Alex Martinez
Selected Publications

Alex Martinez

Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Pharmacology
San Antonio, Texas

Lab: 210-567-4211
Lab Association: Andrea Giuffrida, Ph.D.


Research Interests

• parkinson's disease                             • L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia
• cannabinoids • PRAR-gamma

Research Summary

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by the progressive and irreversible loss of dopamine (DA)-producing neurons, an important neurotransmitter within the basal ganglia that plays a role in movement. The DA precursor L-DOPA is the most effective therapy to treat the motor symptoms of PD, however its chronic use produces disabling involuntary movements known as L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID). My research investigates novel pharmacological targets that can decrease LID without affecting L-DOPA’s therapeutic effect in treating the motor symptoms of PD. Previous research from our lab has shown that drugs targeting the cannabinoid and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) systems are able to decrease LID without affecting L-DOPA’s therapeutic effect in a rat model of PD.


• Accomplishments, Awards and Honors •

Best Student Oral Presentation - 5th Annual Terry M. Mikiten, Ph.D., Graduate Student Research Forum and Lecture - May 2013

Received Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Fellowship 1F31NS073411-01 - Jan. 2011 - Dec 2013

Received 2011/2012 Pharmacology Student of the Year Award - August 2011

Received 3rd Place Poster - 2010 Annual Terry Mikiten Graduate Association Research Forum - Spring 2010

• Books and Publications •

Giuffrida, A. and Martinez, AA. (2014) Cannabinoids and levodopa-induced dyskinesia. In: Levodopa-induced Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease (S. Fox, J. Brotchie, eds.) Springer, Pp 245-264

• Lectures and Presentations •

Martinez, AA., Pisanu, A., Carta, AR. and Giuffrida, A. Activation of PPAR gamma receptors reduces levodopa-induced dyskinesia without affecting L-DOPA and dopamine bioavailability in 6-OHDA-treated rats - Society for Neuroscience: 638.07 (2011) and UTHSCSA Pharmacology Graduate Student Symposium, San Antonio, TX (2011)

Tackling the debilitating side effects of Parkinson’s Disease treatment: What can we learn from a rat model? - The Jose Miguel Cimadevilla Memorial Seminar Series - St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX. (2010)