Dr. Julian Martinez is interested in understanding the common signal transduction pathways across cancer predisposition genetic syndromes, in particular Noonan, Costello, Craniofaciocutaneous, Neurofibromatosis and overgrowth syndromes (Sotos, Beckwith-Wiedemann, Weaver, Simpson-Golabi-Behmel) and their associated malignancies: neuroblastoma, sarcomas, and leukemias.
To this end, Dr. Martinez utilizes Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism in which to study the cellular and genetic mechanisms that lead to oncogenesis due to the signal transduction pathways disrupted in these syndromes.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Martinez-Agosto JA, Mikkola HK, Hartenstein V, Banerjee U. The hematopoietic stem cell and its niche: a comparative view. Genes Dev. 2007 Dec 1;21(23):3044-60.
Evans CJ, Sinenko SA, Mandal L, Martinez-Agosto JA, Hartenstein V, Banerjee U. Genetic dissection of hematopoiesis using Drosophila as a model system. Advances in Developmental Biology (ed. P. Wassarman) 2007, pp. 259-299. Elsevier Science.
Mandal L, Martinez-Agosto JA, Evans CJ, Hartenstein V, Banerjee U. A Hedgehog- and Antennapedia-dependent niche maintains Drosophila haematopoietic precursors. Nature. 2007 Mar 15;446(7133):320-4.