The Alvarez Lab studies the structure, development and function of spinal motor circuits. Spinal motoneurons innervate skeletal muscle and are the final common path by which our brain executes motor behaviors and interacts with the world around us. Coordinated movement depends on the pattern and timing of motor output from the spinal cord. Think about the many muscles that need to contract in a coordinated manner to place an index finger on the forehead. Motoneurons innervating different muscles need to fire in the appropriate sequence and frequencies to control both timing and strength of contractions in the different muscles moving a joint or a limb. This control is exerted by the neuronal networks of the spinal cord.
These networks are remarkable and allow us to maintain balance and posture, have volitional movements for either kicking a ball or playing the piano and also start rhythmic patterns like locomotion or scratching. Not surprisingly, they are extremely complex and although they have been investigated for over 100 years there is still much to learn about them. The lab is interested in the following questions:
Funding and Sponsors
Research Highlights and Lab News
To everybody: best wishes during these trying times adjusting to Covid-19. We hope everybody stays in good health
Welcome to the lab to Edyta Murlin and Ryan Wood. Both joined 1st of July of 2020.
Edyta is a senior research scientist with expertise in electrophysiology that is transferring to our lab from Dr. Bilal Haider lab at Georgia Tech.
Ryan is a postdoc with expertise in molecular biology and computer modeling that recently received his PhD from Bringham Young University under the direction of Dr. William Pitt.
On some sad news: Indeara Cogdell has indicated that she will be leaving the lab in December. Because of personal reasons she needs to move to Montgomery, Alabama. We wish her all the best of luck on her future career. Indy you were an amazing help to our lab. Thank you very much.
We are still here despite Covid and we want to welcome to the lab Zoe Haley-Johnson and Andrew Worthy.
Zoe is joining us form Yale University where she was a project manager working in HIV.
Andrew just graduated from Emory in the Neuroscience, Brain and Behavior program.