« Back

March 13, 2018

Meet the Scholar: Isaac Marin-Valencia, M.D., M.S.
By Michelle Romanick

Dr. Isaac Marin-Valencia joined the Clinical Scholars Program at the Rockefeller University in 2015. Dr. Marin-Valencia received his M.D. from University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. He completed his residency in pediatrics at the University of Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Marin-Valencia completed a pediatric neurology residency and was the pediatric neurology chief resident at University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center.


Dr. Marin-Valencia’s interest in research and medicine started at an early age. His brother has autism and epilepsy and his desire to help his brother and other children with similar conditions influenced his decision to be a physician-scientist. A quote from his cell biology professor, “He who loves science, loves humanity,” resonated with him as it captures perfectly his drive to conduct research on pediatric developmental disorders and develop treatments for these conditions.


To further understand the molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders, Dr. Marin-Valencia did a postgraduate research fellowship in neurochemistry at UT Southwestern. He studied the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which disorders of brain glucose transport cause abnormal flux of energy substrates and alter oxidative metabolism in the native brain. After completing the research fellowship, Dr. Marin-Valencia did his pediatric neurology residency in the same institution where he integrated basic research and clinical duties.


As a Clinical Scholar in the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, where he is mentored by Dr. Mary Beth Hatten, Dr. Marin-Valencia has been exposed to a diverse range of scientific disciplines that enhance his experimental and intellectual skills in developmental neurobiology. One learning opportunity that Dr. Marin-Valencia he especially appreciated was the opportunity to present his research presentation to the Rockefeller Institutional Review Board Committee. The feedback and experience was extremely instructive and valuable.


When ask about his experience in the Clinical Scholars Program, Dr. Marin-Valencia responded, “The program is very supportive in all aspects and has assembled excellent faculty to teach scholars several disciplines in clinical research, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and clinical protocol preparation. Being a Clinical Scholars provides a great opportunity to expand skills in clinical investigation, work with the best scientists in the field, and work with state-of-the-art technology.”


Dr. Marin-Valencia is currently studying the mechanisms by which defective metabolism disrupt brain development. His research goal is to uncover new mechanisms and develop novel treatments for pediatric developmental disorders. He expects to continue his research at Rockefeller University with a future plan to transition to a faculty position in the United States.