L. Miguel Martins

MRC Toxicology UnitUnited Kingdom

Dr L. Miguel Martins is currently a tenured Programme Leader with the MRC Toxicology Unit. His research interests have focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms regulating cell death and survival. He conducted his Ph.D. Studies under the supervision of Professor William Earnshaw at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (USA) and the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). This work involved the characterization of caspase activation in apoptosis. Subsequently, his research focus shifted from the execution of apoptotic cell death to the modulation of this process by upstream signaling networks. He worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr Julian Downward at The Imperial Cancer Research Fund/Cancer Research UK in London, England. During this period, Dr L. Miguel Martins was involved in the identification of key mitochondrial proteins that regulate apoptotic cell death. Among several mitochondrial controllers of cell death, his work led to the characterization of a mitochondrial serine protease, Omi/HtrA2. Currently, the work in his laboratory focuses in dissecting signal transduction pathways that regulate mitochondria-dependent apoptosis and understanding how the abnormal activity of such networks might affect cell survival, leading to diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

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Latest work with IntechOpen by L. Miguel Martins

Currently, the human population is on a collision course for a social and economic burden. As a consequence of changing demographics and an increase in human individuals over the age of 60, age-related neurodegenerative disorders are likely to become more prevalent. It is therefore essential to increase our understanding of such neurodegenerative disorders in order to be more pro-active in managing these diseases processes. The focus of this book is to provide a snapshot of recent advancements in the understanding of basic biological processes that modulate the onset and progression of neurodegenerative processes. This is tackled at the molecular, cellular and whole organism level. We hope that some of the recent discoveries outlined in this book will help to better define the basic biological mechanisms behind neurodegenerative processes and, in the long term, help in the development of novel therapeutic approaches.

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