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Associate Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill

Education and Training

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

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


Marsico Lung Institute and Cystic Fibrosis Research Center

Gentzsch, Martina