Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR.
Investigator, Cancer Biology Division, University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Juan, PR.
Complete list of biomedical publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Martinez-Ferrer+M
Dr. Martínez’s laboratory interests are urological and HPV-associated cancers. The incidence of penile cancer in Puerto Rico is 3.5 times higher when compared to the United States. Her laboratory studies the association of HPV with penile cancer in Puerto Rico and the sequence of molecular events involved in both HPV-mediated and non-HPV-associated pathways (gene expression, microbiome, DNA methylation) leading to penile cancer. Another area of interest is the role of inflammation and chemo-preventive properties of phytochemicals in prostate cancer. They found that andrographolide decreased prostate cancer progression both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, their studies provide important contributions to the understanding of the biological role of CCL4 and IL-15 in prostate cancer progression and metastasis. Her lab also studies the prevalence of HPV in head and neck cancers along with the HPV-mediated and non-HPV-associated pathways leading to head and neck cancer in Puerto Rico. Her research involves multidisciplinary research teams (UPR, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Notre Dame University, Vanderbilt University, among others) linking basic and clinical scientists focused on the study of urological and HPV-associated cancers which show a health disparity prevalent in Puerto Rico. At the University of Puerto Rico, Dr. Martínez has mentored students and offered them laboratory experiences in cancer research. Dr. Martínez has mentored: 45 undergraduate students through the courses or programs of QUIM 4999 (Undergraduate Research), BIOL 4990 (Undergraduate Research), PREH 4990 (Individualized Studies in Research), Capstone Program, Honors Program, MARC Program, RISE Program of as Volunteer Students; 10 graduate students (MS and PhD Programs of Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Biochemistry and Department of Pharmacology); residents from the Department of Urology; and she has also been a committee member of twenty graduate students from the UPR Medical Sciences Campus and the Department of Chemistry at UPR- Rio Piedras. The students at her laboratory have been principal authors or co-authors of poster presentations in meetings such as the ABRCMS Meeting, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, Society for Basic Urologic Research (SBUR) Meeting, Puerto Rico Cancer Meeting, and the UPR-RCM Annual Research Forum. Most of the students who received training in Dr. Martínez’s laboratory were accepted into Schools of Medicine, Schools of Pharmacy, Schools of Dentistry, and Graduate Programs. In addition, Dr. Martínez’s laboratory has collaborated with other researchers and produced peer-reviewed publications.
(Updated Oct 10, 2023)