Title: Curriculum Director; and Associate Professor
Office: AHC2 478
Department(s): Cellular Biology and Pharmacology
Dr. Fortun received her BS in Biochemistry from the University of Havana, in her native country, Cuba. She completed her dissertation studies in the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology focusing on the development of diagnostic essays for bacterial infection diseases.
Dr. Fortun spent a year as an academic guest in the Department of Biochemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, where she focused on comparing different adjuvant conditions to increase immune response.
She moved to the United States and obtained a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Florida, Gainesville, USA. Her main interest was to discern the role of protein aggregation and degradation pathways in peripheral neuropathies associated with protein miss-expression.
After completion of her dissertation, she moved to the University of Miami for a postdoctoral fellowship in the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis focusing on the development of combinatory therapies to improve locomotor function after spinal cord injury.
She has received several awards, including the Alumni Graduate Fellowship, from the College of Medicine, UF, and the Bryan W. Robinson Neurological Foundation Grant-in-Aid Achievement award during her graduate studies, and she was the recipient of the FORE-SCI Education & Training/Outreach NIH grant during her post doctoral studies.
She has been a member of the Society of Neuroscience and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to cure paralysis. In addition to her peer-reviewed publications, she has published 9 abstracts that have been presented in various international scientific meetings.
- Fortun J, Hill CE, Bunge MB. Combinatorial Strategies with Schwann Cell Transplantation to Improve Repair of the Injured Spinal Cord (2009) Neuroscience Letters
- Fortun J, Puzis R, Pearse DD. Gage FH, Bunge MB. Muscle injection of AAV-NT3 promotes anatomical reorganization of CST axons and improves behavioral outcome following SCI. (2009) J. Neurotrauma