Alex George

Alex George


Graduate Research Assistant (MD/PhD)

I’m from Atlanta, GA and went to Georgia Tech majoring in Biochemistry. During college, I was involved in cancer drug development and cardiac tissue engineering research. After graduating in 2016, I worked for a few years at the NIH via the post-baccalaureate research program. At NIH I studied a rare primary immunodeficiency which dysregulates magnesium homeostasis in T cells and demonstrated how specific T cell receptor associated kinases are dependent on physiological Mg2+ concentrations to function optimally. I joined the MD/PhD program at Columbia in Fall 2019.

I am currently a graduate student in Peter Sims’s lab working on slice culture models of human lymph nodes to study basic questions in human immunology like T-cell activation/signaling and vaccination in lymphoid tissues. I utilize single cell RNA-seq approaches coupled with surface protein phenotyping (CITE-seq) along with conventional immunological assays and imaging modalities to study these immunological questions. We aim to define a reference T cell activation signature in healthy human tissue and use that as a baseline to compare against for disease and to better understand early events in the vaccination response.

In my free time I enjoy discovering and reading in many of NYC’s coffee shops/roasters, exploring the diverse food scene, or spending time outdoors (Central and Riverside Parks, hiking upstate).

Education History
B.S. Biochemistry w/ Research Thesis (2016), Georgia Institute of Technology
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 


  1. Kanellopoulou, C*., George, A*., Masutani. E., Cannons. J., Ravell, J. Lenardo. M. J., et. Al. (2019). “Mg 2+ regulation of kinase signaling and immune function.” Journal of Experimental Medicine. 216 (8): 1828–1842. * Co-first authors.
  2. George, A., Raji, I., Cinar, B., Kucuk, O., Oyelere, A. (2018). “Design, synthesis, and evaluation of the antiproliferative activity of hydantoin-derived antiandrogen-genistein conjugates.” Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. pii: S0968-0896(17)32189-2. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2018.01.009.
  3. Agarwal, U., George, A., Bhutani, S., Ghosh-Choudhary, S., Maxwell, J.T., Brown, M.E., Metha, Y., Platt, M.O., Liang, Y., Sahoo, S., Davis. M.E. (2017). “Experimental, Systems, and Computational Approaches to Understanding the MicroRNA-Mediated Reparative Potential of Cardiac Progenitor Cell-Derived Exosomes from Pediatric Patients.” Circulation Research. Feb 17;120(4):701-712. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.309935.
  4. Shoja-Taheiri, F., George, A., Agarwal, U., Platt, M., Gibson, G., Davis, M. E. (2019). “Using statistical modeling to understand and predict pediatric stem cell function”. Circ Genom Precis Med. Jun;12(6):e002403. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGEN.118.002403.
  5. Agarwal, U., Smith, A., French, K., Boopathy, A., George, A., Trac, D., Davis, M.E., et. Al. (2016). "Age-dependent effect of pediatric cardiac progenitor cells following juvenile heart failure." Stem Cells Translational Medicine. Jul;5(7):883-92. doi: 10.5966/sctm.2015-0241. Epub 2016 May 5.
  6. Washington, A., Tapadar, S., George, A., Oyelere, AK. (2015). Exploiting translational stalling peptides in an effort to extend azithromycin interaction within the prokaryotic ribosome nascent peptide exit tunnel. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 23(16):5198-209.