The Zika ThreatASM Acts to Counter Zika Virus Outbreak.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Luis R. Martinez, Ph.D., M.B.A. received his B.S. degree in Industrial Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. He earned a M.S. degree at Long Island University (LIU) in Brooklyn, NY. His thesis project on the AIDS-associated fungus Cryptococcus neofomans thermal tolerance was conducted in Albert Einstein College of Medicine (EINSTEIN) in the Bronx, NY under the supervision of Dr. Arturo Casadevall. His master’s studies were supported by a NIH minority bridge to the doctorate award, which facilitated his externship at a research-oriented institution where he met mentors that encouraged him to pursue a career in science. This experience and his growing scientific curiosity led him to enroll in the Ph.D. program in the laboratory of Dr. Casadevall at EINSTEIN where he was responsible for characterizing biofilm formation in C. neoformans. Upon successfully completing his Ph.D., Dr. Martinez joined the laboratory of Dr. Joshua D. Nosanchuk at EINSTEIN to extend his work on microbial pathogenesis and the biology of the immune system. In the course of his post-doctoral training supported by an NIH-Molecular Pathogenesis Training Grant, he developed the first infection model in methamphetamine (METH) exposed animals and was the first to describe the effect of METH on the host response to systemic challenge with a pathogen. Dr. Martinez was a recipient of an American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Travel Award. Also, he successfully led a project that characterized the wound healing and antimicrobial properties of nitric oxide nanoparticles that have been licensed by a biotech company and are in advanced preclinical development. Dr. Martinez obtained an MBA degree from Pace University in NY and has completed scholarly work at the Woods Hole’s Marine Biological Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. He has taught in several higher education institutions in the New York City area including LIU-Post (promoted with tenure in 2014), York College, and the Bronx Community College. Currently, he holds an Associate Professorship at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYIT COM) where he is a faculty member of the Biomedical Sciences Department. The overarching goal of his research (https://sites.google.com/site/themartinezlabatnyitcom/) is to understand how the immune system of the host is affected at the molecular and cellular level by substances of abuse, thereby increasing host susceptibility to opportunistic infections caused by bacteria and fungi. Dr. Martinez was a recipient of a NIH-NIAID K22 Young Investigator Award (2011) to further advance the development of his independent laboratory. Notably, his most recent work has been featured by the Los Angeles Times, US News, Medscape, etc. Dr. Martinez is interested in training and preparing capable undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students from all backgrounds including under-represented minorities as him and women who can successfully pursue careers in the biomedical sciences. He is currently a member of ASM’s Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities. His lab mentees currently work for prestigious companies including Genentech, Baxter and Argonne National Labs. Recently, he was a recipient of Long Island Business News’ Health Care Hero Award (2011) andThomas J. Walsh Junior Investigator Award of the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas (2014).