Martina Gentzsch, Ph.D.

Martina Gentzsch

Lab Personnel

Deborah Cholon Jennifer Guimbellot
                               Susan Boyles


1997  Ph.D.   Cell Biology: Glycoprotein Processing
University of Regensburg, Germany

1993  M.S.    Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Organic Chemistry
University of Regensburg, Germany

1991  B.S.     Cell Biology, Genetics, Physics, Chemistry
University of Regensburg, Germany


2015-present   Director, Pre-Clinical Core
Director, CFTR Functional Analysis Core
Marsico Lung Institute/Cystic Fibrosis Research Center
UNC, Chapel Hill, NC

2012-2015       Director, Correction Core
Marsico Lung Institute/Cystic Fibrosis Research Center
UNC, Chapel Hill, NC

2012-present   Research Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology
Department of Cell Biology and Physiology
and Marsico Lung Institute/Cystic Fibrosis Research Center
UNC, Chapel Hill, NC

2005-2012       Research Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
and Cystic Fibrosis/Pulmonary Research & Treatment Center
UNC, Chapel Hill, NC

2001-2005       Research Associate
Department of Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Scottsdale, AZ

1998-2001       Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Laboratory of Dr. J.R. Riordan
Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ

1997-1998       Postdoctoral Fellow
Laboratory of Dr. W. Tanner, Institute of Cell Biology
University of Regensburg, Germany

Areas of Interest 

My research aims to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the intracellular trafficking and regulation of ion channels that play critical roles in airway diseases. One of my major interests is to explore potential targets that are of clinical importance for cystic fibrosis (CF) therapy such as restoration of normal ion channel function in CF patients. The epithelial anion channel CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is mutated in CF patients. My laboratory has developed a variety of biochemical, electrophysiological and cell biological state-of-the-art pre-clinical assays to investigate the efficacy of novel therapeutic approaches to rescue CFTR in relevant differentiated model systems including nasal, bronchial and intestinal planar (2D) and organoid (3D) cultures. Our present studies assess: 1) the diverse roles of CFTR in different organs, 2) differences in rescue and stability of CFTR in different tissues, and 3) mechanistic details on how environmental factors affect CFTR function and rescue. We are applying the knowledge obtained from these studies towards the design of bio-assays that predict optimal personalized treatment plans for each individual patient.

Awards and Honors

2015                Adolf Windorfer Prize for outstanding research in Cystic Fibrosis

2014                Marsico Scholar Award

2010                Profiled Author of the Paper of the Week, Journal of Biological Chemistry

2009                UNC Cystic Fibrosis Center Star Heel Award

2003                Young Investigator Award, 4th FEBS Advanced Lecture Course on ATP-Binding Cassette Proteins, Gosau, Austria

1998-2000       Research Stipend from the German Research Association (DFG)

1997                Culture Award for Ph.D. Thesis, E.ON group (Europe’s largest energy provider)

1997                Ph.D. Honors graduation: SUMMA CUM LAUDE


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List of Current Lab Members

Nancy Quinney (Research Specialist/Lab Manager)

Imron Chaudhry (Research Specialist)

Susan Boyles (Research Specialist)

Deborah Cholon, Ph.D. (Research Associate)


Related Website


Marsico Lung Institute and Cystic Fibrosis Research Center

Funding Sources

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung

Industry Sponsored Research

National Institutes of Health