Haa-un Grace Yu, Student at West Point



Haana is a first year student at West Point. She is interested in the Life Science major and she works with Drs. Alex Mitropoulos and Joseph Loverde on the development of neurosensory interfaces.






Haana is a third year student at West Point who is majoring in Life Science. Haana is also part of the pre-medical track is interested in attending medical school after West Point. She works with Drs. Alex Mitropoulos and Joseph Loverde on the development of neurosensory interfaces.

Marco Jose is a fourth year student at West Point who is majoring in Life Science. Marco Jose plans on attending medical school after graduating in 2016.  He works with Drs. Joseph Loverde and Kevin O'Donovan on the optimization of an isochoric cooling technique for tissue that would minimize cellular damage and extend preservation time.

Marco Dela Cruz, Pre-medical Student at West Point



Averell Gnatt, Research Scientist

Postdoc Structural Biology, Stanford University


Ph.D. Biochemistry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Givat-Ram, Israel


M.S. Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel


B.S. Biology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel

Luis M. Alvarez, Principal Investigator
Ph.D. Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
S.M. Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.S. Chemistry, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 

Luis founded the Regenerative Biology at the National Cancer Institute in 2012. His group focuses on the development of tissue engineering methods to address loss of function resulting from traumatic injury and diseases such as cancer. His research interests are motivated in part by his military experience and a desire to use new findings in regenerative medicine for the benefit of injured Service Members.


Luis is also an active duty Army officer and serves within the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. His previous assignments include the 2nd Infantry Division (South Korea), the 1st Cavalry Division (Ft. Hood, TX and Baghdad, Iraq), and the Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (Natick, MA).


Awards & Fellowships: 


Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Career Development Award (2011) Hertz Foundation Fellow (1997­-99, 2006-09)


Recent Publications: 


Tethering of epidermal growth factor (EGF) to beta tricalcium phosphate (βTCP) via fusion to a high affinity, multimeric βTCP-binding peptide: effects on human multipotent stromal cells. PLOS One. (2015)


Continuous-flow sorting of stem cells and differentiation products based on dielectrophoresis. Lab on a Chip (2015).


An Engineered Bivalent Neuregulin Protects Against Doxorubicin­Induced Cardiotoxicity with Reduced Pro­Neoplastic Potential. Circulation (2013).


Multilayer Thin­film Coatings Capable of Extended Programmable Drug Release: Application to Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation. Drug Delivery and Translational Research (2012), 2, 375–383.


Engineered Bivalent Ligands to Bias ErbB Receptor­mediated Signaling and Phenotypes. The Journal of Biological Chemistry (2011), 286, 27729–27740.


Synergistic Effects of Tethered Growth Factors and Adhesion Ligands on DNA Synthesis and Function of Primary Hepatocytes Cultured on Soft Synthetic Hydrogels. Biomaterials (2010), 31, 4657–71. 

George has extensive experience in biochemistry and cell biology.  His previous work includes studying the biochemical mechanisms of HIV-1 DNA synthesis and reverse transcriptase nucleotide substrate selection as well as the link between epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, basement membrane invasion, and cancer stem cells. In his most recent work George led a research group at a major cell biology company where he focused on product development in the areas of hematopoietic, mesenchymal and adipose-derived stem cell differentiation, and the establishment and applications of 3D air-liquid interface culture systems for primary airway epithelial cells.

Joseph's background is in neurobiology and mechano-transduction of cell signaling in neurons. He heads up the group's work in nerve regeneration at the Center for Molecular Science at the United States Military Academy. His work in stretch-mediated axon growth has been featured in a Jove article describing the process of mechanically induced growth.


As faculty at Burke Medical Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College, Kevin's research focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying developmental axon growth with the long-term goal of developing novel therapies for nerve recovery after injury or genetic predisposition. These

studies demonstrated that selective expression of a kinase-activated B-RAF is sufficient to drive both developmental axon growth as well as robust regenerative axon growth in the adult injured CNS in vivo.


Most recently as an Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy (USMA), Kevin continues to work on axon regeneration in collaboration with colleagues at Burke and USMA as well as on new projects, which include the creation of novel mouse models for the RASopathy syndromes. Notably, B-RAF gain-of-function mice phenocopy human disease symptoms and we use these mice to test the efficacy of traditional and novel therapies to delay or ameliorate symptoms.



Joseph Loverde, Research Scientist

Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology & Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences


M.S.  Bioinformatics, Northeastern University


B.S.  Biology, Muhlenberg College

Kevin J. O'Donovan, Assistant Professor, USMA & Adjuct Faculty, Burke Medical Research Insititute

Postdoctoral Fellow, Rockefeller University 


Ph.D., Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University 


B.S., Biology, summa cum laude, University of North Texas 

Lara brings many years of experience in biomaterials fabrication and testing. Previously Lara worked at Therics, Inc as a Senior Research Associate in their Tissue Engineering group where she developed expertise in GMP pilot plant manufacturing of biologics.  Lara also worked at the American Red Cross Holland Laboratory and most recently at Madigan Army Medical Center where she served as a principal  investigator on a variety of  clinical research projects.

Laura Murcin, Research Technologist


M.S. Biometdical Engineering, Rutgers University & University of Medicine and Dentistry


B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder

George Klarmann, Research Scientist

Post-Doctoral Fellow, HIV Drug Resistance Program, National Cancer Institute-Frederick


Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Utah


B.S. Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut

Alexander N. Mitropoulos, National Research Council Fellow, Staff Scientist

Ph. D., Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University


B. S., Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University


Alex’s background focuses on the fabrication of nanostructured biomaterials for tissue engineering and biological sensing. His graduate work examined the synthesis and design of nanostructures in silk fibroin for biomedical applications, and he plans to apply his previous research to nerve regeneration. He is a 2012 recipient of the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship and a 2015 recipient of the National Research Council (NRC) Davies Fellowship. His research interests are in biomaterials and chemical sensing to fabricate and control nanostructures using different processing conditions.

Haana Yu, Student at West Point



Ave's has an extensive background is in structural biology with a focus on x-ray crystallography. His early work with Roger Kornberg at Standford contributed to the eludication of key steps in RNA transcription in yeast.  Ave's work set a firm foundation in this field with the 2001 publication of "Structural Basis of Transcription: An RNA Polymerase II Elongation Complex at 3.3 Å Resolution" in the journal Science.

Jamie Reilly, Research Staff


M.Ed. Boston University


B.S. Clinical Physiology & Psychology, Western State Colorado University

Jamie joins the Regenbio Research group after first coming to West Point to be the volunteer assistant coach and mental skills coach for the Swimming and Diving team.  Jamie studied biofeedback for skill acquisition at Western State Colorado University.  Jamie then completed a masters degree with an emphasis in sport psychology at Boston University.  In 2013, Jamie was invited to join the US National team for triathlon.  Currently he is on contract with a semi-pro soccer team in NYC.  Jamie audits classes in the Life Science department with the goal of integrating his passion for biochemistry into various disciplines within elite sport.