clary B, Prinz Marco, Prat Alexandre, Antel Jack, Quintana Francisco J Type I interferons and microbial metabolites of tryptophan modulate astrocyte activity and central nervous system inflammation via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Nature medicine 22: 586-97, 2016.

Lévesque Sébastien A, Paré Alexandre, Mailhot Benoit, Bellver-Landete Victor, Kébir Hania, Lécuyer Marc-André, Alvarez Jorge Ivan, Prat Alexandre, de Rivero Vaccari Juan Pablo, Keane Robert W, Lacroix Steve Myeloid cell transmigration across the CNS vasculature triggers IL-1ß-driven neuroinflammation during autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice. The Journal of experimental medicine 213: 929-49, 2016.

Cheslow Lara, Alvarez Jorge Iván Glial-endothelial crosstalk regulates blood-brain barrier function. Current opinion in pharmacology 26: 39-46, 2016.

Alvarez Jorge Iván, Kébir Hania, Cheslow Lara, Chabarati Marc, Larochelle Catherine, Prat Alexandre JAML mediates monocyte and CD8 T cell migration across the brain endothelium. Annals of clinical and translational neurology 2: 1032-7, 2015.

Larochelle Catherine, Lécuyer Marc-André, Alvarez Jorge Ivan, Charabati Marc, Saint-Laurent Olivia, Ghannam Soufiane, Kebir Hania, Flanagan Ken, Yednock Ted, Duquette Pierre, Arbour Nathalie, Prat Alexandre Melanoma cell adhesion molecule-positive CD8 T lymphocytes mediate central nervous system inflammation. Annals of neurology 78: 39-53, 2015.

Podjaski Cornelia, Alvarez Jorge I, Bourbonniere Lyne, Larouche Sandra, Terouz Simone, Bin Jenea M, Lécuyer Marc-André, Saint-Laurent Olivia, Larochelle Catherine, Darlington Peter J, Arbour Nathalie, Antel Jack P, Kennedy Timothy E, Prat Alexandre Netrin 1 regulates blood-brain barrier function and neuroinflammation. Brain : a journal of neurology 138: 1598-612, 2015.

Alvarez Jorge Ivan, Saint-Laurent Olivia, Godschalk Alisha, Terouz Simone, Briels Casper, Larouche Sandra, Bourbonnière Lyne, Larochelle Catherine, Prat Alexandre Focal disturbances in the blood-brain barrier are associated with formation of neuroinflammatory lesions. Neurobiology of disease 74: 14-24, 2015.

Mayo Lior, Trauger Sunia A, Blain Manon, Nadeau Meghan, Patel Bonny, Alvarez Jorge I, Mascanfroni Ivan D, Yeste Ada, Kivisäkk Pia, Kallas Keith, Ellezam Benjamin, Bakshi Rohit, Prat Alexandre, Antel Jack P, Weiner Howard L, Quintana Francisco J Regulation of astrocyte activation by glycolipids drives chronic CNS inflammation. Nature medicine 20: 1147-56, 2014.

Aubé Benoit, Lévesque Sébastien A, Paré Alexandre, Chamma Émilie, Kébir Hania, Gorina Roser, Lécuyer Marc-André, Alvarez Jorge I, De Koninck Yves, Engelhardt Britta, Prat Alexandre, Côté Daniel, Lacroix Steve Neutrophils mediate blood-spinal cord barrier disruption in demyelinating neuroinflammatory diseases. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 193: 2438-54, 2014.

BSc (Microbiology) Universidad de los Andes, 1997

PhD (Microbiology and Immunology) UTHSCSA, 2007

UTSA (2007 to 2008)

CRCHUM (2008 to 2014)