Patricia E. Molina, M.D., Ph.D.


Ph.D. Louisiana State University
M.D. Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala
B.S. Universidad del Valle, Guatemala

Research Statement

Dr. Molina’s research is focused on the mechanisms involved in the accelerated muscle wasting associated with AIDS, and how chronic alcohol consumption and cannabinoid use affects the course and progression of AIDS-associated wasting, immune and neurobehavioral function; and on neuroendocrine mechanisms that modulate response to traumatic injury. This research is funded by the Department of Defense, NIDA, NIAAA and the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Alcohol Research Center.

About Me

Patricia Molina completed her MD training at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala, Central America. Thereafter, she pursued a PhD in Physiology at LSUHSC under the mentorship of Dr. John J. Spitzer, presenting her dissertation on “Ethanol-endotoxin interaction with carbohydrate metabolism”. Her postdoctoral experience at Vanderbilt University was supported by a NIGMS Minority Supplement Grant under the mentorship of Dr. Naji N. Abumrad. She progressed through the academic ranks initially as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Physiology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook and subsequently as Director of Surgical Research at North Shore University Hospital. During that period, she held a Guest Scientist appointment at Brookhaven National Laboratory prior to joining the Department of Physiology at LSUHSC as an Associate Professor. Since becoming a faculty member at LSUHSC, Dr. Molina has obtained tenure and promotion to the rank of Professor, and has been named the Richard Ashman, PhD Professor in Physiology. On September 2008, she was appointed Department Head for Physiology. Dr. Molina’s research has been funded continuously since completing her PhD degree. She has mentored several undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral trainees. Dr. Molina is a member of the faculty of the School of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Education Committee in Physiology, The Graduate Advisory Council, and is a mentor for the LSUHSC Interdisciplinary Graduate Program. Dr. Molina is an active member of several committees within the LSUHSC and is also actively involved in the Scientific Community outside the institution. Currently, she is the Chair for the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse and Past President of the American Physiological Society. Research in her laboratory focuses on the impact of alcohol and drug abuse on the cardiovascular, metabolic and immune consequences of acute traumatic injury and hemorrhagic shock. In addition, work in her laboratory also investigates the interaction of chronic alcohol and cannabinoid use on the behavioral, metabolic, and immune consequences of HIV/AIDS. Currently, work in her laboratory is funded by NIAAA, NIDA, and CDMRP