María E. Guerra García

María E. Guerra García

Academic Qualifications:

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at San Antonio (San Antonio, TX, USA), 2019

B.S. Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio (San Antonio, TX, USA), 2019


María E. Guerra García was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. Along with her parents and sisters, she migrated to the United States in 2010. Her outstanding achievement as a high school student allowed her to obtain a full-ride scholarship for study at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she obtained B.S. degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Biology in 2019. As an undergraduate student, she focused on developing an animal model of Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis to test the efficacy and toxicity of novel radiopharmaceuticals in the lab of Dr. Andrew Brenner at UT Health San Antonio. In the summer of 2018, she participated in a summer research program at Johns Hopkins University and conducted research on the tumor-immune microenvironment of Glioblastoma in mice in the lab of Dr. Alan Friedman. Soon after her graduation, she joined the Radiation Oncology department at Duke University to conduct three years of independent research on genetically-engineered mouse models of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) with the goal of improving radiation therapy in the labs of Dr. David Kirsch and Dr. Zachary Reitman. As a graduate student, María is interested in utilizing focused ultrasound brain drug/gene delivery techniques to improve the treatment and diagnosis of DIPG and other inoperable brain tumors. Her ultimate professional goal is to become a physician-scientist focused on the treatment and research of brain tumors.

Awards and Prizes:

Best Poster Presentation Award at the 2018 Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Conference in the Cancer Biology category (2018).

Best Poster Presentation Award at the 2018 College of Sciences (COS) Conference at the University of Texas at San Antonio in the Immunology and Infectious Diseases category (2018).

1st Place Poster Presentation Award at the Experiential Learning Fair from the Honors College at the University of Texas at San Antonio in the Intellectual Achievement and Research category (2018)

Highest Honors for Outstanding Academic Performance in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio (2018).

Basic Sciences Institute Summer Research Award at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (2018).

San Antonio Life Sciences Institute Brain Health Internship Grant at UT Health San Antonio (2016, 2017).


Journal Articles:

Guerra García ME, Kirsch DG, Reitman ZJ. Targeting the ATM Kinase to Enhance the Efficacy of Radiotherapy and Outcomes for Cancer Patients. Semin Radiat Oncol. 2022 Jan;32(1):3-14. doi: 10.1016/j.semradonc.2021.09.008. PMID: 34861994; PMCID: PMC8647772.

Deland K, Mercer JS, Crabtree DM, Guerra Garcia ME, Reinsvold M, Campos LDS, Williams NT, Luo L, Ma Y, Reitman ZJ, Becher OJ, Kirsch DG. Radiosensitizing the Vasculature of Primary Brainstem Gliomas Fails to Improve Tumor Response to Radiation Therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2022 Mar 1;112(3):771-779. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2021.09.047. Epub 2021 Oct 5. PMID: 34619331; PMCID: PMC8898173.

Khadka P, Reitman ZJ, Lu S, Buchan G, Gionet G, Dubois F, Carvalho DM, Shih J, Zhang S, Greenwald NF, Zack T, Shapira O, Pelton K, Hartley R, Bear H, Georgis Y, Jarmale S, Melanson R, Bonanno K, Schoolcraft K, Miller PG, Condurat AL, Gonzalez EM, Qian K, Morin E, Langhnoja J, Lupien LE, Rendo V, Digiacomo J, Wang D, Zhou K, Kumbhani R, Guerra Garcia ME, Sinai CE, Becker S, Schneider R, Vogelzang J, Krug K, Goodale A, Abid T, Kalani Z, Piccioni F, Beroukhim R, Persky NS, Root DE, Carcaboso AM, Ebert BL, Fuller C, Babur O, Kieran MW, Jones C, Keshishian H, Ligon KL, Carr SA, Phoenix TN, Bandopadhayay P. PPM1D mutations are oncogenic drivers of de novo diffuse midline glioma formation. Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 1;13(1):604. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28198-8. PMID: 35105861; PMCID: PMC8807747.


M.E. Guerra Garcia, K. Deland, L. Luo, Y. Ma, N. Williams, C. Stewart, D. Kirsch, Z. Reitman. Dissecting the effect of Atm deletion on radiosensitivity in diffuse midline gliomas with H3K27M mutation. Society for Neuro-Oncology Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Research Conference, virtual (2021).

M.E. Guerra Garcia, K. Deland, L. Luo, Y. Ma, N. Williams, C. Stewart, D. Kirsch, Z. Reitman. Identification of diffuse midline glioma genotypes that can be radiosensitized by Atm deletion in vivo. Radiation Research Society Annual Meeting, virtual (2020).

M.E. Guerra Garcia, T. Barberi, R. Suresh, and A. Friedman. Deletion of NF-κB p50 in T cells increases tumor-infiltrating IFNy+ CD4 T cells but does not improve survival in glioma-bearing mice. COS Conference at UTSA (2018) and SACNAS Conference in San Antonio, TX (2018).

M.E. Guerra Garcia and A. Brenner. Radioactive nanoliposomes: Discovering an alternative approach to destroying cancer cells. Honors College Experiential Learning Fair, UTSA (2018).

M.E. Guerra Garcia, B. Goins, A. Gruslova, M. Garcia, and A. Brenner. Maximum tolerable dose and efficacy of Rhenium-186 Nanoliposomes on Wistar rats for treatment of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Showcase at UTSA (2017) and Society for Neuro-Oncology annual meeting in San Francisco, CA (2017).