Garcia Diaz

Photo of Alejandro with shark
PhD Graduate Student
Short Research Description: 

Previous Institution: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Full Research Description: 

Born and raised in Madrid (Spain), I received my BS in Biochemistry at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and my MA in Biotechnology at Columbia GSAS (Biological Sciences department), submitting a thesis focused on the generation of motor neuron reporter iPSC/ESC lines by CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

Before arriving to the USA, I worked as a research assistant at the laboratory of Juan Ortin Monton at the National Center of Biotechnology (CSIC - UAM, Madrid), where my work focused on elucidating protein-RNP interaction in the influenza virus. Upon arrival to the USA, I started working at the James E. Rothman lab at Columbia (now at Yale) in projects that ranged from membrane trafficking to diabetes research. Then, in 2009, I started working for the non-profit organization Project A.L.S., developing vectors for lineage-specific stable reporter cell line generation and performing iPSC/ESC differentiation into motor neurons under the supervision of Columbia Professors Chris Henderson and Hynek Wichterle. In 2014, I was hired as the lead of the gene editing section of the Stem Cell Core Facility (Stem Cell Initiative department) at the Columbia University Medical Center, while fulfilling my MA requirements as a part-time student.

It was after attending two Columbia Genetics-focused courses (Genetics and Genetic Approaches to Biological Problems) that I decided to pursue a PhD that would reinforce my knowledge regarding Genetics and how Genetics is used to answer biological questions (Genetics is the Math of the biologists, someone once told me, which is probably why I feel so drawn to it, since Math was the only subject that did not bore me to death when I was a kid).

I could tell you about all activities that catch my interest when I am not working, but all fade when compared to my true passion: scuba diving. So few activities could give you such an accurate idea of what the health status of our planet is than observing the underwater world and seeing the human impact imprinted in its inhabitants firsthand.

Business Office

Department of Biological Sciences
500 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2401
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027

Academic Office

Department of Biological Sciences
600 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2402
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
[email protected]
212 854-4581