de Pablo Group

Walter Alvarado

Walter is straight out of South Central Los Angeles, California. He received both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Physics from Cal State University, Long Beach. After working as a Technical Representative for Yamaha, he went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Biophysics at the University of Chicago. Under the guidance of Profs. Juan de Pablo and Andrew Ferguson, he is currently combining computational physics and machine learning approaches to understand nucleosome dynamics and assembly. Besides science and engineering, Walter’s personal interests include marathon running and DIY projects.

A hallmark feature of cancer cells is their procurement of genetic and epigenetic mutations that induce genomic instability and disrupt gene expression. The organization of DNA into chromatin plays a particularly central role in maintaining genomic integrity and regulating transcription; however, the molecular mechanisms by which chromatin structure regulates gene expression remains elusive. By leveraging high-performance computing and machine learning techniques, our current research seeks to resolve the organizational principles of nucleosome folding and elucidate the higher-order structural changes induced by epigenetic modifications.