Alejandro Chavez, MD, PhD

Expertise in: 
Profile Headshot


Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated


Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia


  • Spanish


  • Male

Insurance Accepted


  • EPO
  • HMO
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • NY Signature
  • POS
  • PPO
  • Signature Administrators
  • Student Health


  • EPO
  • Great West
  • HMO
  • POS
  • PPO


  • HMO
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • PPO


  • ConnectiCare
  • EPO
  • Essential Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • POS
  • PPO
  • Select Care (Exchange)
  • Vytra

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Blue Priority
  • EPO
  • HMO
  • Medicare (Mediblue)
  • NYP Employee Plan
  • Pathway (Exchange)
  • POS
  • PPO

Local 1199

  • Local 1199


  • MagnaCare


  • Multiplan

Oxford Health Plans

  • Freedom
  • Liberty
  • Medicare Managed Care


  • Columbia University Employee Plan
  • Compass (Exchange)
  • EPO
  • Essential Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid (Community Plan)
  • Medicare Managed Care
  • POS
  • PPO

*Please contact the provider’s office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 2004 Genetics and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University
  • MD, PhD, 2011 Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Pennsylvania - School of Medicine
  • Residency: 2014 Massachuetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship: 2017 Massachusettes General Hospital

Honors & Awards

Recipient of 2017-2021 Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientist

02/2017 - Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) Tony B. Academic Travel Award

06/2016 - Poster of Distinction, Harvard Medical School Pathology Annual Retreat

2012 & 2013 - 1st place, Massachusetts General Hospital, Best Clinical Pathology Conference Talk

2013 - Chief Resident, Clinical Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital

06/2011 - Morton McCutcheon Memorial Prize for meritorious laboratory research, UPenn


Today we stand on the cusp of a revolution within the biomedical sciences, brought forth by the explosion of transformative technologies that enable avenues of discovery previously thought to be impossible. Understanding the ability of technology to drive innovation, our team has spent the past several years generating new methods with which to perform targeted gene activation, simultaneously modify DNA sequence and RNA expression, achieve precise genome editing, and bias genetic inheritance. 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. To facilitate the adaptation of our tools, we make all of our published reagents available by depositing them within Addgene (to date 650+ research groups have requested our reagents), and regularly share our expertise with outside laboratories, as we believe the value of our technology is more within the research it enables than in the individual publications we produce.

Our research group will continue to push the boundaries of genetic engineering by developing new methods with which to modify and regulate eukaryotic genomes. We will then use these tools to gain fundamental insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration while also generating valuable therapeutic leads.

Our team places a strong emphasis on mentoring, and values the opportunity to be able to train the next generation of budding scientists.

Welcome to Chavez Lab.



Sep 1 2017 - Aug 31 2022

Selected Publications

# denotes co-first author

^ denotes co-second author

* denotes co-senior 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; in press

#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; 36:540-546. PMC5990468

Bester, A.C., ^Lee, J.D., ^Chavez, A., Lee, Y-R., Nachmani, D., Vora, S., Victor, J., Sauvageau, M., Monteleone, E., Rinn, J.L., Provero, P., Church, G.M., Clohessy, J.G., Pandolfi, P.P. An Integrated Genome Wide CRISPRa Approach to Functionalize lncRNAs in Drug Resistance. Cell. 2018; 173:649-664.

*#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. PNAS. 2018; 115:3669-3673: PMCID: PMC5889643

#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; 3:73-82: PMCID: PMC5832965

#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

Up to date publication list: