Marcia Martinez, Ph.D.
Location: Carver Research Foundation, Room 17
Office Phone: 334-727-8064
Biographical Sketch:

Dr. Marcia Martinez received her Ph.D. degree from the Graduate School of the City University of New York, NYC. Her training included specializations in molecular, cellular and developmental biology as well as in genetics and immunology. Her current research centers on the contributory role of failures in central tolerance in the thymus and the development of autoimmune disease states such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE predominantly affects women of all races however, higher morbidity and mortality is observed among women of African American descent. Dr. Martinez’s group focuses on understanding the relationship between specialized groups of thymic epithelial cells called nurse cells and their interaction with developing T cells. Dr. Martinez also serves as the Chair of the Tuskegee University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, the Deputy Director for Research and Training for the Tuskegee University Health Disparities Research Institute and as the Program Director for the Tuskegee University MARC U STAR Honors Fellowship program.

Research Field:

  • Immunology
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Immune Response to Anti-Tumor Agents


  • Dr. Jerry C. Guyden, Department of Biology, The City College of CUNY, N.Y., N.Y.

  • Dr. Jesse Jaynes, Integrative Biosciences, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee Institute, AL.

Representative Presentations:

1. Tonya Hendrix , Rajendra Chilukuri, Marcia Martinez, Zachariah Olushoga, Andrew Blake, Moazzam Brohi, Christopher Walker, Michael Samms Jerry Guyden.  Thymic nurse cells exhibit epithelial progenitor phenotype and create unique extra-cytoplasmic membrane space for thymocyte selection.  Cell Immuno  261: 81-92  2010

2. Martinez, M., Samms, M., Hendrix, T.M., Oluwaseun, A., Pezzano, M., and Guyden, J.C.  2007.  Thymic nurse cell multicellular complexes in HY-TCR transgenic mice demonstrate their association with MHC restriction.  Exp. Biol. Med.  232:780-788.

3. Webb, O., Kelly, F., Benitez, J., Li, J., Parker, M., Martinez, M., Samms, M.,   Blake,   A., Pezzano, M. and Guyden, J.C.  2004.  The identification of thymic nurse cells in  vivo and the role of cytoskeletal proteins in thymocyte internalization.  Cellular Immunology.  228: 119-129.


4. Martinez, M., Pramanik, A., Moto-Ndje, S. and Moore, C.W.  2003.  Overexpression of genes involved in vesicular trafficking to the vacuole defends against lethal effects of oxidative damage. Cell. and Molec. Biol. 49(7): 1025-1035.

5. Martinez, M., Pramanik, A., McKoy, J., Robert, K. and Moore, C.W. 2003. Pleiotropic cellular deficiencies conferred by the blm5-1 mutation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cell. and Molec. Biol. 49(7): 1049-1056.

6. Pezzano, M., Samms, M., Martinez, M., and Guyden, J.  2001.  Questionable thymic nurse cell.  Microbiol. and Molec.  Biol.  Rev.  65(3): 390-403.Spheroids under Microgravity Conditions "  Cell Regeneration 2012, 1:2 (28 June 2012).