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Sarah Hamm-Alvarez, PhD
Professor of Ophthalmology and Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Associate Dean for Basic and Translational Research
MCA 346A 1333 San Pablo Street Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 1445


Sarah Hamm-Alvarez, PhD, is Professor of Ophthalmology and Vice Chair for Basic Research at the USC Roski Institute, and Associate Dean, Basic and Translational Sciences, USC Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Hamm-Alvarez holds a secondary faculty appointment as Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences at USC's School of Pharmacy. She also directs the Office of Research Development at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC-CTSI).

An expert in cellular membrane trafficking and high-resolution imaging, Professor Hamm-Alvarez is recognized internationally for her work on regulated exocytosis in acinar cells. Her membrane-trafficking research has sparked new growth of translational programs in her laboratory ultimately aimed at improving clinical diagnosis and treatment of SjÖgren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease affecting the secretory function of the lacrimal gland and the integrity of the ocular surface. Other of her research programs focus on protein-targeted drug delivery. characterizing nanoparticle interactions with cells, and development of protein polymer-based drug delivery systems for ocular diseases.

Professor Hamm-Alvarez was awarded a PhD in Biochemistry from Duke University in 1990, where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Cell Biology in 1993. She has authored numerous papers, served on editorial boards and grant review committees, is an AAPS fellow, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Linneaus University in Sweden.


American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists: Fellow, 2014

Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Representative

USC School of Pharmacy: Gavin S. Herbert Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2004-2015

USC School of Pharmacy: John A. Biles Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2003

Linneaus University, Kalmar Sweden: Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa, 2003

American Heart Association: Initial Investigatorship, 1994-1996

Duke University: Muscular Dystrophy Association Postdoctoral Fellow, 1991-1993


. Increased Cathepsin S activity associated with decreased protease inhibitory capacity contributes to altered tear proteins in Sjögren's Syndrome patients Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 23; 8(1):11044. View in: PubMed

. Myoepithelial cell-driven acini contraction in response to oxytocin receptor stimulation is impaired in lacrimal glands of Sjögren's syndrome animal models Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 02; 8(1):9919. View in: PubMed

. Rapamycin Eye Drops Suppress Lacrimal Gland Inflammation In a Murine Model of Sjögren's Syndrome Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 01 01; 58(1):372-385. View in: PubMed

. PLoS One. 2017; 12(9):e0184781. View in: PubMed

. Delivery of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Improves Tear Production in a Mouse Model of Sjögren's Syndrome Stem Cells Int. 2017; 2017:3134543. View in: PubMed

. Imbalanced Rab3D versus Rab27 increases cathepsin S secretion from lacrimal acini in a mouse model of Sjögren's Syndrome Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2016 Jun 01; 310(11):C942-54. View in: PubMed

. Elastin-like polypeptides: Therapeutic applications for an emerging class of nanomedicines J Control Release. 2016 10 28; 240:93-108. View in: PubMed

. Multidimensional Separation Using HILIC and SCX Pre-fractionation for RP LC-MS/MS Platform with Automated Exclusion List-based MS Data Acquisition with Increased Protein Quantification J Proteomics Bioinform. 2015 Nov; 8(11):260-265. View in: PubMed

. Tear-mediated delivery of nanoparticles through transcytosis of the lacrimal gland J Control Release. 2015 Jun 28; 208:2-13. View in: PubMed

. A thermo-responsive protein treatment for dry eyes J Control Release. 2015 Feb 10; 199:156-67. View in: PubMed

. Lacritin-mediated regeneration of the corneal epithelia by protein polymer nanoparticles J Mater Chem B. 2014 Dec 14; 2(46):8131-8141. View in: PubMed

. Flipping the Switch on Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis using Thermally Responsive Protein Microdomains Adv Funct Mater. 2014 Sep 10; 24(34):5340-5347. View in: PubMed

. Tear cathepsin S as a candidate biomarker for Sjögren's syndrome Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 Jul; 66(7):1872-81. View in: PubMed

. A rapamycin-binding protein polymer nanoparticle shows potent therapeutic activity in suppressing autoimmune dacryoadenitis in a mouse model of Sjögren's syndrome J Control Release. 2013 Nov 10; 171(3):269-79. View in: PubMed

. Nanoparticle translocation across mouse alveolar epithelial cell monolayers: species-specific mechanisms Nanomedicine. 2013 Aug; 9(6):786-94. View in: PubMed

. Polymeric immunoglobulin receptor traffics through two distinct apically targeted pathways in primary lacrimal gland acinar cells J Cell Sci. 2013 Jun 15; 126(Pt 12):2704-17. View in: PubMed

. Analyzing live cellularity in the human trabecular meshwork Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Feb 05; 54(2):1039-47. View in: PubMed

. Targeting receptor-mediated endocytotic pathways with nanoparticles: rationale and advances Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2013 Jan; 65(1):121-38. View in: PubMed

. A tunable and reversible platform for the intracellular formation of genetically engineered protein microdomains Biomacromolecules. 2012 Nov 12; 13(11):3439-44. View in: PubMed

. In situ autofluorescence visualization of human trabecular meshwork structure Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Apr 24; 53(4):2080-8. View in: PubMed

. Use of nucleofection to efficiently transfect primary rabbit lacrimal gland acinar cells Cytotechnology. 2012 Mar; 64(2):149-56. View in: PubMed

. Direct imaging of RAB27B-enriched secretory vesicle biogenesis in lacrimal acinar cells reveals origins on a nascent vesicle budding site PLoS One. 2012; 7(2):e31789. View in: PubMed

. The effects of apolipoprotein F deficiency on high density lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism in mice PLoS One. 2012; 7(2):e31616. View in: PubMed

. Design and cellular internalization of genetically engineered polypeptide nanoparticles displaying adenovirus knob domain J Control Release. 2011 Oct 30; 155(2):218-26. View in: PubMed

. Cellular uptake of cyclotide MCoTI-I follows multiple endocytic pathways J Control Release. 2011 Oct 30; 155(2):134-43. View in: PubMed

. A Rab11a-enriched subapical membrane compartment regulates a cytoskeleton-dependent transcytotic pathway in secretory epithelial cells of the lacrimal gland J Cell Sci. 2011 Oct 15; 124(Pt 20):3503-14. View in: PubMed

. Polystyrene nanoparticle trafficking across MDCK-II Nanomedicine. 2011 Oct; 7(5):588-94. View in: PubMed

. Rab27b regulates exocytosis of secretory vesicles in acinar epithelial cells from the lacrimal gland Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2011 Aug; 301(2):C507-21. View in: PubMed

. Translocation of PEGylated quantum dots across rat alveolar epithelial cell monolayers Int J Nanomedicine. 2011; 6:2849-57. View in: PubMed

. Alveolar epithelial cell injury due to zinc oxide nanoparticle exposure Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Dec 01; 182(11):1398-409. View in: PubMed

. Increased expression of cathepsins and obesity-induced proinflammatory cytokines in lacrimal glands of male NOD mouse Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Oct; 51(10):5019-29. View in: PubMed

. Intracellular uptake and trafficking of difluoroboron dibenzoylmethane-polylactide nanoparticles in HeLa cells ACS Nano. 2010 May 25; 4(5):2735-47. View in: PubMed

. Mechanisms of alveolar epithelial translocation of a defined population of nanoparticles Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2010 May; 42(5):604-14. View in: PubMed

. Lymphocytic infiltration leads to degradation of lacrimal gland extracellular matrix structures in NOD mice exhibiting a Sjögren's syndrome-like exocrinopathy Exp Eye Res. 2010 Feb; 90(2):223-37. View in: PubMed

. Mitochondrial medicine and therapeutics, Part IIPreface. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2009 Nov 30; 61(14):1233. View in: PubMed

. Altered expression of genes functioning in lipid homeostasis is associated with lipid deposition in NOD mouse lacrimal gland Exp Eye Res. 2009 Sep; 89(3):319-32. View in: PubMed

. Transduced viral IL-10 is exocytosed from lacrimal acinar secretory vesicles in a myosin-dependent manner in response to carbachol Exp Eye Res. 2009 Mar; 88(3):467-78. View in: PubMed

. Quantitative second harmonic generation imaging of cartilage damage Cell Tissue Bank. 2008 Dec; 9(4):299-307. View in: PubMed

. Mitochondrial medicine and mitochondrion-based therapeutics Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2008 Oct-Nov; 60(13-14):1437-8. View in: PubMed

. Site-specific labeling of enveloped viruses with quantum dots for single virus tracking ACS Nano. 2008 Aug; 2(8):1553-62. View in: PubMed

. The class V myosin motor, myosin 5c, localizes to mature secretory vesicles and facilitates exocytosis in lacrimal acini Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2008 Jul; 295(1):C13-28. View in: PubMed

. Polystyrene nanoparticle trafficking across alveolar epithelium Nanomedicine. 2008 Jun; 4(2):139-45. View in: PubMed

. Direct interaction between Rab3D and the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor and trafficking through regulated secretory vesicles in lacrimal gland acinar cells Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2008 Mar; 294(3):C662-74. View in: PubMed

. Tyrphostin A8 stimulates a novel trafficking pathway of apically endocytosed transferrin through Rab11-enriched compartments in Caco-2 cells Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2008 Jan; 294(1):C7-21. View in: PubMed

. Increased degradation of extracellular matrix structures of lacrimal glands implicated in the pathogenesis of Sjögren's syndrome Matrix Biol. 2008 Jan; 27(1):53-66. View in: PubMed

. Traffic of endogenous, transduced, and endocytosed prolactin in rabbit lacrimal acinar cells Exp Eye Res. 2007 Dec; 85(6):749-61. View in: PubMed

. Optimized preservation of extracellular matrix in cardiac tissues: implications for long-term graft durability Ann Thorac Surg. 2007 May; 83(5):1641-50. View in: PubMed

. Elevated prolactin redirects secretory vesicle traffic in rabbit lacrimal acinar cells Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Apr; 292(4):E1122-34. View in: PubMed

. Novel fiber-dependent entry mechanism for adenovirus serotype 5 in lacrimal acini J Virol. 2006 Dec; 80(23):11833-51. View in: PubMed

. Current status of gene delivery and gene therapy in lacrimal gland using viral vectors Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2006 Nov 15; 58(11):1243-57. View in: PubMed

. Integrin adhesion in regulation of lacrimal gland acinar cell secretion Exp Eye Res. 2006 Sep; 83(3):543-53. View in: PubMed

. Molecular mechanisms of lacrimal acinar secretory vesicle exocytosis Exp Eye Res. 2006 Jul; 83(1):84-96. View in: PubMed

. Unique ultrastructure of exorbital lacrimal glands in male NOD and BALB/c mice Curr Eye Res. 2006 Jan; 31(1):13-22. View in: PubMed

. Male NOD mouse external lacrimal glands exhibit profound changes in the exocytotic pathway early in postnatal development Exp Eye Res. 2006 Jan; 82(1):33-45. View in: PubMed

. Actin and non-muscle myosin II facilitate apical exocytosis of tear proteins in rabbit lacrimal acinar epithelial cells J Cell Sci. 2005 Oct 15; 118(Pt 20):4797-812. View in: PubMed

. Mucosal immunity and self-tolerance in the ocular surface system Ocul Surf. 2005 Oct; 3(4):182-92. View in: PubMed

. Dominant-negative PKC-epsilon impairs apical actin remodeling in parallel with inhibition of carbachol-stimulated secretion in rabbit lacrimal acini Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2005 Oct; 289(4):C1052-68. View in: PubMed

. Stable transfection of MDCK cells with epitope-tagged human PepT1 Pharm Res. 2004 Nov; 21(11):1970-3. View in: PubMed

. Altered traffic to the lysosome in an ex vivo lacrimal acinar cell model for chronic muscarinic receptor stimulation Exp Eye Res. 2004 Nov; 79(5):665-75. View in: PubMed

. Role of the microtubule cytoskeleton in traffic of EGF through the lacrimal acinar cell endomembrane network Exp Eye Res. 2004 Jun; 78(6):1093-106. View in: PubMed

. Novel biphasic traffic of endocytosed EGF to recycling and degradative compartments in lacrimal gland acinar cells J Cell Physiol. 2004 Apr; 199(1):108-25. View in: PubMed

. Modulation of secretory functions in epithelia by adenovirus capsid proteins J Control Release. 2003 Dec 05; 93(2):129-40. View in: PubMed

. Actin microfilaments et al--the many components, effectors and regulators of epithelial cell endocytosis. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2003 Nov 14; 55(11):1359-83. View in: PubMed

. Impairing actin filament or syndapin functions promotes accumulation of clathrin-coated vesicles at the apical plasma membrane of acinar epithelial cells Mol Biol Cell. 2003 Nov; 14(11):4397-413. View in: PubMed

. Cytoplasmic dynein participates in apically targeted stimulated secretory traffic in primary rabbit lacrimal acinar epithelial cells J Cell Sci. 2003 May 15; 116(Pt 10):2051-65. View in: PubMed

. Diverse perturbations may alter the lacrimal acinar cell autoantigenic spectra DNA Cell Biol. 2002 May-Jun; 21(5-6):435-42. View in: PubMed

. Acute hypertension provokes internalization of proximal tubule NHE3 without inhibition of transport activity Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2002 Apr; 282(4):F730-40. View in: PubMed

. Focus on "EGF receptor downregulation depends on a trafficking motif in the distal tyrosine kinase domain" Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2002 Mar; 282(3):C417-9. View in: PubMed

. Epidermal growth factor traffic in lacrimal acinar cells Adv Exp Med Biol. 2002; 506(Pt A):213-7. View in: PubMed

. Cytoskeletal participation in stimulated secretion and compensatory apical plasma membrane retrieval in lacrimal gland acinar cells Adv Exp Med Biol. 2002; 506(Pt A):199-205. View in: PubMed

. M3 receptor autoimmunity: losing tolerance to a familiar protein Adv Exp Med Biol. 2002; 506(Pt A):51-8. View in: PubMed

. Heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins in the lacrimal acinar cell endomembrane system Exp Eye Res. 2002 Jan; 74(1):7-22. View in: PubMed

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