Jorge Y. Martínez-Márquez
Please give a brief, lay-audience accessible description of your research.
I study proteins that help cells move their contents around their inner space (intracellular trafficking) and how these proteins help cells survive in low glucose conditions. To do so, I use baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an easy to work with the model eukaryote with a large set of tools available for the study of many biological processes.
What aspect of your research is most interesting to you? Think big picture.
Even though I work with yeast, there are many similarities in the signaling pathways and proteins involved in the regulation of such pathways. My work finds many proteins involved in intracellular trafficking in yeast also involved in trafficking in higher eukaryotes, like mammals. This homology between species allows me to study important pathways and diseases in yeast. For example, I can study the role of trafficking proteins important for normal development in yeast and then test specific pathways in more complex systems.
What about your career path is most exciting to you and why? (Teaching, mentoring, research, writing grants... just kidding)
My long term career path is to teach and do research with students at an undergraduate level. This will give me the chance to help students to decide their own career path, ensuring that they learn about the many doors that obtaining a science degree will open. By doing so, I will become a role model for under-represented students who, like me, are excited about teaching, research and helping others navigate a career in science.
What makes UM the best place for you to carry out your career goals?
The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor has a great community of researchers. Here you can discuss science in a friendly, yet competitive environment with students and faculty. This environment provides networking and mentoring opportunities and will also foster my science knowledge and help me grow as a researcher and mentor.