Michelle Martinez

I’m Michelle Martínez, a 3rd year Behavioral Neuroscience PhD student at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). My parents are immigrants from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua México and worked in apple and chocolate factories as the seasons changed. Their efforts allowed my siblings and I to take advantage of opportunities that they never had. I was able to graduate from UTEP in 2016 with a BS in Psychology with a minor in Biology and was part of a bilingual cognition laboratory for four years (2 years undergrad and 2 years grad school).

 In my second year of graduate school I realized cognitive psychology was not my passion, however that research lab allowed me to leave my part-time job and work as an RA for three years and attend conferences and even have a publication.I decided to pursue my PhD in behavioral neuroscience with a concentration in nicotine addiction. 

My current research investigates the underlying neural, cognitive, behavioral and molecular pharmacological mechanisms that drive nicotine addiction nicotine vapor (i.e. e-cigarette) and that contribute to withdrawal and relapse. In the future, I hope to work with viruses and somehow make a change in the world.

I work with Dr. Ian Mendez (Mendez Neuroscience lab). I have realized that neuroscience research in general is male-dominated and somehow male researchers do not take women researchers seriously. I am a women in stem advocate in hopes to inspire female scientists to pursue their dreams and make an impact in their research field!

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