Fernando Alvarez Valin obtained his degree in Biology at the Faculty of Sciences, Universidad de la República (1989) and PhD in Biology (PEDECIBA) in 1998, in Montevideo, Uruguay. He was a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Molecular Evolution at the Stazione Anton Dorhn, Naples (1998–2000).
In Uruguay he worked at Universidad de la República (UdelaR) as Assistant Professor of Genetics in the School of Medicine and in the School of Sciences. Since 2003, his position has been Associate Professor of Biomathematics at the School of Sciences (UdelaR) where he leads a research group devoted to topics of molecular evolution and genomics. Alvarez-Valin is author of more than 50 publications in this field
His current research interests include: adaptations of African trypanosomes to live out of Africa, in particular the changes associated with mechanical transmission; and the genetic programmes that allow regeneration of the spinal cord in freshwater turtles, the only known amniotes with spinal cord self-repair mechanisms.