Michael A. Q. Martinez

Michael MartinezMichael A. Q. Martinez


B.A. University of Bridgeport, 2014

Current Position:

6th Year MSTP

4th Year Grad Student


David Q. Matus, Ph.D.

Graduate Program:

Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology

Research Interest:

As a member of the Matus lab, I use Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for metastatic cancer research.The C. elegans anchor cell (AC) exhibits cellular behaviors that are reminiscent of those displayed by invasive cancer cells. The AC expresses a single integrin, many F-actin regulators, and a number of matrix metalloproteinases, allowing it to invade through basement membrane via F-actin rich invadopodia. The C. elegans AC invasion model is powerful because it is amenable to both CRISPR/Cas9-based genetics and high-resolution live-cell imaging. In my thesis research, I will elucidate the cell cycle control mechanism of AC invasion and the in vivo effects of drugs that target the cell cycle.


2021 NIH NRSA F30; National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
2021 National Graduate Student Symposium; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
2020 Norton B. Gilula Travel Award; Journal of Cell Biology, New York, NY
2020 DREAM Travel Award; Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Bethesda, MD
2019 NIH Diversity Supplement; National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Bethesda, MD
2018 MAC Travel Award; American Society for Cell Biology, Bethesda, MD
2017 Policy Summit Travel Award; Latino Medical Student Association, Washington, DC
2017 BFSA Scholarship; Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
2016 Sylvia Parkinson Scholarship; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Hartford, CT


(*denotes co-first authors; ** denotes co-second authors)

Hills-Muckey, K., Martinez, M.A.Q., Stec, N., Hebbar, S., Saldanha, J., Medwig-Kinney, T.N., Moore, F.E.Q., Ivanova, M., Morao, A., Ward, J.D., Moss, E.G., Ercan, S., Zinovyeva, A.Y., Matus, D.Q., and Hammell, C.M. (2021). An engineered, orthogonal auxin analog/AtTIR1(F79G) pairing improves both specificity and efficacy of the auxin degradation system in Caenorhabditis elegans. bioRχiv.

Smith, J.J., Xiao, Y., Parsan, N., Martinez, M.A.Q., Moore, F.E.Q., Palmisano, N.J., Kohrman, A.Q.,Chandhok Delos Reyes, M., Adikes, R.C., Medwig-Kinney, T.N., Liu, S., Bracht, S.A., Zhang, W., Wen, K., Kratsios, P., and Matus, D.Q. (2021). The SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling assemblies BAF and PBAF differentially regulate cell cycle exit and cellular invasion in vivo. bioRχiv.

Ashley, G., Duong, T.**, Levenson, M.T.**, Martinez, M.A.Q.**, Johnson, L.C., Hibshman, J.D., Saeger, H.N., Palmisano, N.J., Doonan, R., Martinez-Mendez, R., Davidson, B., Zhang, W., Ragle, J.M., Medwig-Kinney, T.N., Sirota, S.S., Goldstein, B., Matus, D.Q., Dickinson, D.J., Reiner, D.J., and Ward, J.D. (2021). An expanded auxin-inducible degron toolkit for Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics. 217(3): iyab006.

Adikes, R.C.*, Kohrman, A.Q.*, Martinez, M.A.Q.*, Palmisano, N.J., Smith, J.J., Medwig-Kinney, T.N., Min, M., Sallee, M.D., Ahmed, O.B., Kim, N., Liu, S., Morabito, R., Weeks, N., Zhao, Q., Zhang, W.,Feldman, J., Barkoulas, M., Pani, A.M., Spencer, S.L., Martin, B.L., and Matus, D.Q. (2020). Visualizing the metazoan proliferation-quiescence decision in vivo. eLife. 9: e63265.

Martinez, M.A.Q. and Matus, D.Q. (2020). Auxin-mediated protein degradation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Bio-protocol. 10(8): e3589.

Martinez, M.A.Q., Kinney, B.A., Medwig-Kinney, T.N., Ashley, G., Ragle, J.M., Johnson, L., Aguilera, J., Hammell, C.M., Ward, J.D., and Matus, D.Q. (2020). Rapid degradation of Caenorhabditis elegans proteins at single-cell resolution with a synthetic auxin. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. 10(1): 267-280.

Penfield, L., Wysolmerski, B., Mauro, M., Farhadifar, R., Martinez, M.A., Biggs, R., Wu, H.Y., Broberg, C., Needleman, D., and Bahmanyar, S. (2018). Dynein-pulling forces counteract lamin-mediated nuclear stability during nuclear envelope repair. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 29(7):852-868.

Chow, R.D., Guzman, C.D., Wang, G., Schmidt, F., Youngblood, M.W., Ye, L., Errami, Y., Dong, M.B., Martinez, M.A., Zhang, S., Renauer, P., Bilguvar, K., Gunel, M., Sharp, P.A., Zhang, F., Platt, R.J., and Chen, S. (2017). AAV-mediated direct in vivo CRISPR screen identifies functional suppressors in glioblastoma. Nature Neuroscience. 20(10), 1329-1341.