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Martha Soto, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Rutgers University

Former RTI Lab: Postdoctoral fellow, Mello Lab
Training Period: 1997 - 2002
Prior Academic Institution: Harvard Medical School
Awards: ACS Postdoctoral Fellow

Soto Lab


Martha Soto studies the control of cell polarity, which is essential for all cells. Using the nematode C. elegans, these studies combine genetic, molecular, biochemical, and live imaging approaches to investigate how the actin cytoskeleton becomes polarized to promote movements at key points in development.

Soto received a BS in Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, taught science at Cambridge Public Schools, and earned a PhD in the Bender lab at Harvard Medical School. She was a AAAS/ASM Congressional Science Fellow and a postdoctoral fellow in the Mello lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Soto’s work has been recognized with the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Service for Outstanding contributions to the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the OASIS Leadership Award from the RWJMS Dean’s Office, Outstanding Postdoc Advocate from the Rutgers-RWJMS Postdoctoral Association, and was the inaugural recipient of the Martha Soto Leadership Award, for efforts on behalf of postdoctoral researchers from the Rutgers Postdoctoral Association.

As a Director, Soto hopes to give back to an organization that has supported her career and share her experiences recruiting and retaining young scientists, including those from communities underrepresented in academia.