Alvira Lab in the department of pediatrics

Members of the Alvira Lab

Cristina M. Alvira, MD
Principal Investigator [calvira]
Phone: 650-723-7297

Academic Appointments
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Critical Care Medicine

Fellowship: Stanford University School of Medicine, Critical Care Medicine (2005)
Residency: Stanford University School of Medicine, Pediatrics (2002)
Doctor of Medicine: Tufts University School of Medicine (1999)
Bachelor of Science: Tufts University (1999)

Honors and Awards:
American Heart Association Fellow to Faculty Transition Award (2008)
Pediatric Clerkship Honor Roll for Teaching (2007)
Society of Pediatric Research Travel Award (2004)
Western Society for Clinical Investigation Travel Award (2004)
Louise Weinstein Prize for Excellence in Clinical Medicine (1999)
Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Society (1998)

Dr. Alvira completed her medical school training at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. She came to Palo Alto to pursue residency training in pediatrics, and remained at Stanford to pursue subspecialty training in pediatric critical care medicine. During her clinical fellowship, she began working in the laboratory of Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch, a world leader in pulmonary vascular biology. It was during this time within Dr. Rabinovitch’s lab that Dr. Alvira recognized her passion for science in general and NFκB in particular, and continued to pursue extensive post-doctoral training in basic research after the completion of her clinical fellowship in 2005. Dr. Alvira transitioned to her own research program in 2008, and was appointed to the pediatric faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2010. Despite her Spanish heritage, and much to her father’s dismay, she loves all things French, especially Veuve Cliquot and Christian Louboutin shoes. When she is not in the lab, or in her office writing papers and grants, she can be found chasing after her adorable, but extremely mischievous son, cooking, or discovering new Indie bands in San Francisco.


Chihhsin Chen, MS
Research Assistant, Lab Manager [chench]
Phone: 650-725-1060

After completing the graduate trainings in the east coast, Chihhsin decided to relocate to California to enjoy the sunshine. He joined the Alvira’s lab in 2008 and began to explore the molecular pathways that direct postnatal lung development. In addition to the routine bench work, Chihhsin also helps to manage the lab in accordance with the government/university regulations. When he is not in the lab he enjoys reading and building the "LEGO"s.


Yanli Hou, PhD
Research Assistant [yanlihou]
Phone: 650-725-1060

Yanli is originally from Yichang, China, a small city, but one that has the world biggest hydropower station. After completing college in China, Yanli decided to pursue basic life research as her career. In 2007, she got her Ph.D. from UC Santa Cruz, where she studied neuronal development in Caenorhabditis elegans. Her first job was in a biotech company in the East Bay working on transcription factor of Arabidopsis thaliana. Yanli joined the laboratory of Dr. Alvira at Stanford in 2010 to study NFκB signaling in lung development. Currently Yanli is interested in the unique role that NFκB plays in protecting neonatal mice against LPS induced alveolar disruption. When she is not in the lab, Yanli can be found spending time in the climbing gym, on hiking trails, camping in state/national parks, sewing, and reading novels at home!


Cristiana Iosef, DVM, PhD
Research Associate [ciosef]
Phone: 650-725-1060

Dr Iosef joined the Alvira Laboratory at the Center for Excellence in Pulmonary Biology on May, 2010. By training, Dr Iosef is a cell-biologist able to analyze how factors in the micro-environment impact the molecular signaling and proteomic profiles of the cell. Her favorite research tool is molecular imaging. Dr Iosef started her research career in 1989 as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Institute Pasteur of Bucharest, Romania. During her doctoral studies, Dr Iosef was a Fulbright Scholar at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, MO, under the mentorship of Dr L. Ratner. She then went on to do extensive post-doctoral training, first, gaining expertise in animal models for human diseases while working with Dr Linda Saif at Ohio State University, followed by training in protein biochemistry under the guidance of Dr Shawn Li at University of Western Ontario, Canada). Between 2002-2010, Dr Iosef worked as a Research Associate for Dr Victor Han, at the Children's Health Research Institute in Canada where she successfully developed a placental stem cell research project that was funded in 2010. During 2009-2010, Dr Iosef served as a grant reviewer for the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (Bio-engineering Committee). Cristiana's main focus in the Alvira Laboratory is to define the specific roles that the two NFκB activating kinases, IKKα and IKKβ play in the pulmonary endothelial cells, with a particular interest in understanding how the NFκB pathway influences endothelial cell fate. When she is not in the lab, Cristiana can be found in karate class (watch out!), sailing, painting, and hiking.

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