Luis Alvarez

Hertz Fellow: Luis Alvarez
School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Area of Study

Biological Engineering

Fellowship Years

1997 - 2009

Luis Alvarez is the Director of Organ Manufacturing at United Therapeutics. The Organ Manufacturing Group is a moonshot project developing a novel bioprinting platform to manufacture transplantable human lungs. Previously Luis was the founding Deputy Director of the Department of Defense Regenerative Medicine Program Office where he oversaw preclinical and clinical development programs. He also served as the Director of the DoD's $720M nerve agent pharmaceutical countermeasures program. In 2014 Luis founded Theradaptive, an MIT spin-out, late-stage preclinical firm developing a biologics delivery platform for orthopedic regeneration. In 2017 he co-founded Elevian, a Harvard spinout that is developing therapeutics to treat aging-associated diseases. Luis is a graduate of West Point and served 20 years on active duty with US Army. He is a decorated combat veteran and is a recipient of the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star Medal. He holds a PhD in Biological Engineering and an MS in Chemical Engineering from MIT, where he was a Hertz Foundation Fellow.

With his Hertz Fellowship at MIT, Luis's research developed methods to coat orthopedic implants with biologically active proteins. Using this approach it is now possible to achieve a several-fold increase in the growth of bone marrow stem cells in porous implants. His work has been adopted as a research program focus area by the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFRIM) and is being evaluated in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic. In addition, Luis developed a blast sensor design that served as the lead concept for the Army’s wearable blast sensor program. This effort aims to collect data on blast exposure to determine long-term health effects such as delayed traumatic brain injury.

Thesis:

2009 - New Protein Coatings for Implant Materials—Rendering Orthopedic Implants Bio-instructive