Dr. Martinez’ research has focused on the assessment of the disposition of the bioactive food component limonene, a potential breast cancer chemopreventive found in citrus peel oil. She has developed and published analytical assays to extract limonene and its major metabolite from adipose tissue and biofluids using specific chromatographic methods for quantitation. She has also been involved in early phase clinical trials in the prevention setting for breast cancer using agents such as resveratrol and green tea. Her research focus is moving into the area of metabolomics as a systemic approach to evaluate the effect of chemopreventive agents. Using metabolomics profiling with mass spectrometry-based techniques, she has investigated novel mechanisms and biomarkers of limonene activity after 4 weeks intervention in early stage breast cancer patients (PI: Sherry Chow).
She has also initiated projects in collaboration with Imperial College and Waters Corporation to characterize metabolite profiles in nipple aspirate fluid using multiple analytical platforms (nuclear magnetic resonance, gas chromatography mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry). Current research also includes utilizing plasma samples from a phase-III clinical trial (PI: Dr. Patricia Thompson) to characterize changes in oxylipin metabolites of the arachidonic acid pathway after administration of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and relate these changes to colorectal adenoma outcomes.
Future work will focus on applying metabolomics to characterize metabolite signatures in blood and urine pre and post an AI+sulindac intervention in order to understand the determinants of AI-associated pain as well as predicting benefit with sulindac. This work will take place in the context of an R01-funded clinical study of women with a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer on aromatase inhibitors (AI) (PIs Thompson and Stopeck). The study should help guide future research that will identify molecular targets of pain for the ultimate goal of improving AI adherence and reducing death from breast cancer. Future work will also focus on cancer prevention clinical trials in order to identify novel biomarkers of cancer risk or of response to interventions.
Dr. Martinez’ research focuses on early phase clinical development of cancer preventive agents and on modulating intermediate biomarkers of cancer risk including the metabolome. She is currently co-investigator on ongoing cancer prevention clinical trials to investigate metformin, sulindac, and aspirin. Her role in these projects is to evaluate whether these agents affect biomarkers of cancer risk including metabolites, cytokines, and tissue level protein changes. Recently, as part of a funded U01, they have developed a bile acid assay in which they can successfully quantify 25 bile acids in a single run as well as capture an untargeted profile. This assay is currently being applied to fecal water and plasma samples from a phase III colorectal adenoma prevention trial. She has the training and skill set to oversee the metabolomics aims of the Toxicomic Core for this proposal and to characterize changes in the tissue and plasma metabolomic profiles with exposure to toxic gas as well as therapeutic interventions.
2011-2013 R25T Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, AZ
2007-2010 Graduate Research Assistant, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
2005-2008 Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
2014 Young Investigator Travel Award, Conference: Mass Spectrometry Applications for the Clinical Lab, Europe
2013 Women in Cancer Research Scholar Award, American Association for Cancer Research
2012 Nominated for the The Mary Swartz Rose Young Investigator Award for outstanding research on the safety and efficacy of bioactive compounds for human health, Univerity of Arizona Department of Nutritional Sciences
2005 Iota Sigma Pi National Women’s Chemistry Honorary Society, Hillsdale College
2005 Graduate College Fellowship, University of Arizona, Tucson
2004 LAUREATES (Laboratory for Advanced Undergraduate Research Education Adapted for Talented And Extraordinary Students) Research Stipend, Hillsdale College
2004 Howard Bott’s Competitive Academic Scholarship, Hillsdale College
2003 Sigma Zeta National Science and Mathematics Honorary Society, Hillsdale College
2003 Howard Bott’s Competitive Academic Scholarship, Hillsdale College
2002 Kappa Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honorary Society, Hillsdale College
2002 Howard Bott’s Competitive Academic Scholarship, Hillsdale College
2002 Beta Beta Beta Biological Honorary Society, Hillsdale College
2008 Howard Bott’s Competitive Academic Scholarship, Hillsdale College
2012-2015 Member, American Society for Mass Spectrometry
2012-2014 Member, American Society for Preventive Oncology
2012-2014 Member, American Society for Clinical Oncology
2011-Present Member, American Association for Cancer Research
2010-Present Member, American Society of Nutrition
2009-2010 Student Representative, Graduate Committee
2002-Present Member, American Chemical Society