Houston Methodist Trainee Association



The Houston Methodist Academy Postdoctoral and Trainee Association (MAPTA) is a self-governed association of translational science research professionals. They support our postdoctoral fellows, graduate trainees, and other translational science research professionals with education, networking, intramural activities, and career development and advancement opportunities.



Jonathan Martinez, PhD – President

PhD - Biomedical Sciences-Experimental Therapeutics, UT Health Science Center at Houston

Dr. Martinez works in the development and in vivo testing of novel drug delivery systems to achieve their direct delivery to inflammatory sites of cancer. He works in the laboratory of Ennio Tasciotti, PhD, within the Center of Biomimetic Medicine.


Fernando Cabrera, MD – Vice President of Communications

MD - The Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala

Dr. Cabrera was born and raised in Guatemala. After completing medical school at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, he joined the laboratory of Ennio Tasciotti, PhD, within the Center of Biomimetic Medicine. His research focus is tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.


Priya Jain – Vice President of Career and Professional Development

BS - Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Priya works on the development of drug delivery devices that provide long-term, sustained release of a drug over time. She currently works under Alessandro Grattoni, PhD, in the Department of Nanomedicine.


Sara Nizzero – Vice President of Outreach

PhD - Applied Physics, Rice University (in progress)

Sara is a doctoral student from Rice University, currently working in under Mauro Ferrari, PhD, in the Department of Nanomedicine. She applies her background, including, single-particle absorption via photothermal contrast, to her work in the Ferrari lab.


Marco Farina – Vice President of Special Events

PhD - Electrical, Electronics, and Communications Engineering, Politecnico di Torino (in progress)

As a graduate student in the lab of Alessandro Grattoni, PhD, Marco works on the design and manufacturing of 3D-printed implementable devices in the Department of Nanomedicine.


Victor Segura-Ibarra – Vice President of International Affairs

MD, PhD - Tecnológico de Monterey (in progress)

Victor is an MD/PhD student from Tecnológico de Monterey (Monterey Tech). As part of his program's curriculum, he joined the Department of Nanomedicine in 2013 as a graduate research fellow. His work emphasizes applications in cancer and cardiovascular science.


We at MAPTA are well aware that much planning goes into being an effective scientist. Therefore, we wish to provide resources that will aid in your development as scientists. Below are a series of links that will aid in that development.


We have two new opportunities for postdoctoral positions in the lab of Dr. Robert Rostomily. One opportunity is in developing a preclinical testing device for personalized cancer therapy.  More information can be found here. The other opportunity is characterizing the functional impact on TWIST1 dimerization motifs on malignant phenotypes of glioma stem cells. More information on that opportunity can be found here.