Postdoc Profile

Postdoc Reyna Martinez-De Luna
Reyna Martinez-De Luna PhD, a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Michael Zuber PhD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Upstate. On the screen is an image of a frog's eye that has received transplanted retinal cells from another frog to test their capacity to integrate into the retina.

"I chose Upstate because I was very impressed with the Center for Vision Research," said Reyna Martinez-De Luna, a postdoctoral associate in ophthalmology. "I liked the fact that there are a lot of scientists with different specialties who are interested in the same questions."

Those questions revolve around the development and function of the eye—specifically the retina, the membrane at the back of the eye that senses light and sends impulses through the optic nerve to the brain. Martinez-De Luna works with a gene discovered by a colleague in Zuber's lab, investigating the gene's role in eye formation.

"I liked the fact that there are a lot of scientists with different specialties who are interested in the same questions."
In 2008, near the end of her PhD program in molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the Ohio State University, Martinez-De Luna met Zuber at a visual systems development conference in Rhode Island. Intrigued by Zuber's research—they are both developmental biologists—she applied for a postdoctoral position and was impressed by her visit to Upstate.

Martinez-De Luna continues to be pleased by the degree of collaboration among Upstate researchers in different fields. She also appreciates the amount of training she has received since arriving in late 2009—including writing grants, writing protocols and reviewing papers.

Martinez-De Luna recalls what she was told by the late Robert Barlow, PhD, founder of the Center for Vision Research at Upstate. He died in December 2009. "Dr. Barlow told me the training you get as a postdoc at Upstate is part of becoming a complete scientist," she said. "Here you will not only produce data, but will also receive valuable training you will need as a future faculty."

Postdoc Profiles

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