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MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit


Alvaro Sanchez-Martinez


















Dr Alvaro Sanchez-Martinez studied biochemistry and molecular biology at Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, before joining the PhD program on Biochemistry, molecular biology and biomedicine at the same University with Dr Garesse Alarcon. Alvaro was awarded a CAM fellowship to model and study the effect of human mitochondrial DNA diseases in vivo using Drosophila melanogaster and mammalian cell cultures. After a first postdoc in Dr Whitworth’s lab at University of Sheffield, UK, he is now an Investigator Scientist in the Mitochondrial Neurodegeneration group at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit at University of Cambridge.

Research Interests

Dr Sanchez-Martinez’s research interests are focused on mitochondrial diseases, in particular, how mitochondrial damage/dysfunction and environmental factors, such as stress, may influence ageing but also, onset and progression of these diseases. These interests have led him to study mitochondrial quality control mechanisms, with special attention to mitochondrial DNA and neurodegeneration. Understanding the biology of these processes aiming for a translational and therapeutical approach has become one of his priorities.  

Selected Publications

Lydia M Castelli , Ya-Hui Lin, Alvaro Sanchez-Martinez, Aytaç Gül, Kamallia Mohd Imran, Adrian Higginbottom, Santosh Kumar Upadhyay, Nóra M Márkus, Raquel Rua Martins, Johnathan Cooper-Knock, Claire Montmasson, Rebecca Cohen, Amy Walton, Claudia S Bauer, Kurt J De Vos, Richard J Mead, Mimoun Azzouz, Cyril Dominguez, Laura Ferraiuolo, Pamela J Shaw, Alexander J Whitworth, Guillaume M Hautbergue (2023)
A cell-penetrant peptide blocking C9ORF72-repeat RNA nuclear export reduces the neurotoxic effects of dipeptide repeat proteins
Sci Transl Med 2023 Mar;15(685)

Juliette J Lee, Alvaro Sanchez-Martinez, Aitor Martinez Zarate, Cristiane Benincá, Ugo Mayor, Michael J Clague, Alexander J Whitworth (2018)
Basal mitophagy is widespread in Drosophila but minimally affected by loss of Pink1 or parkin
J Cell Biol 2018 May 7;217(5):1613-1622

Burchell VS, Nelson DE, Sanchez-Martinez A, Delgado-Camprubi M, Ivatt RM, Pogson JH, Randle SJ, Wray S, Lewis PA, Houlden H, Abramov AY, Hardy J, Wood NW, Whitworth AJ, Laman H, Plun-Favreau H (2013)
The Parkinson's disease-linked proteins Fbxo7 and Parkin interact to mediate mitophagy
Nat Neurosci 2013 Sep;16(9):1257-65