I graduated as an MD at Lviv State Medical University (Ukraine) in 1983 with a great passion to become a surgeon in oncology. Thinking that a PhD in experimental oncology would help to realize my dream, I obtained my doctorate at the Institute of Experimental Oncology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 1987. A fellowship from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) took me even further from clinical oncology and also from Ukraine. I arrived in London on the first wave of perestroika and began my post-doctoral training in Jim Woodgett's laboratory at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (UCL Branch). Subsequently, I worked in Mike Waterfield's laboratory at the same Institute studying signal transduction via the PI3 kinase pathway. In 1996, I started my own group at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, focusing on the regulation of growth via the S6 kinase pathway. Since 2003, I have been a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at UCL – now renamed Structural and Molecular Biology, where I have an active research group working on signal transduction and cellular metabolism in health and disease. I have a strong research (113 papers in peer-reviewed journals, H-Index 52) and patent (10 world-wide patents) portfolio and run two drug discovery programs aimed at developing small molecule inhibitors, targeting ribosomal S6 kinase and Aurora A kinase.
Ricardo H. Alvarez
Dr. Alvarez, a native of Argentina, joined CTCA in October 2014 to lead the company’s global focus on cancer research. He is internationally known for his contribution to breast cancer multidisciplinary management, inflammatory breast cancer, and discovery and monitoring of minimal residual disease in solid tumors. As a medical oncologist, he has focused his clinical career the past two decades on treating patients with the most difficult cases of breast cancer. Prior to joining CTCA, Dr. Alvarez served for five years as an Assistant Professor in the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Breast Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine in Houston, Tx. He also served as Assistant Professor at The Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Program. His additional experience includes teaching at the Department of Pathology and the Department of Internal Medicine, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina. He served as Chief, Oncology Section, Hospital Ramon Carrillo - San Carlos de Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina, and Instructor, Oncology Consultants P.A., Houston, Tx. He was Secretary of Clinical Oncology Section, School of Oncology, Fundacion Jose Maria Mainetti, Centro Oncologico de Excelencia, Gonnet, Argentina; and Member, Centro Oncologico de Excelencia, Gonnet.
Dr. Alvarez received his medical degree from Universidad Nacional de La Plata - Facultad de Medicina, Argentina. He completed his residency in internal medicine and medical oncology at Centro Oncologico de Excelencia - Gonnet, Argentina. Following completion of his medical oncology training, he pursued additional training in Clinical Pathology to further study molecular diagnostic and serve as Instructor at the Pathology Department with Dr. Pedro Laguens at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata. He also participated in multiple research activities and attended multiple grand rounds with Professors Jose Maria Mainetti and Alberto Luchina, and with several others became leaders in Argentinean oncology. Following his training in Argentina, he moved to Houston to pursue a medical residency in internal medicine at The University of Texas at Houston, and completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. He earned a master’s degree in cancer biology from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. Dr. Alvarez has received numerous professional awards for his work in cancer research, including T-32 NIH CA009666 in 2006, Award of Excellence in Cancer Research by Texas Medical Society of Oncology in 2008, and the Susan Papizan Dolan Fellowship in Breast Cancer Research in 2008. He has participated in nearly $5 million in research grants and contracts with multiple clinical studies, including several Phase II Investigator Initiated Studies, since 2009 alone.
In 2014, he was Principal Investigator in a study related to monitoring minimal residual disease in locally advanced breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer by detecting circulating tumor cells. The goal of this study, funded by Sister Institution Fund Network as part of the Global Academy Program Department at MD Anderson, is to identify molecular markers of breast cancer tumor recurrence. This clinical trial is currently active in the U.S., as well as in five academic Institutions across the world, including: INCan in Mexico, INEM in Peru, ClÍnica Alemana in Santiago de Chile, Barretos Hosptial in Brasil, and University of Oslo in Norway. Dr. Alvarez has authored more than 50 articles, abstracts and book chapters and is a frequent presenter at international oncology conferences. His professional memberships include: American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO,) American College of Physicians (ACP), American Society of Hematology (ASH), American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), and the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA). He was a founding member of Grupo de Estudio Tratamiento e Investigacion del Cancer del Sur (GETICS) in Argentina in 1996.