Dr. María Lourdes Alarcón Fortepiani earned a M.D. and Ph.D. in Physiology from Universidad de Murcia in Spain. She practiced medicine while obtaining her Ph.D. Following completion of her dissertation entitled "Role of angiotensin II and endothelin in renal dysfunction in L-NAME hypertension," she completed her postdoctoral training at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Fortepiani moved to San Antonio and was appointed Research Assistant Professor at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) where she currently holds an adjunct faculty position at the Department of Physiology. She joined Rosenberg School of Optometry (RSO) when it opened its doors in 2009 as an Assistant Professor.
In addition to intramural awards at UTHSCSA and UIW, Dr. Fortepiani has been funded by National Institute of Health (NIH), American Heart Association (AHA) and American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) to study the mechanisms involved in postmenopausal hypertension and diabetes. She continues her research interest in diabetes in collaboration with Dr. Renteria at Department of Ophthalmology at UTHSCSA.
Dr. Fortepiani is primarily involved in teaching Human and Ocular Physiology, Immunology, Pathology, Clinical Medicine and Patient Care at the Optometry program in addition to Integrated Ocular Science in the undergraduate Vision Science program, both at RSO.
Dr. Fortepiani is a member of the American Academy of Optometry where she has recently become a fellow, and the American Physiological Society, currently serving on the Women in Physiology committee and actively engaged in science outreach programs such as the PhUn week events. She participates as a judge at the Alamo Regional Science Fair funded by the Sisters of Charity 50 years ago and is the Chair of the SRC committee for STEM Academy-Lee High School. In addition, she is actively involved in UIW numerous committees including Red Dress, Earth Day and the Faculty Senate, and has served as Faculty Chair at RSO.