Marina Alvi, PhD

Principal Research Scientist, Leidos

Marina Alvi, PhD, is a Principal Research Scientist with over 20 years of experience in biotechnology research and the biopharmaceutical industry. She has made significant contributions to the field, particularly in protein expression and cell-based assay development.

Dr. Alvi’s expertise lies in both large- and small-scale cell-based and cell-free protein expression processes and systems, including CHO, HEK293, E.coli, yeast, and insect cells. She led the mammalian protein expression group at the Lilly Biotechnology Center in San Diego with distinction.

One of Dr. Alvi’s notable achievements includes developing stable cell lines expressing GPCRs, ion channels, and other complex membrane receptors. Over 15 years, she established hundreds of these cell lines that have been instrumental for drug discovery and cell-based assay development.

Her skills extend to generating expression plasmids using various molecular biology techniques. Dr. Alvi has identified genomic elements for fine-tuning the co-expression of multiple membrane receptors on the same cell lines to achieve in vivo-like expressions.

In protein structure and engineering, Dr. Alvi is an experienced PyMol user who has designed structure-based protein sequence engineering through mutagenesis studies and phage/yeast display libraries utilization.

During her postdoctoral studies, she delved deep into understanding the CNS and Immune system’s intricate workings. Her research elucidated early neuronal differentiation regulation by reactive oxygen species—a groundbreaking revelation that has impacted subsequent studies significantly.

Dr. Alvi also extensively researched skin pigmentation biology regulated by both melanosome/keratinocyte co-cultures using standard procedures for organelle isolation for the purpose of melanin isolation from melanocytes.
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