Martha Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

Martha Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

Martha Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

2022 The Margaret M. Briehl and Dennis T. Ray Five Star Faculty Award
Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience
College of Science
Martha Bhattacharya

Dr. Martha Bhattacharya, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on the molecular pathways involved in the degeneration of axons, the threadlike cell structures that are critical for neuronal communication. The overarching mission of the Bhattacharya laboratory is to discover genetic and cell biological pathways that contribute to neuronal dysfunction during injury and disease. By focusing on basic neuronal mechanisms that cross disease boundaries, her research group’s discoveries have advanced our knowledge about mechanisms of eczema, epilepsy, ALS, and Alzheimer’s Disease. She has published many scientific articles in peer- reviewed journals and is the author of a patent for a potential itch therapy. Dr. Bhattacharya is the principal investigator on a $1.3M federal grant from the National Institutes of Health and is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her research projects. Her work has garnered national and international recognition in the form of speaking invitations, journal highlights, and interest in patent licensing. It has also been featured on Arizona Public Media’s “Science Friday” broadcast on NPR.

Dr. Bhattacharya is also an accomplished college educator and the inaugural Faculty Director of the Vertically Integrated Projects program at the University of Arizona (https://uavip.arizona.edu). She has initiated a substantial broadening of opportunities for undergraduate students to gain research experience through the design and implementation of course-based research experiences (CUREs). She has won numerous awards for her innovative college teaching methods, including the 2021 University of Arizona College of Science’s Distinguished Early-Career Teaching Award, as well as the university-wide Five Star Faculty Award in 2022.

Dr. Bhattacharya earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Harvard University and a PhD in cell biology at the University of California, San Francisco. She completed post-doctoral research training at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2014, she was appointed to her first tenure-track faculty position at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy (now University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy). She began her position at the University of Arizona in January 2017.