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) displays 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 mechanism of AC invasion and the in vivo effects of drugs that target the cell cycle.


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

2018 NIH T32 NRSA; National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 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


Ashley, G., Duong, T., Levenson, M.T., Martinez, M.A.Q., Hibshman, J.D., Saeger, H.N., Doonan, R.,
Palmisano, N.J., 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. (2020). Expanding the Caenorhabditis elegans auxin-inducible degron system toolkit with internal expression and degradation controls and improved modular constructs for CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. bioRχiv.

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.

Kohrman, A.Q., Adikes, R.C., Smith, J.J., Martinez, M.A.Q., Medwig-Kinney, T.N., Palmisano, N.J., Sallee, M.D., Ahmed, O.B., Weeks, N., Kim, N., Liu, S., Zhang, W., Pani, A.M., and Matus, D.Q. (2019). Visualizing the metazoan proliferation-differentiation decision in vivo. bioRχiv.

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.