The Early Career Award recognizes current members of the SIVB who are outstanding early-career scientists and who have made significant contributions to the field of in vitro biology and/or in the development of novel technologies that have advanced in vitro biology. The Society for In Vitro Biology honored Dr. Kristina Martinez-Guryn with the Early Career Award at SIVB 2023 In Vitro Biology Meeting.

Dr. Kristina Martinez-Guryn

2023 SIVB Early Career Award Recipient

Dr. Maria M. Jenderek
Dr. Kristina Martinez-Guryn was awarded the SIVB Early Career Award at the 2023 In Vitro Biology Meeting in Norfolk, Virginia.

Dr. Kristina Martinez-Guryn, PhD, RD, received an SIVB Early Career Award for her outstanding work on the role of the small intestinal microbiome in lipid absorption and metabolism.   Kristina is currently a tenured Associate Professor in the Biomedical Sciences Program at Midwestern University (MWU), with a joint appointment in the Master of Public Health Program.  Kristina is a Registered Dietitian (2012)  with a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Nutrition (2011).  Her post-doctoral training (2012-2017) was conducted at the University of Chicago in the Department of Medicine/Gastroenterology under the mentorship of Dr. Eugene (Gene) B. Chang, the Martin Boyer Endowed Professor of Medicine. Kristina joined MWU as an Assistant Professor in 2017.

Kristina is recognized by the scientific community as a leading expert in the area of the small intestinal microbiome on macronutrient absorption and metabolism. Kristina is passionate about her research and creative in her scientific approaches.  She actively corroborates  in vivo animal responses with in vitro experimental models to address the role of the small intestinal microbiome, including yeast and specific bacterial species, on intestinal epithelial fat uptake and metabolism.  Kristina employs small and large intestinal organoids in her in vitro experimental approach.  Her lab creates intestinal organoids using wild-type and genetically modified mouse lines, thus allowing Kristina to identify unique pathways for the biological effects of specific microbial communities.  

Kristina actively publishes and discusses  her research.  She’s been an invited speaker both nationally and internationally. Within the academic community, Kristina has been an invited speaker at Purdue University, University of Kentucky, University of Cincinnati, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of Nevada Reno, Midwestern University, and the University of Chicago.  Kristina spoke at the Keystone Symposia in Taos, New Mexico (2014), the American Association of Diabetic Educators in San Diego (2016) and served as a panel expert at the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics meeting in Barcelona, Spain in 2022.  Kristina is an engaging speaker, promoting interest and collaboration in her experimental approach and interpretation. 

Kristina is actively funded by NIH-NIDDK to investigate the role of the gut mycobiota in regulating host lipid absorption and obesity.  During her post-doctoral training at the University of Chicago, she was funded by an NRSA award and NIH training grant,  as well as a Pilot and Feasibility Award from the Digestive Diseases Research Core Center at the University of Chicago.  Since joining Midwestern University, Kristina has received external grant monies as well as  internal grant funding from the College of Graduate Studies as well as Core Outsourcing Grants.  

As an educator, Kristina is engaged and invested in the students’ academic and professional success.  She provides an excellent role model for scholarly activity and productivity, especially for a teaching focused university, such as MWU.  Kristina recruits  master’s degree students, medical students, and healthcare student volunteers to assist in conducting experiments, analyzing data, co-authoring manuscripts, and writing review chapters. She is an excellent mentor, working alongside her students, sharing her insights and knowledge. The graduate students thrive under her tutelage.  To date, Kristina has mentored and trained over 20 graduate and health professional students since joining MWU in 2017. 

Kristina has been actively involved in the Society since 2018.  Most recently, Kristina was elected to serve as the Chair for IVACS from 2022-2024.  Prior to this role, Kristina served as the Program Co-Chair for IVACS from 2020-2022.  Kristina has been the convener for several plenary and IVACS symposia including,  “Modulating the Gut Microbiota: Application of Prebiotics and Probiotics for Human Health” and “Emerging Companies: Bringing Innovative Ideas to Life” (2021); “Exploring Microbiomes: Application to Humans and Agriculture” (2020);  “Data Analysis Techniques for Microbiome Research” (2019). Kristina has served as a judge for the student-postdoc oral competition held yearly during the SIVB meetings. She has encouraged her graduate students to attend the SIVB meeting.  Several of her students have received travel award grants from SIVB.  Kristina has served on several education committee panels during the SIVB yearly meetings, fostering and encouraging graduate students in their development and research.

Kristina exemplifies the qualities and attributes of an Early Career Award recipient. 

Submitted by
Mae Ciancio, Ph.D.
Professor, Midwestern University

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