Jesse D. Martinez, PhD

Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Radiation Oncology.
Director of Research Education and Facilities, University of Arizona Cancer Center.
Chair, Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. PI T32Ca009213 Cancer Biology Training Grant

Clinical Information

Disease or Clinical Specialty: 
Colon-Colorectal Cancer

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Biology
Member Status: 
Research Member
Year of Membership Acceptance: 
Summary of Research Activity: 

My overall interest is in the dysregulated signaling that occurs during tumor development and in applying the knowledge gained from our investigations to interfering with or circumventing those dysregulated pathways as a means for treating or preventing cancer.

My diverse interests have resulted in the pursuit of three projects that each focus on different aspects of cancer signaling and tumor development:

The first of these investigates the role that bile acids may have in promoting colon cancer. Here we are examining the effects that bile acids have on the cell signaling using molecular and cellular biology approaches as well as animal models to identify bile acid-activated signaling pathways which may be targets for preventive strategies.

The second project examines the mechanisms that regulate activation of the p53 tumor suppressor protein. Our approach employs a genetic screen for mutant cell lines that are incapable of activating p53 in an effort to identify novel pathways that regulate the protein’s function and which may be targeted for inactivation during tumorigenesis.

The third project focuses on a novel observation made while characterizing the interaction between p53 and the scaffolding protein 14-3-3 gamma. In these studies we are examining the possibility that 14-3-3 gamma may be instrumental in causing aneuploidy in lung cancers which frequently overexpress this protein and that wild-type p53 may act to downregulate this activity. Here the eventual goal is to develop agents for imaging and treating lung cancer.

Read more at the UA Medical Student Research Program.