Alvaro Aytes


Associate Research Scientist

Alvaro Aytes is an Associate Research Scientist in the laboratory of Cory Abate-Shen and a member in the Department of Urology at Columbia University Medical Center. Alvaro’s current research is in cancer biology — specifically, utilizing genetically engineered mouse models of prostate cancer and reverse engineering of cellular networks to uncover causal mechanisms of cancer progression and drug activity. He is particularly interested in elucidating mechanisms of metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer, for which new therapeutic targets and drug combinations are a paramount clinical need.

Prior to joining Dr. Abate-Shen’s group, he was a member of the Translational Research Laboratory at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain, were he received his PhD in cell biology and pathology at the University of Barcelona.

Fellowships & Honors

Department of Urology nominee for the TJ Martell Foundation Young Investigator Award
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research/Clinical Trials Office Pilot Award
Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University nominee for the Regeneron, Inc. postdoctoral prize for outstanding research

Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship (IOF) for career development–European Research Council.

Young Investigators Training Award 
Fellowship from Spanish Ministry of Health-Carlos III Health Institute

Education History

ScM, PhD, Catalan Institute of Oncology, University of Barcelona, Spain
Cell Biology and Pathology

BSc, University of Barcelona, Spain


Goodwin JF, Kothari V, Drake JM, Zhao S, Dylgjeri E, Dean JL, Schiewer MJ, McNair C, Jones JK, Aytes A, Magee MS, Snook AE, Zhu Z, Den RB, Birbe RC, Gomella LG, Graham NA, Vashisht AA, Wohlschlegel JA, Graeber TG, Karnes RJ, Takhar M, Davicioni E, Tomlins SA, Abate-Shen C, Sharifi N, Witte ON, Feng FY, Knudsen KE. DNA-PKcs-mediated transcriptional regulation drives prostate cancer progression and metastasis. Cancer Cell. 2015 Jul 13;28(1):97-113.

Aytes A, Mitrofanova A, Lefebvre C, Alvarez MJ, Castillo-Martin M, Zheng T, Eastham JA, Gopalan A, Pienta KJ, Shen MM, Califano A, Abate-Shen C.  Cross-species regulatory network analysis identifies a synergistic interaction between FOXM1 and CENPF that drives prostate cancer malignancy. Cancer Cell. 2014 May 12;25(5):638-51.

Aytes A, Mitrofanova A, Kinkade CW, Lefebvre C, Lei M, Phelan V, LeKaye HC, Koutcher JA, Cardiff RD, Califano A, Shen MM, Abate-Shen C.  ETV4 promotes metastasis in response to activation of PI3-kinase and Ras signaling in a mouse model of advanced prostate cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Sep 10;110(37):E3506-15.

Irshad S, Bansal M, Castillo-Martin M, Zheng T, Aytes A, Wenske S, Le Magnen C, Guarnieri P, Sumazin P, Benson MC, Shen MM, Califano A, Abate-Shen C. A molecular signature predictive of indolent prostate cancer. Sci Transl Med. 2013 Sep 11;5(202):202ra122.

Aytes A, Molleví DG, Martinez-Iniesta M, Nadal M, Vidal A, Morales A, Salazar R, Capellà G, Villanueva A. Stromal interaction molecule 2 (STIM2) is frequently overexpressed in colorectal tumors and confers a tumor cell growth suppressor phenotype. Mol Carcinog. 2012 Sep;51(9):746-53.

Floc'h N, Kinkade CW, Kobayashi T, Aytes A, Lefebvre C, Mitrofanova A, Cardiff RD, Califano A, Shen MM, Abate-Shen C. Dual targeting of the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway inhibits castration-resistant prostate cancer in a genetically engineered mouse model. Cancer Res. 2012 Sep 1;72(17):4483-93. 

Wang J, Kobayashi T, Floc'h N, Kinkade CW, Aytes A, Dankort D, Lefebvre C, Mitrofanova A, Cardiff RD, McMahon M, Califano A, Shen MM, Abate-Shen C.  B-Raf activation cooperates with PTEN loss to drive c-Myc expression in advanced prostate cancer. Cancer Res. 2012 Sep 15;72(18):4765-76. 

Maxwell CA, Benítez J, Gómez-Baldó L, Osorio A, Bonifaci N, Fernández-Ramires R, Costes SV, Guinó E, Chen H, Evans GJ, Mohan P, Català I, Petit A, Aguilar H, Villanueva A, Aytes A, et al. Interplay between BRCA1 and RHAMM regulates epithelial apicobasal polarization and may influence risk of breast cancer. PLoS Biol. 2011 Nov;9(11):e1001199. 

Melo S, Villanueva A, Moutinho C, Davalos V, Spizzo R, Ivan C, Rossi S, Setien F, Casanovas O, Simo-Riudalbas L, Carmona J, Carrere J, Vidal A, Aytes A, Puertas S, Ropero S, Kalluri R, Croce CM, Calin GA, Esteller M. Small molecule enoxacin is a cancer-specific growth inhibitor that acts by enhancing TAR RNA-binding protein 2-mediated microRNA processing. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Mar 15;108(11):4394-9.

Molleví DG, Aytes A, Berdiel M, Padullés L, Martínez-Iniesta M, Sanjuan X, Salazar R, Villanueva A. PRL-3 overexpression in epithelial cells is induced by surrounding stromal fibroblasts. Mol Cancer. 2009 Jul 8;8:46.

Molleví DG, Aytes A, Padullés L, Martínez-Iniesta M, Baixeras N, Salazar R, Ramos E, Figueras J, Capella G, Villanueva A. PRL-3 is essentially overexpressed in primary colorectal tumours and associates with tumour aggressiveness. Br J Cancer. 2008 Nov 18;99(10):1718-25.

Fernández-Majada V, Aguilera C, Villanueva A, Vilardell F, Robert-Moreno A, Aytés A, Real FX, Capella G, Mayo MW, Espinosa L, Bigas A. Nuclear IKK activity leads to dysregulated notch-dependent gene expression in colorectal cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jan 2;104(1):276-81.