Honors & Awards

  • Scholarship, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) (2003)
  • Scholarship, São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) (2006)
  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS), University of Sydney (2010)
  • Scholarship, Children's Medical Research Institute (2010)
  • Postgraduate Supplementary Scholarship, Australian Stem Cell Centre (ASCC) (2011)
  • Best Poster Presentation, Westmead Association Research Symposium - Sydney (Australia) (2013)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member, Australasian Gene Therapy Society (2011 - 2013)
  • Member, American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (2015 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University Of Sydney (2014)
  • Master of Science, Universidade De Sao Paulo (2008)
  • Licenciatura, Universidade De Sao Paulo (2008)
  • Bachelor of Science, Universidade De Sao Paulo (2006)

Stanford Advisors

  • Mark Kay, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor


All Publications

  • Modeling correction of severe urea cycle defects in the growing murine liver using a hybrid recombinant adeno-associated virus/piggyBac transposase gene delivery system. Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) Cunningham, S. C., Siew, S. M., Hallwirth, C. V., Bolitho, C., Sasaki, N., Garg, G., Michael, I. P., Hetherington, N. A., Carpenter, K., de Alencastro, G., Nagy, A., Alexander, I. E. 2015


    Liver-targeted gene therapy based on recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors (rAAV) shows promising therapeutic efficacy in animal models and adult-focused clinical trials. This promise, however, is not directly translatable to the growing liver, where high rates of hepatocellular proliferation are accompanied by loss of episomal rAAV genomes and subsequently a loss in therapeutic efficacy. We have developed a hybrid rAAV/piggyBac transposon vector system combining the highly efficient liver-targeting properties of rAAV with stable piggyBac-mediated transposition of the transgene into the hepatocyte genome. Transposition efficiency was first tested using an enhanced green fluorescent protein expression cassette following delivery to newborn wild-type mice, with a 20-fold increase in stably gene-modified hepatocytes observed 4 weeks posttreatment compared to traditional rAAV gene delivery. We next modeled the therapeutic potential of the system in the context of severe urea cycle defects. A single treatment in the perinatal period was sufficient to confer robust and stable phenotype correction in the ornithine transcarbamylase-deficient Spf(ash) mouse and the neonatal lethal argininosuccinate synthetase knockout mouse. Finally, transposon integration patterns were analyzed, revealing 127,386 unique integration sites which conformed to previously published piggyBac data.Using a hybrid rAAV/piggyBac transposon vector system, we achieved stable therapeutic protection in two urea cycle defect mouse models; a clinically conceivable early application of this technology in the management of severe urea cycle defects could be as a bridging therapy while awaiting liver transplantation; further improvement of the system will result from the development of highly human liver-tropic capsids, the use of alternative strategies to achieve transient transposase expression, and engineered refinements in the safety profile of piggyBac transposase-mediated integration. (Hepatology 2015).

    View details for DOI 10.1002/hep.27842

    View details for PubMedID 26011400

  • The Transcriptional and Functional Properties of Mouse Epiblast Stem Cells Resemble the Anterior Primitive Streak CELL STEM CELL Kojima, Y., Kaufman-Francis, K., Studdert, J. B., Steiner, K. A., Power, M. D., Loebel, D. A., Jones, V., Hor, A., de Alencastro, G., Logan, G. J., Teber, E. T., Tam, O. H., Stutz, M. D., Alexander, I. E., Pickett, H. A., Tam, P. P. 2014; 14 (1): 107-120


    Mouse epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) can be derived from a wide range of developmental stages. To characterize and compare EpiSCs with different origins, we derived a series of EpiSC lines from pregastrula stage to late-bud-stage mouse embryos. We found that the transcriptomes of these cells are hierarchically distinct from those of the embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and epiblast/ectoderm. The EpiSCs display globally similar gene expression profiles irrespective of the original developmental stage of the source tissue. They are developmentally similar to the ectoderm of the late-gastrula-stage embryo and behave like anterior primitive streak cells when differentiated in vitro and in vivo. The EpiSC lines that we derived can also be categorized based on a correlation between gene expression signature and predisposition to differentiate into particular germ-layer derivatives. Our findings therefore highlight distinct identifying characteristics of EpiSCs and provide a foundation for further examination of EpiSC properties and potential.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.stem.2013.09.014

    View details for Web of Science ID 000329571900013

    View details for PubMedID 24139757

  • Exploiting the unique regenerative capacity of the liver to underpin cell and gene therapy strategies for genetic and acquired liver disease. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology Logan, G. J., de Alencastro, G., Alexander, I. E., Yeoh, G. C. 2014; 56C: 141-152


    The number of genetic or acquired diseases of the liver treatable by organ transplantation is ever-increasing as transplantation techniques improve placing additional demands on an already limited organ supply. While cell and gene therapies are distinctly different modalities, they offer a synergistic alternative to organ transplant due to distinct architectural and physiological properties of the liver. The hepatic blood supply and fenestrated endothelial system affords relatively facile accessibility for cell and/or gene delivery. More importantly, however, the remarkable capacity of hepatocytes to proliferate and repopulate the liver creates opportunities for new treatments based on emerging technologies. This review will summarise current understanding of liver regeneration, describe clinical and experimental cell and gene therapeutic modalities and discuss critical challenges to translate these new technologies to wider clinical utility. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: "Regenerative Medicine: the challenge of translation".

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biocel.2014.10.023

    View details for PubMedID 25449261

  • Collybistin and gephyrin are novel components of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3 complex. BMC research notes Sertie, A. L., de Alencastro, G., De Paula, V. J., Passos-Bueno, M. R. 2010; 3: 242-?


    Collybistin (CB), a neuron-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor, has been implicated in targeting gephyrin-GABAA receptors clusters to inhibitory postsynaptic sites. However, little is known about additional CB partners and functions.Here, we identified the p40 subunit of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3 (eIF3H) as a novel binding partner of CB, documenting the interaction in yeast, non-neuronal cell lines, and the brain. In addition, we demonstrated that gephyrin also interacts with eIF3H in non-neuronal cells and forms a complex with eIF3 in the brain.Together, our results suggest, for the first time, that CB and gephyrin associate with the translation initiation machinery, and lend further support to the previous evidence that gephyrin may act as a regulator of synaptic protein synthesis.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1756-0500-3-242

    View details for PubMedID 20858277

  • New SMS mutation leads to a striking reduction in spermine synthase protein function and a severe form of Snyder-Robinson X-linked recessive mental retardation syndrome JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS de Alencastro, G., McCloskey, D. E., Kliemann, S. E., Maranduba, C. M., Pegg, A. E., Wang, X., Bertola, D. R., Schwartz, C. E., Passos-Bueno, M. R., Sertie, A. L. 2008; 45 (8): 539-543


    We report the identification of a novel mutation at a highly conserved residue within the N-terminal region of spermine synthase (SMS) in a second family with Snyder-Robinson X-linked mental retardation syndrome (OMIM 309583). This missense mutation, p.G56S, greatly reduces SMS activity and leads to severe epilepsy and cognitive impairment. Our findings contribute to a better delineation and expansion of the clinical spectrum of Snyder-Robinson syndrome, support the important role of the N-terminus in the function of the SMS protein, and provide further evidence for the importance of SMS activity in the development of intellectual processing and other aspects of human development.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/jmg.2007.056713

    View details for Web of Science ID 000258143400009

    View details for PubMedID 18550699

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